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Sharon Hill

Sharon Hill
My long‐term basic research goal is to understand the ultimate mechanisms underpinning the evolution of haematophagous (i.e. blood-feeding) behaviour in arthropods. I am also commited to the protection of people at risk by the innovation of new chemosensory­‐based vector control tools suitable for integration into various vector control platforms in use around the globe.


Course responsible
Phd Course
Neurobiology of Insects (SLU-PSL0018)

MSc Course
Insect Chemical Ecology (BI0914)

PhD Course
Insect Chemical Ecology (rotation between Alnarp, Jena, and Penn State; SLU‐PLS0038) 
How to write and publish a scientific paper (SLU‐P0046)

MSc Course
Insect Chemical Ecology (SLU‐30222) 
Scientific Methods, Tools & Thesis Writing (Master programme Agroecology; SLU‐10224)

Undergraduate courses

Chemistry (KE0059)


Molecular evoluton of chemorecepton in blood‐feeding insects

Ongoing projects

  1. Why bite us? — molecular determinants of host preference. 
  2. Does mother know best? — molecular basis of oviposition choice in mosquitoes.
  3. Butterflies in the stomach — entomophagy (i.e. blood‐feeding on insects) as a stepping stone to blood‐feeding on vertebrates. 
  4. Blood, sweat and tears: vampire moths — a result of chemosensory evolution? 
  5. Role of agroecological landscape in sculpting vector‐related behaviours. 
  6. It's a matter of taste? Molecular, physiological and behavioural forays into the contact chemoreception of mosquito.


Associate professor in Chemical Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 2013.

Assistant professor in Chemical Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 2012.

Associate researcher in Chemical Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 2008.

Postdoctoral fellow in Chemical Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 2006-2008.

PhD in Insect Neurobiology and Developmental Biology, University of Toronto, Canada, Graduate year 2005.

MSc in Zoology, Univeristy of Toronto, Canada, Graduate year 1996.

BA (honours), Biology and English, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada, Graduate year 1993.

Selected publications

  1. Majeed S, Hill SR, Dekker T, Ignell R (2017) Detection and perception of generic host volatiles by mosquitoes: impaired responses to CO2 constrains host-seeking behaviour. Royal Society Open Science 4: 170189. DOI:10.1098/rsos.170189

  2. Taparia T, R Ignell*, SR Hill*. (2017) Blood meal induced regulation of the chemosensory gene repertoire in the southern house mosquito. BMC Genomics 18:393. * Shared last authorship. DOI 10.1186/s12864-017-3779-2

  3. Emami SN, BG Lindberg, S Hua, SR Hill, R Mozuraitis, P Lehmann, G Birgersson, A-K Borg-Karlson, Rickard Ignell, I Faye. (2017) A key malaria metabolite modulates vector blood seeking, feeding and susceptibility to infection. Science. 355(6329):1076-1080.

  4. Asmare Y, SR Hill, RJ. Hopkins, H Tekie, R Ignell. (2017) The role of grass volatiles on oviposition site selection by Anopheles arabiensis and Anopheles coluzzii. Malaria Journal 16(1), 65.

  5. Wondwosen B, SR Hill, G Birgersson, E Seyoum, H Tekie, R Ignell (2017) A(maize)ing attraction: gravid Anopheles arabiensis are attracted and oviposit in response to maize pollen odours. Malaria Journal 16(1):39.

  6. Wondwosen B, Birgersson G, Seyoum E, Tekie H, Torto B, Fillinger U, Hill SR, Ignell I (2016) Rice volatiles lure gravid malaria mosquitoes, Anopheles arabiensis. Scientific Reports 6:37930 

  7. Majeed S, Hill SR, Birgersson G, Ignell R (2016) Detection and perception of generic host volatiles by mosquitoes modulate host preference: Context dependence of (R)-1-octen-3-ol. Royal Society Open Science 3 (11), 160467.

  8. Jaleta JT, Hill SR, Birgersson G, Tekie H, Ignell R (2016) Chicken volatiles repel host-seeking malaria mosquitoes. Malaria Journal 15:354 

  9. Zaspel JM, Kononenko VS, Ignell R, Hill SR (2016) Host-related olfactory behaviour in a fruit-piercing moth in far eastern Russia. Journal of Insect Science. 16 (1), 51; 1-6 

  10. Low M, Tsegaye AT, Ignell R, Hill SR, Elleby R, Feltelius V, Hopkins R. (2016) The importance of accounting for larval detectability in mosquito habitat-association studies. Malaria Journal 15, 253.

  11. Walker WB, Jacquin-Joly E, Hill SR (2016) Functional Characterization of Insect Chemoreceptors: Receptivity Range, Expression and Evolution. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, section Chemical Ecology, 4, 37.

  12. Hill SR, S Majeed, R Ignell (2015) Molecular basis for odorant receptor tuning: a short C-terminal sequence is necessary and sufficient for selectivity of mosquito Or8. Insect Molecular Biology, 24(4):402-412. 

  13. Hesson JC, R Ignell, SR Hill, Ö Östman, JO Lundström (2015) Trapping biases of Culex torrentium and Culex pipiens revealed by comparison of captures in CDC-traps, Oviposition traps and Gravid traps. Journal of Vector Ecology. 40(1):158-163. 

  14. Koutroumpa FA, Z Kárpáti, C Monsempes, SR Hill, BS Hansson (2014) Shifts in sensory neuron identity parallel differences in pheromone preference in the European corn borer. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 2:65. 

