Joanna Stroud

Joanna Stroud

I'm the Head of Online Learning at University College London and Project Lead for development of our FutureLearn courses.

Twitter: @JoStroud

Location London


  • Aww :)

  • Please accept our apologies for being unable to answer your questions in later weeks of the course. This has been due to an unexpected issue affecting the course team, but we completely understand that it has been disappointing. I hope that the answers provided to previous groups of learners offer some clarity.

  • Welcome to everyone who has managed to join us thus far!

  • Things seem to be ok here Barbara so it may well be a local fault. However, if you continue to have problems please do let us know and we'll be happy to look into it.

  • I started working on this course as part of the development team, but have since moved to another institution and am looking forward to participating as a learner!

  • :)

  • You are all very welcome and I'm especially glad that the format works for you in spite of all the other demands on your time. I sometimes feel like we all have way too much to do.

    P.S. Please remember to eat.

  • The quickest way to do this is to use the Notifications icon at the top of the page. All of the most recent replies made to you are highlighted here.

  • Thanks for you comment Alberto. We actually discuss the growing role of the private sector in a dedicated step in Week 3:

  • That's ok, reading those of others is likely as important as making your own.

  • Arijit, I will add your questions to the form. Thank you!

  • Lots of the material is challenging, but do keep going! Feel free to ask other learners questions if you're confused about anything.

  • Clementine, the British Council is currently running a promotion around free certificates for learners from 35 non-OECD countries. You may be eligible for this, and more information can be found here:

  • That's ok Maarit, I'm sure you'll have something to add at some stage and you can't read everything!

  • Remember that if you'd like to ask our course team a question in advance of next Thursday's Q&A session, you can do so at

  • Thanks Stefan, that's exactly what we're looking for!

  • Welcome everyone! We're so excited to see such a diverse group with a wide range of professional and personal experience. I hope you enjoy the week!

  • Hi Taraleen, thank you for your comments. At the London School we are looking into opportunities to better support learners in low- and middle-income countries and hope to be able to offer some further assistance soon.

  • Hi Myriam, thanks for your suggestion. At the London School we are currently looking into opportunities like this and hope to be able to offer some assistance soon.

  • Thanks for these Daniel! I've just flagged the Nature feature elsewhere as it's a really fascinating read.

  • Thanks both for bring these questions to our attention. It's undoubtedly a provocative issue, and one that's worth debating. I've heard that eradicating the mosquito population would have the most effect on ecosystems in the Arctic. There's some more information on that in this Nature news feature from a few years ago:...

  • This is a really thoughtful response, David, and the salient point of natural vs man-made interventions does seem absolutely key to me.

  • It's a very interesting question, and one we invite you to tackle in our final course discussion.

  • Thanks Simon, you've brought a lot to the course.

  • Hi all, this is helpful feedback that we will certainly take on board. The course is, however, and as Jacques suggests, intended for learners across a wide range of professional disciplines and areas of personal interest. It is, at the same time, focused on the practicalities of vector control.

    We do frequently link to literature that contains more...

  • This links back to the 'herd immunity' concept discussed in Week 1.

  • Please do not encourage or make light of acts of violence within the course comments. This is highly inappropriate and likely offensive to many learners on the course.

  • Hi Christine, I am sorry you feel this way and wholeheartedly sympathise with your sentiments! Rest assured that I have been doing what I can to moderate discussion. Please do feel free to join the third week on a future iteration of the course should you so desire. We begin again in August and September.

  • One of the points made with respect to bed nets is that they are a control method aligned to the biting behaviours of specific mosquito species. As such, while they are effective against Anopheles, a malaria vector and night biter, they are less effective against Aedes, a Zika vector and species that bites during the day.

  • Same here, Charlotte. As soon as you hear about something like guttering you begin to realise the sheer scope of places in which eggs could be laid.

  • As stated previously, I would appreciate it if learners could remain civil in their interactions with each other.

  • Hi everyone! Welcome to our third and final week, where we'll be thinking about the epidemic from a practical, control-focused perspective. We note that many of the control methods discussed here are applicable in a variety of health contexts, not just the Zika outbreak.

  • Good information to share, Martin. Thank you!

  • Prior to working on the course I had no idea that different species would exhibit different biting behaviours. My sister is travelling to Tanzania on a nursing placement in January and in advance of this I'll look up the species local to the area to see whether I can flag any specific advice to her.

  • I'm pretty sure I've been bitten through a pair of jeans too!

  • Fantastic to hear you've been back. DTN is a great programme.

  • I think Culex is most common in the UK but I could be wrong. Regarding the natural repellents: more research please. I need help!

  • I'm very sorry to hear that, Ossie. This is clearly a big change for you and it must be so frustrating. I really hope your health improves.

  • Lydia, that's wonderful, and congratulations to them. Alison: I think she must be very proud!

  • No problem Christine/Cheryl, I was referring to the same statement! We're a very diverse group and must try to be as respectful as possible.

  • I'm based in the UK and while we don't have all that many mosquitoes here I do find I get bitten a lot regardless! It's much worse when I travel abroad. A study at the School has added weight to the suggestion we are genetically attractive to mosquitoes based on our ability to produce natural repellents, so maybe I've just been unlucky. More info is available...

  • Yes, please do choose words carefully. To illustrate this, it is likely that the precise language of the responses has been lost in translation due to working between Spanish and English when writing the article. No judgement of the communities involved is intended either via the article or study itself.