Knowledge for a sustainable world

Research Group:
Chemical Ecology and Plant Biochemistry
  • Professor Philip Stevenson
    Professor of Plant Chemistry. Over 30 years of experience studying the chemistry of plants and determining their biological activities. Interests in plant pesticides in resource-poor farming in Africa, resistance mechanisms to insects and diseases in crops (e.g., sweetpotato, groundnuts, chickpea, rice) and pollination ecology and bee health. Current funding sources include BBSRC, GCRF, Newton-Innovate UK, European Union (ACP S&T) and McKnight Foundation. Holds position at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Extensive field experience in South Asia and Africa.
  • Professor David Hall
    Professor of Chemical Ecology. Natural products chemist with over 40 years of experience in isolation, identification, synthesis, formulation and field application of insect semiochemicals and other natural products for monitoring and control of insect pests and diseases. Extensive short-term overseas experience in Asia, Africa and South America. Currently working on pests of cotton, coffee and cocoa in developing countries, and horticultural and forest pests in UK and the rest of Europe. Author of over 200 peer-reviewed publications.
  • Dr Daniel Bray
    Senior Research Fellow in Chemical Ecology. A behavioural ecologist with 15 years of experience working in chemical ecology. Extensive field work in Brazil developing pheromone based tools for control of leishmaniasis. Leads current projects on spotted wing drosophila and Aedes aegypti, which combine electrophysiology studies, lab bioassays, and field trials. Experience of working with insect, mammalian and marine systems.
  • Dr G Mandela Fernandez-Grandon
    Research Fellow in Chemical Ecology/Entomology. A decade of experience working with crop pests and vectors of human diseases. Expertise in insect behavioural studies and electrophysiology. Particular areas of interest include the development of novel odour-based control methods for crop protection and the study of host manipulation by viruses/parasites and the potential for application.  Current research projects include evaluating mosquito oviposition preference (MRC funded), evaluating the feasibility of a broad spectrum repellent (Agritech) and development of a new attractant lure for Spotted Wing Drosophila (Agritech).
  • Dudley Farman
    Analytical chemist with over 18 years of experience in analysis and formulation of insect pheromones and related natural products, and also in chemical quality assessment of horticultural produce. Wide experience of installation and maintenance of computer hardware and software, and of analytical equipment. Short-term overseas experience in Africa.
  • Dr Steve Harte
    Postdoctoral Organic Chemist/Chemical Ecologist with over 5 years of experience of working as a natural product chemist identifying and purifying novel fungal secondary metabolites used as part of a novel drug discovery methodology. Whilst at the NRI Steven has worked with the identification, isolation and synthesis of semio-chemicals collected from a variety of natural sources. Current projects include development of a pheromone-based monitoring system for a newly identified Contarinia midge, identification of weevil resistant sweetpotato varieties and upcycling of brewery waste to produce cosmetically active compounds.
  • Victoria Woolley
    Post Doctoral Research Fellow working on the NaPROCLA project (BBSRC-GCRF-SASSA). Previous research has focused on elucidating the natural function of entomopathogenic fungal secondary metabolites and identifying their potential for integrated pest management. The current project involves using a combination of molecular biology techniques and field trials, to investigate the potential of natural enemies to control insect pests of legumes in east Africa.