Petra Schneider

Dr ir Petra Schneider

Postdoctoral fellow

Ph. +44 131 651 9219
Fax +44 131 650 6564

My  research focuses on understanding and predicting how life history strategies enable parasites to quickly respond to disease control methods, and what the consequences are for the efficacy of disease control.


Organisms change (evolve) to adapt to their living conditions, leading to a maximum reproductive success in that environment. However, the best strategies to grow, survive and reproduce (life history strategies) in one environment, may not be the best strategies in another environment. What happens to organisms when the environment changes, especially if changes result from human action?

My research focuses on understanding and predicting how life history strategies enable parasites to quickly respond to disease control methods, and what the consequences are for the efficacy of disease control.

(click headings to expand details)


Birget, P. L. G.(1), Schneider, P.(1), O'Donnell, A.J., & Reece, S. E. (2019). (1): shared first authors. Adaptive phenotypic plasticity in malaria parasites is not constrained by previous responses to environmental change. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, eoz028. DOI: 10.1093/emph/eoz028.

Schneider, P., Babiker, H.A., Gadalla, A.H.A., & Reece, S. E. (2019). Evolutionary sex allocation theory explains sex ratios in natural Plasmodium falciparum infections. International Journal for Parasitology, 49(8): 601-604. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2019.04.001.

Meerstein-Kessel, L., Andolina, C., Carrio, E., Mahamar, A., Sawa, P., Diawara, H., van de Vegte-Bolmer, M., Stone, W., Collins, K.A., Schneider, P., Dicko, A., Drakeley, C., Felger, I., Voss, T., Lanke, K., Bousema, T. (2018). A multiplex assay for the sensitive detection and quantification of male and female Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes Malar J. 17(1):441.

Schneider, P., Greischar, M. A., Birget, P. L. G., Repton, C., Mideo, N., & Reece, S. E. (2018). Adaptive plasticity in the gametocyte conversion rate of malaria parasites PLoS Pathogens 14(11): e1007371. DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1007371.

Schneider, P.(1), Rund, S. S.(1), Smith, N. L., Prior, K. F., O'Donnell, A.J., & Reece, S. E. (2018). (1): shared first authors. Adaptive periodicity in the infectivity of malaria gametocytes to mosquitoes. Proc Roy Soc Lond B 285, 20181876. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.1876. (previous version on bioRxiv, 294942).

Reece, S. E., & Schneider, P. (2018). Premature Rejection of Plasticity in Conversion. Trends in parasitology, 34 (8) : 633-634.DOI: 10.1016/

Birget, P. L. G., Repton, C., O’Donnell, A. J., Schneider, P., & Reece, S. E. (2017). Phenotypic plasticity in reproductive effort: malaria parasites respond to resource availability. Proc Roy Soc Lond B, 284 (1860): 20171229. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.1229.

Gadalla, A. A. H., Schneider, P., Churcher, T. S., Nassir, E., Abdel-Muhsin, A. A., Ranford-Cartwright, L. C., Reece, S.E., & Babiker, H. A.(2016). Associations between season and gametocyte dynamics in chronic Plasmodium falciparum infections. PLoS One, 11 (11): e0166699. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0166699.

Schneider, P., Reece, S. E., van Schaijk, B. C. L., Bousema, T., Lanke, K. H. J. , Meaden, C. S. J., Gadalla, A., Ranford-Cartwright L. C., & Babiker, H.A (2015). Quantification of male and female Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes by reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR. Mol Biochem Parasit 199: 29-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2015.03.006.

L. Carter, P. Schneider, and S. Reece (2014). Information use and plasticity in the reproductive decisions of malaria parasites. Malaria J 13: 115. DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-13-115.

T. Churcher, T. Bousema, M. Walker, C. Drakeley, P. Schneider, A. Ouédraogo and M. Basáñez. Predicting mosquito infectivity from Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte density and estimating the reservoir of infection. eLIFE (2013), 2 : e00626. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.00626.

I. Bashir, N. Otsyula, G. Awinda, M. Spring, P. Schneider and J. Waitumbi (joint senior authors). Comparison of PfHRP-2/pLDH ELISA, qPCR and microscopy for the detection of Plasmodium events and prediction of sick visits during a malaria vaccine study. PLoS One (2013), 8 (3): e56828. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056828.

