Knowledge for a sustainable world

Bsc (Hons), PhD

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.

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.

  • Fernández-Grandon, G. M. & Poppy, G. M. (2015) Response of Aphidius colemani to aphid sex pheromone varies depending on plant synergy and prior experience. Bulletin of Entomological Research. doi:10.1017/S0007485315000371
  • Fernández-Grandon, G. M., Armour, J., Pickett, J. A., Gezan S. & Logan, J. G. (2015) Heritability of attractiveness to mosquitoes. PLoS ONE. 10.1371/journal.pone.0122716
  • Fernández-Grandon, G. M., Woodcock, C. M. & 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 Research, 103, (4) p466-473
  • Fernández-Grandon, G. M., Girling, R. D. & Poppy, G. M. (2011) Utilizing insect behavior in chemical detection by a behavioral biosensor. Journal of Plant Interactions, 6, (2) p109 – 112
Postdoctoral Research Scientist
  • Member of the Royal Entomological Society
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