University of Greenwich awarded Queen’s Anniversary Prize
The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) at the University of Greenwich has been awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its work on developing solutions to tackle pests that have an impact on human, animal and plant health. The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes, granted every two years by The Queen, recognise outstanding work and innovation by UK colleges and universities.
The NRI’s pest management programme encompasses four areas:
- Blackflies and their role as vectors of onchocerciasis (“river blindness”)
- Mosquitoes in the spread of disease: including malaria, dengue and Zika
- The threat of insect pests on horticulture
- Rodents in the spread of disease and destroying crops / infrastructure
With collaborators in over 50 countries, NRI’s pest management programme focusses on sustainable and innovative pest management solutions. Gnatwork Management Board Member, Professor Robert Cheke, has over 40 years of experience of field and laboratory research in Africa focusing on the biology and control of blackflies, which contributed largely to this prize. The prize also celebrates work by Dr Frances Hawkes on mosquitoes in the spread of disease, who is currently a Principal Investigator on a Gnatwork-funded project. By working with the communities affected by pests, NRI aims to understand the risks posed by pests, their interaction with the host and sustainable control methods for them.