P. Schneider, A.S. Bell, D.G. Sim, A.J. O'Donnell, S. Blanford, K.P. Paaijmans, A.F. Read, & S.E. Reece. Virulence, drug sensitivity and transmission success in the rodent malaria, Plasmodium chabaudi. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B (2012). doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.1792

N. Mideo, N.J. Savill, W. Chadwick, P. Schneider, A.F. Read, T. Day & S.E. Reece. Causes of variation in malaria infection dynamics: insights from theory and data. American Naturalist (2011), 178(6): E174-E188. DOI: 10.1086/662670

L. Pollitt, N. Mideo, D. Drew, P. Schneider, N. Colegrave and S. Reece. Competition and the evolution of reproductive restraint in malaria parasites. American Naturalist (2011), 177(3): 358-367 DOI:10.1086/658175

A. O'Donnell, P. Schneider, H. McWatters and S. Reece. Fitness costs of disrupting circadian rhythms in malaria parasites. Proceedings of the Royal Society London B (2011) DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.2457

S. Reece, E. Ali, P. Schneider and H. Babiker. Stress, drugs and the evolution of reproductive restraint in malaria parasites. Proceedings of the Royal Society London B (2010), 277: 3123-3129. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0564

A. Ouédraogo, T. Bousema, P. Schneider et al. Substantial contribution of submicroscopical Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte carriage to the infectious reservoir in an area of seasonal transmission. PloS One (2009) 4: e8410. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008410

P. Schneider, et al. Antimalarial drugs: unexpected evolutionary consequences. Malaria Journal (2010) 9: S2, P45. (doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-9-S2-P45)

P. Schneider, B.HK. Chan, S.E. Reece and A.F. Read (2008). Does the drug sensitivity of malaria parasites depend on their virulence? Malaria Journal 7:257

Commentary: Trends in Parasitology

H. Babiker, P. Schneider & S. Reece (2008). Gametocytes: Insights gained during a decade of molecular monitoring. Trends in Parasitology 2008, 24 (11): 525-530

H. Babiker and P. Schneider (2008). Application of molecular methods for monitoring transmission stages of malaria parasites. Biomedical Materials 2008, 3(3): 034007

P. Schneider, T. Bousema, L. Gouagna, S. Otieno, S. Omar, M. vd Vegte-Bolmer, & R. Sauerwein (2007). Submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte densities frequently result in mosquito infection. Am J Trop Med Hyg 76 (3): 470-4.

A. Ouédraogo, P. Schneider, M. de Kruijf, I. Nebié, J-P. Verhave, N. Cuzin-Ouattara & R. Sauerwein (2007). Age-dependent distribution of gametocytes quantified by Pfs25 real-time QT-NASBA in a cross-sectional study in Burkina Faso. Am J Trop Med Hyg 76 (4): 626-30.

P. Schneider (2006). Submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum gametocytaemia and the contribution to malaria transmission. Thesis. ISBN: 90-9020374-5.

P. Schneider, T. Bousema, S. Omar, L. Gouagna, P. Sawa, H. Schallig & R. Sauerwein (2006). (Sub)microscopic Plasmodium falciparum gametocytaemia in Kenyan children after treatment with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine monotherapy or in combination with artesunate. Int J Parasitol 36 (4): 403-8.

T. Bousema, P. Schneider, L. Gouagna, C. Drakeley, A. Tostmann, R. Houben, J. Githure, R. Ord, C. Sutherland, S. Omar & R. Sauerwein (2006). Moderate effect of artemisinin-based combination therapy on transmission of Plasmodium falciparum. J Infect Dis 193: 1151-9.

C. Koenraadt, K. Paaijmans, P. Schneider, A. Githeko & W. Takken (2006). Low larval survival explains unstable malaria in the western Kenya highlands. Trop Med Int Health 11 (8): 1195-1205.

W. Takken, P. Vilarinhos, P. Schneider & F. dos Santos (2006). Effects of environmental change on malaria in the Amazon region of Brazil. Chapter 11 in: Environmental Change and Malaria Risk: Global and Local Implications, Wageningen UR Frontis Series, Volume 9, 150p.

P. Schneider, L. Wolters, G. Schoone, H. Schallig, P. Sillekens, R. Hermsen and R. Sauerwein (2005). Real-time Nucleic Acid Sequence-Based Amplification is more convenient than real-time PCR for quantification of P. falciparum. J Clin Microbiol 43 (1): 402-5.

