Brian Bourke, Ph.D.

NRC Research Associate

Dr. Brian Bourke is a National Research Council Research Associate at WRBU, where he is currently working on the population genomics of Anopheles malaria vectors. He completed his Ph.D. in conservation genetics at the University of Nottingham, and has been working within the field of medical entomology for more than 10 years.  

Dr. Bourke’s research to date has focused on the phylogenetics of neotropical Anopheles mosquitoes, where higher level taxonomic relationships remain poorly understood and where emerging genomic data will allow for the establishment of a robust phylogeny. He has also worked on Anopheles species delimitation and discovery in the Amazon, where malaria vector diversity continues to be underestimated in areas endemic for malaria. More recent collaborative work has involved delimiting cryptic population boundaries in Anopheles gambiae, the principal vector of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, showing the potential suitability of lacustrine islands as sites for genetic control trials in malaria-endemic regions. His field experience includes entomological collections across a variety of biomes in Brazil, as well as ornithological field work in Ireland, Madagascar, Scotland, and the United States.  

Dr. Bourke’s primary interests are in integrating the fields of phylogenetics, population genetics, and molecular ecology to better understand the history, distribution, and dynamics of important pathogen vectors—developing molecular tools for vector identification and incrimination and, more recently, initiating citizen science projects in isolated and vulnerable communities that incorporate emerging technologies and mobile field laboratories to enhance local vector and arbovirus identification, monitoring, and control programs.  


Selected Publications: 

Azevedo TS, Bourke BP, Piovezan R, Sallum MAM. The influence of urban heat islands and socioeconomic factors on the spatial distribution of Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) larval habitats. Geospatial Health. 2018; 13: 623. PMID: 29772891 

Bourke BP, Conn JE, de Oliveira TMP, Chaves LSM, Bergo ES, Laporta GZ, Sallum MA. Exploring malaria vector diversity on the Amazon Frontier. Malaria Journal.  2018; 17:342. PMID: 30261932 

Lukindu M, Bergey CM, Wiltshire RM, Small ST, Bourke BP, Kayondo J, Besansky NJ. Spatio-temporal genetic structure of Anopheles gambiae in the Northwestern Lake Victoria Basin, Uganda: implications for genetic control trials in malaria endemic regions. Parasites & Vectors.  2018; 11: 246. PMID: 29661226  

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