  15. Zaspel JM, Scott CH, Hill SR, Ignell R, Kononenko VS and Weller SJ (2014) Geographic distribution, phylogeny and genetic diversity of the fruit and blood feeding moth Calyptra thalictri Borkhausen (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Erebidae). Journal of Parasitology. 100(5):583-591. 

  16. Jaleta KT, SR Hill, E Seyoum, M Balkew, T Gebre-Michael, R Ignell, H Tekkie. (2013) Agro-ecosystems impact malaria prevalence: large-scale irrigation drives vector population in western Ethiopia. Malaria journal 12(1):350. 

  17. Majeed S, SR Hill, R Ignell. (2014) Impact of elevated CO2 background levels on the host-seeking behaviour of Aedes aegypti. Journal of experimental biology. 217(4):598. 

  18. Andersson M, F Schlyter, SR Hill and T Dekker. (2012) What reaches the antenna? How to calibrate odor flux and ligand-receptor affinities. Chemical senses. 37(5):403-420. 

  19. Fikru, FF, K Tadesse, G Birgersson, E Seyoum, H Tekie, R Ignell, SR Hill. (2011) Fresh, dried or smoked? Repellent properties of volatiles emitted from ethnomedicinal plant leaves against malaria and yellow fever vectors in Ethiopia. Malaria journal 10(1):1-14. 

  20. Arensburger P, Megy K, Waterhouse RM, Abrudan J, Amedeo P, Antelo B, Bartholomay L, Bidwell S, Caler E, Camara F, Campbell CL, Campbell KS, Casola C, Castro MT, Chandramouliswaran I, Chapman SB, Christley S, Costas J, Eisenstadt E, Feschotte C, Fraser-Liggett C, Guigo R, Haas B, Hammond M, Hansson BS, Hemingway J, Hill SR, Howarth C, Ignell R, Kennedy RC, Kodira CD, Lobo NF, Mao C, Mayhew G, Michel K, Mori A, Liu N, Naveira H, Nene V, Nguyen N, Pearson MD, Pritham EJ, Puiu D, Qi Y, Ranson H, Ribeiro JM, Roberston HM, Severson DW, Shumway M, Stanke M, Strausberg RL, Sun C, Sutton G, Tu ZJ, Tubio JM, Unger MF, Vanlandingham DL, Vilella AJ, White O, White JR, Wondji CS, Wortman J, Zdobnov EM, Birren B, Christensen BM, Collins FH, Cornel A, Dimopoulos G, Hannick LI, Higgs S, Lanzaro GC, Lawson D, Lee NH, Muskavitch MA, Raikhel AS, Atkinson PW. (2010) Sequencing of Culex quinquefasciatus establishes a platform for mosquito comparative genomics. Science 330: 86-88. 

  21. Hill SR, J Zaspel, SJ Weller, BS Hansson and R Ignell. (2010) To be or not to be… a vampire: a matter of sensilla numbers in Calyptra thalictri? Arthropod Structure and Development. 39(5):322-33. 

  22. Boddum T, N Skals , SR Hill, BS Hansson and Y Hillbur. (2010) Gall midge olfaction: Pheromone sensitive olfactory neurons in Contarinia nasturtii and Mayetiola destructor. Journal of Insect Physiology. 56(9):1306-1314.

  23. Ignell R, S Okawa, JE Englund and SR Hill. (2010) Assessment of diet choice by the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti. Physiological Entomology. 35(3):274–286. 

  24. Siju, KP, SR Hill, BS Hansson and R Ignell. (2010) Influence of blood meal on the responsiveness of olfactory receptor neurons in antennal sensilla trichodea of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Journal of Insect Physiology. 56(6):659-65. 

  25. Hill SR, BS Hansson and R Ignell. (2009) Characterization of the antennal trichoid sensilla in the southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus. Chemical Senses. 34(3):231-252. 

  26. Hill SR and I Orchard. (2007) Isolation and sequencing of two FMRFamide-related peptides from the gut of Locusta migratoria L. Peptides. 28(8):1490-1497. 

  27. Hill SR and I Orchard. (2005) In vitro analysis of the digestive enzymes amylase and alpha-glucosidase in the midguts of Locusta migratoria L. in response to the myosuppressin, SchistoFLRFamide. Journal of Insect Physiology. 52(1):1-9. 

  28. Hill SR and I Orchard. (2004) The influence of diet and feeding state on FMRFamide-related peptides in the gut of Locusta migratoria L. Peptides. 25(1):105-114. 

  29. Hill SR and I Orchard. (2003) FMRFamide-related peptides in the gut of Locusta migratoria L.: a comprehensive map and developmental profile. Peptides. 24(10): 1511-1524. 

  30. Hill SR, SS Leung, NL Quercia, D Vasiliauskas, J Yu, I Pasic, D Leung, A Tran and P Romans. (2001) Ikirara insertions reveal five new Anopheles gambiae transposable elements in islands of repetitious sequence. Journal of Molecular Evolution. 52(3):215-231. 

  31. Hill SR and JJB Smith. (1999) Consistent pattern in the placement of taste sensilla on the labellar lobes of Aedes aegypti. International Journal of Insect Morphology and Embryology. 28(4):281-290.

Researcher at the Institutionen för växtskyddsbiologi
Telephone: 040-415379, 0707-726394
Postal address:
Växtskyddsbiologi, Box 102
23053 Alnarp
Visiting address: Sundsvägen 16, Alnarp