Chemical ecology is the study of chemicals involved in interactions of organisms with each other and with their surroundings. This can lead to discovery of novel methods for control of pest organisms that are often highly specific and without harmful effects on other organisms or the environment.
The NRI Chemical Ecology Group works on the identification and use of naturally-produced chemicals for control of pests, particularly in the developing countries. These include pheromones and other attractants for monitoring and control of crop and storage pests, host attractants for monitoring and control of disease vectors, chemicals responsible for resistance of crops to pests and pathogens and plant compounds that mediate the health, behaviour and well-being of pollinators. The Group includes specialists in chemistry, entomology and plant biochemistry, and we work with a wide range of collaborating organisations and industrial partners in the UK, Europe and developing countries. Although focussed on providing solutions to problems in pest management, members of the Group lecture and publish widely and are long-standing members of the international chemical ecology community.