Petra Schneider, PhD
Institute of Evolutionary Biology & Institute of Immunology and Infection Research.
School of Biological Sciences
The University of Edinburgh
My main research interest is the transmission ecology of malaria parasites. More specifically, to understand (and predict) how life history strategies enable parasites to quickly respond to changes in their environment, and how this shapes the severity and infectiousness of malaria. Being trained as an agricultural engineer in crop protection, my interest quickly turned to vector borne diseases – completing internships on malaria in Lomé, Togo and Oxford. A few years of malaria research with field work in Kenya and Brazil, were followed by a parasitology PhD at the Nijmegen University Medical Centre. Having used entomology, parasitology and molecular biology to develop methods to detect and study malaria transmission stages, my research interest became oriented towards evolutionary ecology. Moving to Edinburgh to join the Read group, and later the Reece group has provided me with great opportunities to follow and further develop my interests. Over the last few years I investigated the impact of drugs, and other environmental changes, on parasite reproductive strategies; whether evolutionary theory for reproductive strategies applies to malaria parasites in natural human infections; and the importance of day-night rhythms for the transmission biology of malaria parasites. I work part-time to balance my personal, family and work life and spread my hours on a yearly basis to accommodate the best of both worlds (big experiments, and long holidays).