Training School Registration now open: Finding, using and interpreting maps and models of invasive mosquitoes

Training School Objectives

The training school has a number of major objectives:

  1. To teach participants how to interpret available maps, models and sampling results relating to invasive mosquitoes;
  2. To use this knowledge to evaluate information available for their region,  identify gaps,  and propose solutions to fill the gaps;
  3. To prepare a presentation on their assessments of the situation in their region.

This training is NOT, therefore, aimed at experienced mappers and modellers, but those who need to use and interpret  maps and models rather than produce them, such as Public Health professionals, field staff and students.

The training school will be divided into three sessions - an introductory virtual session, a face to face day to provide some theoretical overviews and begin the process of preparing the presentations, and a second virtual session to make the presentations. Trainees will be asked to form regional teams to collaborate between the face to face day and the second virtual session to finalise and produce the required presentation. Further details are given below.

Training School Sessions

  1. 5th  October 1100-1315 CET Online. This introductory session will outline the training school objectives and practicalities, provide an overview of AIM-COST recommendations for surveillance and modelling best practice, and provide details of the way to use maps and models to communicate data and results to a range of stakeholders. The trainees will also be asked to arrange themselves into small regional teams ready to participate in the Face to Face day the following week.
  2.  Face to Face day Monday 10th October, the day before the start of the ESOVE  conference. Location: Sofia Hotel Balkan, SOFIA, Bulgaria. This face to face training day will consist of two parts - a series of lecture sessions in the morning designed to give trainees an overview of mapping and modelling methods, focusing on what can be done and what cannot be done with these techniques, and illustrating how model and map outputs can be best produced and interpreted. The afternoon sessions will concentrate on helping the participants evaluate the data about invasive mosquitos available at the continental scale and for their region, and starting the process of preparing presentations to be given online in November.
  3. Presentation of Results. Online, on a date in November or December to be decided at the Face to Face day in Sofia. The trainee teams will present their evaluation and analysis of the information about invasive mosquitos available for their region, identifying any gaps, and specifying what additional information is needed to feed surveillance, control and policy decisions and describing how such information should be obtained. Each presentation will be followed by an open discussion and feedback on potential changes or improvements that could be made. The presentations will be evaluated, and  the team giving the presentation with the highest score will be asked to present their findings at the AIM-COST Annual Meeting in Rome at the end of January 2023.

Download information and further information on session topics here.

Trainers

Kamil Erguler, Climate and Atmosphere Research Center (CARE-C), The Cyprus Institute, Cyprus. Modelling climate impacts on vector-borne diseases.

Neil Alexander, Environmental Research Group Oxford, ℅ Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK. Geographic data management and analysis.

Cedric Marsboom, Research department, Avia-GIS, Zoersel, Belgium. Spatial and mathematical modelling.

Filiz Gunay, Vector Ecology Research Group, Biology Department, Ecology Section, Hacettepe University, Turkey. Vector data collection and efforts to enhance communication.

William Wint, Environmental Research Group Oxford,  ℅ Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK. Spatial analysis of diseases and the hosts and vectors that carry them, data provision and management.

Sophie Vanwambeke, Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and CLimate Research, Earth & Life Institute, UCLouvain, Belgium.

Francis Schaffner, FS Consultancy, Surveillance and management of biting insects, Riehen, Switzerland, & University of Zurich, Institute of Parasitology, Switzerland. Vector data collection, provision and analysis.

Miguel A. Miranda, Applied Zoology and Animal Conservation Research Group, University of the Balearic Islands, Spain.

Participants and Application

It is envisaged that there will be 25-30 participants. Applicants will be asked to provide a motivation letter with

  1. A summary of professional qualifications and experience; 
  2. A detailed statement of the reasons for wanting to attend the training school;
  3. Confirmation that applicants have permission from employers or institutions to attend the training school if selected,  and contacts detail of the person providing that permission;
  4. Email contact details and institutional affiliation.

This document and application details will be posted on the AIM-COST website, sent to the  AIM-COST network members and disseminated through the ESOVE and EMCA networks. Applicants do not, however, need to be associated with either group. 

Applications must be submitted by 9th September, and should be sent to neil.s.alexander@gmail.com. All applications will be reviewed and successful applicants notified the following week and must accept the invitation by the 15th of September 2022.

