Welcome to NRI

Dr G. Mandela Fernandez-Grandon

Research Fellow in Behavioural Entomology

Agriculture, Health and Environment Department

+44 (0)1634 88 3057

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Dr G. Mandela Fernandez-Grandon joined the Natural Resources Institute in 2013 as a postdoctoral Research Fellow. His work at NRI utilises his expertise in Behavioural Entomology and Chemical Ecology.

Dr Fernandez-Grandon obtained his BSc (Hons) in Biology from the University of Dundee. His initial interest in agricultural entomology was sparked by a final year project investigating the success of certain aphid clone varieties within Scotland. Completion of his undergraduate degree was immediately followed with work at the James Hutton institute (then SCRI) under Dr Brian Fenton. During this time Dr Fernandez-Grandon worked on testing insecticide susceptibility within aphid clones, developing a technique of RNAi with aphids and testing for new microsatellite markers to assist in identification of field species.

After time spent travelling in South America and visiting a laboratory in Talca, Chile to work with Electrical Penetration Graph (EPG), Dr Fernandez-Grandon returned to the UK to complete a PhD with Professor Guy Poppy at the University of Southampton. This four-year PhD covered research in Entomology, Chemical Ecology and Biological Control focussing on the effect of the aphid sex pheromone, (4aS,7S,7aR)-nepetalactone, on the behaviour of the parasitoid, Aphidius colemani, and its host the peach-potato aphid, Myzus persicae. Following experience in agricultural pests and food security, Dr Fernandez-Grandon completed Postdoctoral research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine into pests of medical importance and disease control. This work, completed under Dr James Logan in collaboration with Professors John Armour of the University of Nottingham and John Pickett of Rothamsted Research, investigated the heritability of human odour and how these attracted the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti.

  • J. Li, J. Lin, G. M. Fernández-Grandon, M. You, X. Xia (Accepted) Functional identification of C-type lectin in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) innate immunity Journal of Integrative Agriculture
  • Li, X.W., … Fernández-Grandon, G.M. and Lu, Y.B., 2021. Intercropping rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) with sweet pepper (Capsicum annum) reduces major pest population densities without impacting natural enemy populations. Insects12(1), p.74.
  • Hafeez, M., … Fernández-Grandon, G.M. and Zalucki, M.P., 2021. De novo transcriptomic analyses revealed some detoxification genes and related pathways responsive to noposion yihaogong® 5% EC (Lambda-Cyhalothrin 5%) exposure in Spodoptera frugiperda third-instar larvae. Insects12(2), p.132.
  • Hafeez, M.… Wang, L. and Fernández-Grandon, G.M., 2021. Sublethal effects of bistrifluron on key biological traits, macronutrients contents and vitellogenin (SeVg) expression in Spodoptera exigua (Hübner). Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, p.104802.
  • Hafeez, M., … FernándezGrandon, G.M. and Lu, Y.B., 2021. Role of digestive protease enzymes and related genes in host plant adaptation of a polyphagous pest, Spodoptera frugiperdaInsect Science.
  • Fernández-Grandon, G.M., Harte, S.J., Ewany, J., Bray, D. and Stevenson, P.C., 2020. Additive effect of botanical insecticide and entomopathogenic fungi on pest mortality and the behavioral response of its natural enemy. Plants9(2), p.173.
  • Hafeez, M., … Fernández-Grandon, G.M., Li, X., Gulzar, A., Ali, B., Rehman, M. and Ali, S., 2020. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of a cytochrome P450 gene enhanced the toxicity of α-cypermethrin in xanthotoxin-fed larvae of Spodoptera exigua (Hübner). Pesticide biochemistry and physiology162, pp.6-14.
  • Hafeez, M., … FernándezGrandon, G.M., Nawaz, M., Ahmad, A. and Wang, M., 2019. Gossypol‐induced fitness gain and increased resistance to deltamethrin in beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hübner). Pest management science75(3), pp.683-693.
  • Hafeez, M., Liu, S., Jan, S., Gulzar, A., Fernández-Grandon, G.M., Qasim, M., Khan, K.A., Ali, B., Kedir, S.J., Fahad, M. and Wang, M., 2019. Enhanced effects of dietary tannic acid with chlorantraniliprole on life table parameters and nutritional physiology of Spodoptera exigua (Hübner). Pesticide biochemistry and physiology155, pp.108-118.
  • Hafeez, M., … Fernández-Grandon, G.M., Shahid, M. and Wang, M., 2019. Sub-lethal effects of lufenuron exposure on spotted bollworm Earias vittella (Fab): key biological traits and detoxification enzymes activity. Environmental Science and Pollution Research26(14), pp.14300-14312.
  • Hafeez, M., Liu, S., Jan, S., Shi, L., Fernández-Grandon, G.M., Gulzar, A., Ali, B., Rehman, M. and Wang, M., 2019. Knock-down of gossypol-inducing cytochrome P450 genes reduced deltamethrin sensitivity in Spodoptera exigua (Hübner). International journal of molecular sciences20(9), p.2248.
  • Rowley, C., Pope, T.W., Cherrill, A., Leather, S.R., FernándezGrandon, G.M. and Hall, D.R., 2017. Development and optimisation of a sex pheromone lure for monitoring populations of saddle gall midge, Haplodiplosis marginataEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata163(1), pp.82-92.
  • Fernández-Grandon, G.M., Gezan, S.A., Armour, J.A., Pickett, J.A. and Logan, J.G., 2015. Heritability of attractiveness to mosquitoes. PLoS One10(4), p.e0122716.
  • Fernandez-Grandon, G.M. and Poppy, G.M., 2015. Response of Aphidius colemani to aphid sex pheromone varies depending on plant synergy and prior experience. Bulletin of entomological research105(04), pp.507-514.
  • Fernández-Grandon, G.M., Woodcock, C.M. and Poppy, G.M., 2013. Do asexual morphs of the peach-potato aphid, Myzus persicae, utilise the aphid sex pheromone? Behavioural and electrophysiological responses of M. persicae virginoparae to (4aS, 7S, 7aR)-nepetalactone and its effect on aphid performance. Bulletin of entomological research103(4), p.466
  • Fernández-Grandon, G.M., Girling, R.D. and Poppy, G.M., 2011. Utilizing insect behavior in chemical detection by a behavioral biosensor. Journal of Plant Interactions6(2-3), pp.109-112.

My work looks to increase our understanding of Chemical Ecology and Insect Behaviour in pests relevant to agriculture and human health. I have a strong interest in how evolution has shaped behaviour in organisms and particularly their interaction with other species.

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

  • Member of the Royal Entomological Society