Professor Stephen Torr BSc, MSc, DIC, PhD, FRES

Appointment: Professor of Neglected Tropical Diseases (joint appointment LSTM and the University of Warwick)

Areas of interest: Behaviour, ecology and control of vectors, particularly tsetse flies and mosquitoes; Human African Trypanosomiasis; Malaria; Animal African Trypanosomiasis; integrated vector management.  

Background: Professor Torr has over 30 years experience of work on the behaviour, ecology of control vectors, with particular emphasis on tsetse flies and mosquitoes. His initial training was in zoology (B.Sc, Royal Holloway College, 1980) and Applied Entomology (M.Sc, Imperial College, 1981). In 1981, He joined the Zimbabwe Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Control Branch where he worked on the host-orientated behaviour of tsetse flies, and contributed to the development of odour-baited targets to attract and kill tsetse. His work on tsetse behaviour formed the basis of my PhD (University of London, 1987).

In 1986, Professor Torr joined the UK government’s Tropical Development Research Institute (subsequently the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich) and was involved in the early large-scale use of baits to control tsetse in Zimbabwe and Somalia and led a Zimbabwe-based team (1991-1994) carrying out applied research to improve the cost-effectiveness of using odour-baited targets and insecticidetreated cattle to control tsetse.

In 1994, Professor Torr returned to the UK where he led the development of NRI’s medical and veterinary entomology programme. Areas of research included: the use of DNA markers to assess the feeding patterns of tsetse, Stomoxys and mosquitoes; improved use of insecticide-treated cattle to control tsetse and malaria mosquitoes in sub-Saharan Africa; development of artificial baits to control species of tsetse which transmit Gambian sleeping sickness in Central and West Africa; analysis of the impact of large-scale tsetse control operations in Botswana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, and development of simulation models and decision support systems to assist in the design, implementation and monitoring of tsetse control operations.

In March 2013, Professor Torr took up a joint position of Professor in Neglected Tropical Diseases at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and The University of Warwick.

Steve is part of the Centre for Applied Health Research (CAHRD) at LSTM and Warwick Medical School