The Ecology of Malaria Vectors

the ecology of malaria vectors

Jacques Derek Charlwood
CRC Press 2020, £63.00

I feel somewhat pipped at the post in writing this review: the foreword to The Ecology of Malaria Vectors already lays out the important position statement, that this book represents not only a future ‘standard’ text for students but that it is crafted from a life of personal experience from the most talented medical entomologist I know. The dedication and insights that Derek Charlwood has contributed over the years have been truly unique.

This depth of understanding come shining through, drawing strongly on the author’s impressive publication portfolio. Recently parts of this field have moved on considerably, insecticide resistance, for example, is increasingly well understood at the molecular level and the mapping approaches are far more advanced than suggested in a very short chapter 6. Indeed, there is a noticeable absence of molecular approaches covered in this book. That said, the gold here is that this book lays the most solid of foundations upon which students of Anopheles biology in the field can build their future research investigations.

The book takes the reader through more than the title suggests. With two chapters covering vector control and a section on laboratory studies supporting the fieldwork. I especially enjoyed the chapter dedicated to case histories; here Charlwood has pulled together the many and varied strands of research from his work across the World, to describe with a more holistic view the ecology of malaria vectors in very diverse malaria epidemiological settings.

The Ecology of Malaria Vectors is not the exhaustive tome in field techniques such as Mike Service’s Mosquito Ecology: Field Sampling Methods, rather it should be considered important reading for newcomers, giving them the benefits and insights of a medical entomologist who thinks like a mosquito.

If you are a student coming into the world of Anopheles ecology and control, or even lab-based studies such as mating or transmission, this book will give you the important springboard into a better understanding of your subject. Well written with clarity and occasional humour, recognizing the major contributions in the history of the field, this personal training manual and research perspective will serve the field well for years to come.

Peter Billingsley