I lead a diverse group of health practitioners and research scientists whose collective goal is to prevent vector-borne disease, especially dengue, in north Queensland.

We have received two NHMRC grants to develop green “Lure and Kill” dengue control programs for North Queensland.  I have been a principal investigator in the Eliminate Dengue program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation since its inception in 2005. This innovative project utilises the bacterium Wolbachia to prevent the dengue vector Aedes aegypti from transmitting dengue viruses.  This partnership has already developed a molecular method to estimate the age of individual mosquitoes, and demonstrated that the parasite can effectively work in the laboratory and in semi-field cages. We are currently evaluating open field releases of Wolbachia-infected Ae. aegypti mosquitoes in Cairns. 

I am also involved in new projects studying the potential impact of global warming on dengue in Australia, new pesticides for the control of Ae. aegypti and the development of novel mosquito traps for the detection of pathogens in mosquitoes and other disease vectors.

I was employed as Director, Medical Entomology at the Tropical Regional Services (formerly Tropical Public Health Unit), the preventative health arm of Queensland Health in North Queensland, from 1994-2011.  There I have helped develop the world recognised Dengue Fever Management Plan for North Queensland. 

Research Disciplines

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 195+ research outputs authored by Prof Scott Ritchie from 1998 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre Limited - Research Seed Grants

Protecting north Queensland from Aedes albopictus, an exotic dengue vector, with Attractive Targeted Sugar Baits (ATSB)

Indicative Funding
$50,000 over 2 years
Aedes albopictus, a documented vector of dengue, Zika and chikungunya, is one of the fastest spreading invasive species worldwide, and was first detected in the Torres Strait in 2005. This pilot project will lay the foundation required to assess the feasibility of Attractive Targeted Sugar Baits (ATSB) to control Aedes albopictus. The overall objective is to determine the frequency that mosquitos? sugar feed, a parameter critical to the success of ATSBs. This pilot data will be leveraged for funding to trial the use of ATSBs to stop Ae. albopictus from reaching the mainland.
Tanya Russell, Tom Burkot, Kyran Staunton, Scott Ritchie and Thomas Swan in collaboration with Mutizwa Muzari (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Aedes Albopictus; Attractive Toxic Sugar Bait; Torres Strait; Dengue

National Health & Medical Research Council - Centres of Research Excellence

Australian Partnership (for) Preparedness Research on INfectiouS (disease) Emergencies (APPRISE)

Indicative Funding
$20,000 over 6 years (administered by University of Melbourne)
To ensure national and regional health security, emergency responses to infectious diseases must be highly effective, coordinated and based on the best available evidence. Research coordination, adaptable research protocols and efficient, secure data sharing are needed to develop a strong evidence base for preparedness, response and recovery from such events. This national consortium, with engagement of key animal health, community and international collaborators will focus on the major infectious diseases threats including influenza, coronaviruses, haemorrhagic viral diseases, arboviruses, syndromic presentations of novel pathogens and antimicrobial resistance. JCU involvement is through Prof. Ritchie and Peter Massey who are Ais on the project, offering advise. No funds are provided to JCU.
Sharon Lewin, Tania Sorrell, Jodie McVernon, Steve Webb, John Kaldor, ross andrews, Allen Cheng, Gwendolyn Gilbert, David Smith, Soren Alexandersen and Scott Ritchie in collaboration with Peter Massey (The University of Melbourne, The Westmead Institute for Medical Research, The University of Western Australia, The University of New South Wales, Menzies School of Health Research, Monash University, The University of Sydney, PathWest Laboratory Medicine, Deakin University, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and College of Medicine & Dentistry)
Tropical Health; Mosquito; Dengue; Zika

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Beyond Thursday Island: Expanding the current Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) control program across the Torres Strait

Indicative Funding
$25,000 over 2 years
Mosquitoes are uncontestably one of the deadliest animals in the world. Our project will investigate the Asian Tiger Mosquito (ATM), a major dengue vector in the TS. Outcomes of this project will directly benefit the people of FNQ. The overall purpose of this research is to investigate the ecology, distribution and dispersal of the ATM on islands in the TS. This project will gain information about the ecology, location and movement of the ATM on and between islands. This knowledge will form the basis for a potential surveillance tool for the ATM in the Torres Strait, which will reduce locally transmitted dengue and chikungunya viruses in FNQ.
Scott Ritchie, Thomas Swan and Tom Burkot (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Tropical Health; Dengue; Zika; Aedes Albopictus (Culicidae)

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Metofluthrin, a targeted intervention for high-risk persons during Zika, dengue, and emerging mosquito-borne disease outbreaks in far north Queensland

Indicative Funding
$24,000 over 1 year
In far north Queensland we have one of the world's most important mosquito vectors of dengue, Zika, and other viruses of public health significance. In this study, we look at interventions to protect high risk individuals from vector-borne disease in the event an outbreak scenario.
Tamara Buhagiar and Scott Ritchie in collaboration with Gregor Devine (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and QIMR Berghofer)
Aedes aegypti; Dengue; Vector Control; Zika; Intervention; Emerging Infectious Diseases

