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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-PSL0055)

MSc Course
Chemical Ecology for Sustainable Insect Pest Control (BI1346)

PhD Course
Insect Chemical Ecology (rotation between Alnarp, Jena, Penn State, and ICIPE; SLU‐PLS0038) 
How to write and publish a scientific paper (SLU‐PLG0032; SLU-P0011)

MSc Course
Insect Chemical Ecology (SLU-30041) 
Scientific Methods, Tools and Thesis Writing (Master programme Agroecology; LB0065; SLU-10023)

Undergraduate courses

Chemistry, Ecology and Statistics (KE0066; SLU-20033)


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. Tallon AK, SR Hill, R Ignell. Sex and age modulate antennal chemosensory-related genes linked to the onset of host seeking in the yellow-fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Scientific Reports 2019 9 (43):1-13.
  2. Wondwosen B, G Birgersson, H Tekie, B Torto, R Ignell, SR Hill. Sweet attraction: sugarcane pollen-associated volatiles attract gravid Anopheles arabiensis. Malaria journal 2018 17(1):90.

  3. Molnar BP, T Boddum, SR Hill, BS Hansson, Y Hillbur, GÅ Birgersson. Ecological and Phylogenetic Relationships Shape the Peripheral Olfactory Systems of Highly Specialized Gall Midges (Cecidomiiydae). Frontiers in Physiology 2018 9:323.

  4. Christ P, SR Hill, J Schachtner, F Hauser, R Ignell. Functional characterization of mosquito short neuropeptide F receptors. Peptides 2018 103:31-9

  5. Christ P, SR Hill, J Schachtner, F Hauser, R Ignell. Functional characterization of the dual allatostatin-A receptors in mosquitoes. Peptides 2018 99:44-55.

  6. Jemberie W, S Hill, L-M Rännbäck, S Ondiaka, N Raja, R Ignell. Evaluation of entomopathogenic fungi Metarhizium anisopliaeagainst dengue virus mosquitoes Aedes aegypti(Diptera: Culicidae). ENTOMON 2018 43(1):07-18

  7. Boddum T, BP Molnár, SR Hill, GÅ Birgersson, BS Hansson, KB Abreha, E Andreasson, Y Hillbur. Host attraction and selection in the Swede Midge (Contarinia nasturtii). Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 2018 15:6.

  8. Debebe Y, SR Hill, H Tekie, R Ignell, RJ Hopkins. Shady business: understanding the spatial ecology of exophilic Anopheles mosquitoes. Malar J 2018 17:351.

  9. Wondwosen B, G Birgersson, H Tekie, B Torto, R Ignell, SR Hill. Sweet attraction: sugarcane pollen-associated volatiles attract gravid Anopheles arabiensis. Malar J 2018 17:90.

  10. Christ P, A Reifenrath, J Kahnt, F Hauser,SR Hill, J Schachtner, R Ignell. Feeding-induced changes in allatostatin-A and short neuropeptide F in the antennal lobes affect odor-mediated host seeking in the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. PloS One 2017 12(11):e0188243.
  11. Asmare Y, RJ Hopkins, Tekie H, SR Hill, R Ignell. Grass Pollen Affects Survival and Development of Larval Anopheles arabiensis Patton. Journal of Insect Science. Journal of Insect Science 2017 17(5):93; 1-8. doi: 10.1093/jisesa/iex067
  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 

  18. 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.

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

  20. 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 

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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. 

  24. 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. 

  25. 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. 

  26. 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. 

  27. 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. 

  28. 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. 

  29. 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. 

  30. 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. 

  31. 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. 

  32. 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. 

  33. 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.

  34. 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. 

  35. 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. 

  36. 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. 

  37. 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. 

  38. 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. 

  39. 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. 

  40. 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. 

  41. 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. 

  42. 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.

Book Chapter

1. Ignell R, SR Hill, MS Sengül and BS Hansson. (2010) "Neural Connections" in Ecology and Control of Vector-Borne Diseases: Olfaction in vector-host interactions. Vol. 2 edited by Willem Takken and Bart Knols. ISBN: 978-90-8686-091-3.


Researcher at the Department of Plant Protection Biology
Telephone: +4640-415379, +46707-726394
Postal address:
Växtskyddsbiologi, Box 190
234 22 LOMMA
Visiting address: Sundsvägen 16, Alnarp