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The Pirbright Institute

Integrative Entomology

Making arbovirology count

My group studies arthropod-borne viruses and their vectors in both the laboratory and field, and uses the results to develop mathematical models of vector-virus interactions and virus transmission. These are then used to estimate the potential range and impact of arboviruses and explore the effects of external drivers (such as environment and farm management) and control strategies (such as vaccination or vector control).

Our current research is funded by the European Commission and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). For information on our current projects, please click the links below.


Closed projects


Other activities

In addition to research, I lecture on vector-borne diseases on MSc and BSc courses at the University of Surrey, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Kingston University and Merrist Wood College. I also provide consultative and commercial work including insect supply and quantitative analysis of insecticide or vaccine data. I also sit on the Pirbright Academic Committee, the Seminars Committee and our Athena SWAN Committee.

For updates on the group's activities and opportunities to work with IntEnt, follow us on Twitter.


To support our work on the mechanical transmission of viruses, we maintain the UK's only colony of Stomoxys calcitrans, the stable fly. In addition to being an important pest in its own right in many areas, the stable fly is commonly used as a laboratory model for mechanical transmission. If you are interested in obtaining stable flies for research or commercial purposes, please email me.

Selected Recent Publications

  • EFSA (2012). "Schmallenberg" virus: analysis of the epidemiological data and assessment of impact. EFSA Journal 2012;10(6):2768. [full text]

  • Diaz et al. (2012). African swine fever virus strain Georgia 2007/1 in Ornithodoros erraticus ticks. Emerging Infectious Diseases 18(6): 1026-1029. [full text]

  • Gubbins et al. (2012) Scaling from challenge experiments to the field: quantifying the impact of vaccination on the transmission of bluetongue virus serotype 8. Preventative Veterinary Medicine 105, 297

  • Carpenter, Wilson & Gubbins (2011) Temperature dependence of the extrinsic incubation period of orbiviruses in Culicoides biting midges. PLoS ONE 6(11):e27987. [full text]

  • Wilson & Mellor (2009) Bluetongue in Europe: past, present and future. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series B, 364(1530): 2669-2681.

  • Szmaragd et al. (2009), A modelling framework to describe the transmission of bluetongue virus within and between farms in Great Britain. PLoS ONE 4(11): e7741.[Full text].

  • Carpenter, Wilson & Mellor (2009) Culicoides and the emergence of bluetongue virus in northern Europe. Trends in Microbiology 17: 172-178.

  • Wilson, Darpel & Mellor (2008), Where does bluetongue virus sleep in the winter? PLoS Biology 6(8): e210. [Full text]


Research Leader



Feeding Culicoides
A feeding Culicoides midge. Midges transmit bluetongue virus, Schmallenberg virus and African horse sickness virus.
Female horse fly
A female horse fly. Large biting flies like these can transmit a range of important pathogens.