Ecologist; Entomologist; Taxonomist

Computational and Analytical Sciences


Phil studies insect movement and migration with radar. He uses Vertical-looking Radar (VLR) to study high-flying migrating insects, and Harmonic Radar to understand how bees move within the environment. Phil has more than 20 years' experience as an entomologist and ecologist. His main role within the research is the ground-truthing fieldwork required to better understand what the VLR detects up to 1,200m overhead. This requires specialised surveying skills, and the ability to identify the insects collected. He also works in the radar laboratory, where the precise attention to detail honed through manipulating insects under the microscope transfers well to the construction of small electronic devices. Phil has recently helped to install two VLRs abroad, and undertaken associated fieldwork. The first VLR, in Texas, is being used to study the annual movement of pest moths that migrate in huge numbers from Mexico into the USA, causing widespread crop damage. The second VLR, in China, is operating as part of an extensive array of experiments and technologies that are being run by a consortium of partners in a Newton Fund project. The project is looking at the efficacy of replacing pesticides with biopesticides in the control of locusts.




    +44 (0) 1582 938 066


      Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ

        Science project

        • Integrating advanced earth observation and environmental information for sustainable management of crop pests and diseases
        • SpaceRadarPollinator. Space use by bees– radar tracking of spatial movement patterns of key pollinators