P. Schneider, G. Schoone, H. Schallig, D. Verhage, D. Telgt, W. Eling & R. Sauerwein (2004). Quantification of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes in differential stages of development by quantitative nucleic acid sequence-based amplification. Mol Biochem Parasit 137: 35-41.

W. vd Meide, G. Schoone, P. Schneider, W. Faber, S. Omar, & H. Schallig. (2004) Application of Quantitative Nucleic Acid Sequence-Based Amplification (QT-NASBA) as a new tool for the diagnosis and therapy efficacy assessment of parasitic infections. Proceedings of the 9th European Multicolloquium of Parasitology- EMOP p. 337-42.

R. Etienne, B. Wertheim, L. Hemerik, P. Schneider & J. Powell (2002). Interaction between dispersal, the Allee effect and scramble competition on population dynamics: a case study on Drosophila. Ecol Model 148: 153-68.

R. Etienne, B. Wertheim, L. Hemerik, P. Schneider & J. Powell (2000). Dispersal may enable persistence of fruit flies suffering from the Allee effect and scramble competition. Proceedings of the Section Experimental and Applied Entomology - Netherlands Entomological Society 11: 121-8.

P. Schneider, W. Takken & P. McCall (2000). Interspecific competition between sibling species larvae of Anopheles arabiensis and An. gambiae. Med Vet Entomol 14(2): 165-70.


2011 - present
Research Fellow
University of Edinburgh, UK
Evolution of parasite reproductive strategies in natural infections.

2008 - 2011
Research Fellow
University of Edinburgh, UK Does suboptimal drug treatment alter parasite virulence and transmission?

2006 - 2008
Postdoctoral researcher
University of Edinburgh, UK Does suboptimal drug treatment select for more virulent malaria parasites?

2003 - 2006
PhD research project
Submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum gametocytaemia and the contribution to malaria transmission. Fieldwork in Kenya.

2001 - 2005
Junior Researcher
University Medical Centre Nijmegen, N Quantitative detection of stage-specific RNA to study Plasmodium falciparum transmission stages.

1998 - 2000
Junior Researcher
Wageningen University, NL The effects of environmental change on malaria transmission. Fieldwork in Kenya & Brazil

1997 - 1998
MSc project
Wellcome Trust Centre for Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, Oxford, UK
Epidemiology of P. falciparum infections in children in Papua New Guinea.

1997 Field & laboratory assistant
Centre National du Paludisme, Lomé, Togo

1996 - 1997
MSc project
Interspecific competition among larvae of Anopheles gambiae s.s. and A. arabiensis.


Certification as Medical Biological Researcher, specialised in Parasitology.
Postdoctoral research qualification, Dutch Foundation for Biomedical Scientific Research Training.

PhD medical sciences
Parasitology. Radboud University Nijmegen, NL

MSc entomology
Medical entomology Wageningen University, NL

BSc plant sciences
Biological crop protection. Wageningen University, NL

Awards and Grants

07/13 - 06/16
NERC research grant [PI Reece, Co-I Schneider, £567k]

12/11 - 12/12
NERC small project grant [PI Reece, Co-I Schneider, £52k]

12/08 - 12/11
Research grant Sultan Qaboos University [PI Babiker, Co-I Schneider and Swedberg, OR 18.5k]

Wellcome Trust, research fellowship at Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution

2007 Nominated for ‘Simon Stevin Gezel 2007'. Top 10 of ‘technological top talents 2007' by Dutch Foundation for Tecnhnological Sciences

Dutch Foundation for Technological Sciences (€129600 + 2 fte). 3yr research grant incl. research expenses, fellowship to PS for 3yr PhD and a 3-yr full-time PGRA

Travel grant to Dr. Omar from the KEMRI to be trained in use of QT-NASBA by P. Schneider. Dutch Foundation for Technological Sciences. (€9400)

Travel grant BSP in Nottingham, UK. Dutch Society for Parasitology (€500)

Travel grant 11th Intl Entomology Congress, Brazil. Agricultural Export Bureau (FL 2000)

Travel grant ‘Biology of disease Vectors' course in Brazil. Dutch Scientific Research Foundation (FL 3500) and Agricultural Export Bureau (FL 2000)

Other Duties+

Science communication: Researchers in Residence Program

Member of University of Edinburgh, School of Biology press gang

Review of scientific papers: Journal of Infectious Diseases; Trends in Parasitology; Tropical Medicine and International Health; Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology; Malaria Journal; International Journal for Parasitology; Journal for Evolutionary Biology, PLoS and Parasitology Research