Numerous environmental factors (temperature, habitat availability, etc.) are known to affect mosquito ecology and their ability to reproduce. Therefore, the role of the environment is an important factor in whether gene drive constructs are successful or not.
I work primarily in mathematical modeling to address the problem of understanding how the environment will affect gene drive releases (all work-to-date has been conducted in the laboratory or in semi-field trials, which have significantly less environmental complexity). The mathematics of doing this is not straightforward. To see our current framework for gene drive modeling, check out the MGDrivE page.
- Winning the tug-of-war between effector gene design and pathogen evolution in vector population replacement strategies