Optimal design of surveillance of vector-borne diseases

Surveillance for infectious diseases is usually conducted by monitoring people for symptoms of the disease or testing people who may be at risk. However, this becomes very difficult if some infections are asymptomatic or if the prevalence of the disease is low. For some vector-borne diseases (e.g. lymphatic filariasis) it is easier or better to catch large numbers of the vectors (e.g. mosquitos) pool these into a smaller number of test-tubes and test them in batches.  This project would investigate the optimal way to design these experiments (number of mosquitoes, number of pools, placement of insect traps, timing), with a special focus on settings where the disease in question is close to elimination. This project would be suitable for someone with a strong quantitative background (maths/physics/statistics).