US Agency for International Development - USAID

Zika: A fast new intervention and an innovative method of evaluation

Indicative Funding
$100,135 over 3 years (administered by Queensland Institute of Medical Research Berghofer)
We will provide access to the Mosquito Research Facility for testing of rapid methods to control Zika vector Ae. aegypti. This will include new near IR methods to age mosquitoes within our semi-field cages. We will study the impact of vapour active insecticides and influence of Wolbachia infection on the method.
Scott Ritchie, Chris Paton and Gregor Devine (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, University of Oxford and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute)
Dengue; Zika; Aedes aegypti

National Health & Medical Research Council - Northern Australia Tropical Disease Collaborative Research Programme Hot North Fellowship

Application for Next Generation Sequencing of mosquito excreta to identify arboviruses, microorganisms and mosquito species

Indicative Funding
$35,000 over 1 year (administered by Menzies School of Health Research)
Traditional testing for arboviruses in mosquitoes requires a priori knowledge and choosing appropriate assays for their detection. Mosquitoes can potentially provide a lot of additional information, including other unexpected or unknown arboviruses, and their own genetic material. Moreover, mosquitoes in effect act as environmental samplers (?flying syringes?), taking blood from the humans and animals they feed upon. These blood samples could potentially be infected with other pathogens that are not necessarily mosquito-transmitted. Next generation sequencing is a rapidly advancing technology that allows us to obtain all this information from a sample without any prior knowledge of virus, host or vector. We are proposing to use next generation sequencing of mosquito excreta to identify pathogens in mosquitoes collected from locations where different vertebrate groups inhabit, including urban areas, bat colonies, domesticated animals, marsupials, reptiles and avian hosts.
Andrew van den Hurk, Scott Ritchie, Dagmar Meyer Steiger, David Warrilow, Alyssa Pyke, Ana Ramirez Lopez and Michael Townsend (Queensland Health Forensic & Scientific Services, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Arbovirus; Mosquito; Next Generation Sequencing

Menzies School of Health Research - Ext_Source: NHMRC NATDCRP Hot North Pilot

Can mosquito excreta be used to enhance detection of Australian vector-borne diseases?

Indicative Funding
$31,000 over 2 years (administered by Menzies School of Health Research)
Testing for presence of arboviruses usually involves capturing wild mosquitoes and complicated laboratory analyses. These are not only time- and labour-intensive but also costly. Virus detection can be made from saliva however, mosquitoes only expel very small amounts which makes detection difficult. We are proposing to use their excreta instead as it is produced in greater quantities than saliva, and shows higher sensitivity in virus detection. In order to explore this proposal we need to know where and when mosquitoes discharge their excreta in the traps. The discharge of excreta could be dependent on a variety of factors such as temperature, time after last meal or time of day/night, type of trap; it may also be species-dependent or it could just be random. These factors need to be examined to ensure maximum collection of excreta. The results will lead to the modification and optimization of existing traps.
Scott Ritchie, Dagmar Meyer Steiger, Ana Ramirez Lopez, Andrew van den Hurk and Nina Kurucz (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, Queensland Health and Department of Health (NT))
Arbovirus; Mosquito; Encephalitis

United States Department of Defence - Deployed war fighter protection research program

Deployment of optimal-dose, volatile pyrethroids for the prevention of biting and disease transmission by insects

Indicative Funding
$243,972 over 3 years (administered by QIMR)
We will measure the efficacy of volatile synthetic pyrethroid insecticides against several mosquito vectors of disease, including the dengue mosquito Aedes aegypti. Trials will be conducted in the lab and in room situations to simulate real world situations.
Scott Ritchie and Gregor Devine (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and QIMR Berghofer)
Dengue; Aedes aegypti mosquitoes; insecticide

National Health & Medical Research Council - Research Fellowship

Senior Research Fellowship A

Indicative Funding
$718,826 over 6 years
North Queensland and the adjacent tropics are subject to incursions of exotic mosquitoes and the diseases they vector, especially dengue. I lead a diverse group of health researchers at JCU that develop strategies to prevent vector-borne disease in North Queensland that have global application. I am also employed as a consultant medical entomologies with Queensland Health, and thus am able to strategically apply my research on vector-borne diseases to end users.
Scott Ritchie (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Arbovirus; Arbovirus diseases; Mosquito -borne disease; Dengue; Encephalitis

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Ecological Investigations and Control of Mosquito Disease Vectors (Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus) in the Torres Strait (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Larval density and adult fitness in Anopheles farauti: Towards understanding how larval control may impact transmission by adults (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Survey of Dengue Fever Vectors and its Serotype Viruses in Solomon Islands (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit Research Data Australia.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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    Similar to me

    1. Dr Tanya Russell
      Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
    2. Dr Kyran Staunton
      Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
    3. Dr Dagmar Meyer Steiger
      Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
    4. Prof Tom Burkot
      Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
    5. Dr Tamara Buhagiar
      College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences