3 Year Industry-led Funded PhD: Ref. No. CGE52

Developing a sustainable 'lure-and-kill' control system for disease-carrying sandflies

This doctoral project is about developing a biorational “attract-and-kill” product for controlling sandflies. Leishmaniasis, a fatal or disfiguring parasitic disease of humans and animals in the tropics and sub-tropics, is transmitted by blood-feeding insects. It affects the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged people. There is no vaccine and therapeutic drugs are expensive and have unpleasant side effects. Disease control therefore relies on insecticides but their sporadic use is ineffective and environmentally damaging.

The product will be capable of delivering a reduction in sandfly numbers and human and animal disease. At the same time the product will reduce the widespread environmental spraying of insecticide and this will deliver significant environmental benefits. The use of insect attractants to monitor and control insects as a part of integrated pest management programs is widespread in the agricultural sector where they contribute significantly to reduction or elimination of insecticide use.

Applicants, who should have a degree in chemistry and/or biology, would identify attractants for sand flies from plants, combine them in a controlled release device with insecticide and test them as a “lure-and-kill” device in laboratory and different field experiments.

Industry Partner

This doctoral research project will be supervised by Lancaster University and Russell IPM Limited. Russell IPM is a leading manufacturer of pheromone-based monitoring and control systems in the UK and largest in Europe. It has developed over 150 insect pheromone lures and bio-rational pesticides for controlling insect pests. The company has been awarded Queens Award for innovation and international trade in 2012 and 2011.

Why Apply?

By joining the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation you will:

  • Receive £15,000 tax free per year
  • Have your postgraduate tuition fees paid for by your partner business, worth c£4,195/year (fees for Non EU/UK graduates are subsidised from £17,510/year to £13,315/year. See university website for published rates by year of entry)
  • Become part of a cohort of graduates working with an award-winning team on business-led R&D
  • Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas.


Application Deadline

This project has been recruited.

Preference may be given to candidates who can start at the earliest opportunity.

The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation

This doctoral research project is one of a cohort of industry-led funded research projects from the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, an international alliance supporting university-business collaboration. The Centre delivers high quality, business-led research to create eco-innovative technologies, products and services.

The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation manages the Low Carbon Lancashire Innovation Hub (LoCaL-i), part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

At the heart of the Centre are people who are researching, developing and innovating to address global challenges, including energy, water, natural capital, resource efficiency, food, and waste, to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits. Launched in 2012 the Centre and has won two national awards for its ground breaking approach to sustainable R&D and knowledge exchange.


How to apply

This project has been recruited.