Please refer to the COST eligibiliy criteria when deciding whether to apply, linked here.

As a critical part of the training is to assemble as much information about the regional status of invasive mosquitoes as possible, successful applicants will be sent detailed suggestions of the type of data that they need to find and obtain before the training school starts. They will also be sent details of any advance reading that might be needed

AIM-COST support provided

Successful applicants will be given the costs of return travel to Sofia, as well as accommodation and subsistence for two nights and the COST rates, which are €191/day for accommodation, meals and any local transport. Tea and coffee will be provided at the face to face training but trainees will be expected to buy their own lunch (€25). Those qualifying for an ITC grant (https://www.aedescost.eu/) that  has an abstract accepted for the ESOVE conference may also claim for the costs of subsistence for the days of the conference again at the COST rates.

AIM-COST Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) - New call in 2022!

STSM Hosts
Completed STSM Hosting Institutions

Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) are exchange visits in a host organization located in a different country than the country of affiliation by a Researcher or Innovator. STSMs aim at supporting individual mobility, strengthening existing networks and fostering international collaborations. STSMs should specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action, whilst at the same time allowing the Grantees to learn new techniques, gain access to specific data, instruments and/or methods not available in their own institutions/organisations. At the same time, the Host will expand its international contacts and develop long lasting collaborations.

We are happy to announce a new STSM call for Grant Period 4!

Note that in 2022 STSMs can be organised anywhere in the world, provided budget availability and MC approval of the scientific justification of the specific benefit of visiting the proposed Host.

Please consult Section 6.4 of COST Annotated Rules to establish whether you are eligible for reimbursement.

For this specific call for application, we will have the following schedule:

  • Call for applications open date: 20th May 2022 and will be open until 31st July 2022
  • We will evaluate the applications immediately after receiving them and grant the high quality ones.
  • Approved STSMs take place from 1st of june 2022 to 15th October.

Please consult the following docs before preparing your application:

Approved STSMs:

ITC Conference grant for young researchers please apply now!

ITC Conference Grant consists in a presentation of the own work given by a Young Researcher and Innovator affiliated in an Inclusiveness Target Country / Near Neighbour Country for their participation in high-level conferences.

Please use this grant to apply to present and attend conferences with content related to AIMCOST topics.

ITC Conference:

• Serve COST Excellence and Inclusiveness Policy;

• Support Young Researchers and Innovators affiliated in a legal entity in an Inclusiveness Target Countries/ Near Neighbour Countries to establish a strong network and increase their visibility in the research community through sharing their work and to gain knowledge;

• Can contribute to increasing visibility of the Action.

 

ITC Conference benefit to:

• ITC Conference Grantee: receives support for attending and presenting their work (poster/oral presentation) at a conference and can establish new contacts for future collaborations.

To apply:

Double check your eligibility in the AIMCOST ITC Rules.  Then follow the procedure written in the ITC Grant Awarding User-guide.

 

"Communication and outreach approaches for Citizen Science community engagement in AIM monitoring, surveillance and control" Workshop

Citizen Science community engagement in AIM monitoring 

(Organizers: Jolyon Medlock, Willy Wint, Filiz Gunay, Alex Vaux)

   The workshop took place virtually on the 5th April 2022: 1300-1700 CEST (1200-1600 BST)

AIM Cost action has been working hard to develop guidance and information of the surveillance and control of Aedes Invasive Mosquitoes. There are many strategies that can be employed at a national, regional and local level, and by practitioners, entomologists and the community. One of the biggest challenges is how best to deliver effective communication to effect the changes in behaviour and best practice for maximum impact on the control of mosquitoes. Developing outreach strategies to engage communities with Citizen Science is key to mounting effective actions that lead to positive changes for improved health protection. Across the world, communities are challenged by the threats posed by urban mosquito vectors. Although there are many tools for surveillance and control, urban mosquitoes and associated diseases persist. As a medical entomology community can we improve our communication with the public? Are there ways in which we can deliver our outreach messages to deliver greater impact? With community engagement, is the control of urban invasive mosquitoes insurmountable?

The aim of the workshop is to expand the knowledge and share experiences in communication and outreach associated with Citizen Science schemes, with particular reference to Aedes invasive mosquitoes. This workshop will go beyond the world of mosquitoes and will have presentations from scientists in other disciplines and species groups.

