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Oxford Sparks Big Questions

Feb 9, 2022

What do you think of when someone says “the most dangerous animal in the world”? A lion perhaps? Or a poisonous frog? Well, one species of mosquito – Anopheles gambiae – is often referred to as such, owing to its enhanced ability to transmit malaria, a deadly disease which led to 627,000 deaths in 2020 alone. A. gambiae isn’t the only species of mosquito that is able to effectively transmit malaria, and each species exhibits different behaviours and requires a different management strategy. But how do you tell them apart? In this episode, we chat to Dr Marianne Sinka, Senior Researcher on the Humbug Project ( which uses smartphones to identify mosquito species using their unique ‘hums’.