The first session includes speakers engaged in:

  • Communication of Citizen Science for invertebrates and wildlife recording schemes
  • Engaging the public in recording other vectors (ticks) and strategies for targeting delivery of public health messages to individuals and communities
  • Experiences in communication in the face of a mosquito disease outbreaks in North America.

The second session focuses on public health messaging:

  • Experiences of invasive mosquito surveillance and control in Europe
  • What can messaging around Covid tell us?

The third and fourth sessions focus on:

  • How can behavioural scientists guide us to deliver messages that drive behaviour change?
  • How do we engage the next generation in securing a future world free of invasive mosquitoes?

Programme of presenters available here...

YouTube videos of the workshop can be viewed below, they are split into two parts...

3rd AIM-COST Annual Conference, Istanbul, 2021

The third AIM-COST Annual Conference was held both online and on location in Istanbul and was hailed a great success by participants! Videos of the presentations and discussions from the Annual Conference 2nd-3rd September, Istanbul are being edited and will be made available online very soon.

Press release September 2021: Third Annual Conference of Aedes Invasive Mosquitoes COST Action Istanbul

3rd AIM-COST Annual Conference - Final Agenda  in English and Turkish 

You can view many of the talks from the AGM in Istanbul as videos online here...

The program included a number of talks from network  members selected by the scientific committee will focus on the following topics:

  • Surveillance for precision AIM control
  • Novel AIM control approaches
  • Assessment for AIM control activities

Priority was given to presentations made by young researchers (i.e. MSc/PhD students or ECIs*). 

Local Organizers:

  • Bulent Alten
  • Filiz Gunay

Scientific Committee

  • Ruben Bueno
  • Alessandra della Torre
  • Gregory L’Ambert
  • Filiz Gunay
  • Mihaela Kavran
  • Antonios Michaelakis
  • Andrei D. Mihalca
  • Dusan Petric
  • Francis Schaffner
  • William Wint
 

* Early Career Investigator: within 8 years after completing a PhD/Doctorate degree.

2nd TRAINING SCHOOL - Valencia, Spain...

Field assessment of Quality in Control Measures Against Aedes Invasive Mosquitoes TRAINING SCHOOL

Location: Valencia, SPAIN

Date: 13-24 September 2021

The Training School "Field assessment of Quality in Control Measures Against Aedes Invasive Mosquitoes".

This course was co-organized by:

  • AIM COST Action
  • The MediLabSecure European project.

The Local Organizers are the City Council of Valencia, University of Valencia and Lokímica.

The Training School aimed to provide comprehensive theoretical and practical knowledge about entomological assessment of the efficacy of different control methods (including SIT) targeting Aedes albopictus. Classroom lessons complemented the extensive fieldwork on sampling larvae, pupae, adult males and females and "know how" transfer during field surveys. Also, participants were engaged in experimental design, analyses and interpretation of the results obtained.

Candidates were selected by the scientific committee based on their CV, motivation letter (not exceeding 250 words) following AIM-COST rules. Application by PhD students and ECIs* will be favoured. Gender balance and geographical heterogeneity, and availability to contribute to AIMSurv 2022 (as testified by a letter from the head of the group) will also be considered.

Scientific Committee: Alessandra della Torre, Ruben Bueno, Vincent Robert, Dusan Petric.

Official video:

Field Assessment of Quality in Control Measures against Aedes Invasive Mosquitoes from MediLabSecure on Vimeo.

Final agenda:
https://www.aedescost.eu/sites/default/files/2022-01/ValenciaSep2021_Agenda_v9FINAL.pdf

Proposed AIMSurv2022 Work Plan:
https://www.aedescost.eu/sites/default/files/2021-05/AIMSurv2022_WorkPlan.pdf

For more details on COST rules for Training Schools in: COST-094-21-Annotated-Rules-for-COST-Actions-Level-C-2021-11-01-1.pdf

AIM-COST Training School rules:
https://www.aedescost.eu/sites/default/files/2021-05/AIM-COST-TS-rules-v4-2021.pdf

* Early Career Investigator: within 8 years after completing a PhD/Doctorate degree


Previous training schools:

1st TRAINING SCHOOL - Harmonizing Aedes Invasive Mosquito (AIM) surveillance across Europe 13-17 Jan 2020