Research Entomologist

Biointeractions and Crop Protection


Steve gained a BSc in Biology from the University of York in 1982 and a PhD from the University of Nottingham in 1989 for his work on insect behaviour, ecology and population genetics (in seaweed flies). In August 1992, he joined Rothamsted Research, where he has been working on insecticide resistance in crop pests, including aphids, beetles, weevils, thrips and moths. This has involved studying the success of resistant insects when insecticides are applied (how resistant they are), most recently in diamond-back moths that invaded the UK in 2016, and also any potential handicaps they may suffer in the absence of insecticides, such as vulnerability to attack by predators. Steve’s findings are being used to advise growers, agronomists and regulators on how best to protect UK crops from insecticide-resistant pests. His work is also providing a useful insight into the processes driving evolution and selection, something Charles Darwin would have appreciated greatly.




    +44 (0) 1582 938 356


      Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ



        • 2012
          Field, L. M.,Bass, C. G.,Davies, T. G. E.,Foster, S. P.,Stevens, M.,Williamson, M. S.

          Insecticide resistance in the aphid Myzus persicae

          RRA Newsletter April 2012 : pp.1-2

        • 2009
          Harrington, R.,Foster, S. P.,Alderson, L. J.,Cox, D.,Hall, M. J.,Mallott, M.,Oliphant, L.,Parker, S.,Shortall, C. R.,Taylor, M. S.,Wright, S.,Denholm, I.

          Aphids: insecticide resistance update

          British Sugar Beet Review 77(3) : pp.6-8

        • 2008
          Stevens, M.,Harrington, R.,Parker, S. J.,Cox, D. M.,Foster, S. P.,May, M. J.

          Aphids galore! So how did the industry avert a virus yellows epidemic in 2007?

          British Sugar Beet Review 76(1) : pp.20-29

        • 2007
          Harrington, R.,Anstead, J. A.,Denholm, I.,Foster, S. P.,Parker, S. J.,Cox, D. M.

          Resistance watch

          British Sugar Beet Review 75(1) : pp.37-38

        • 2007
          Foster, S. P.

          Stewardship helps manage resistance

          Potato Review May 2007 : pp.30-31

        • 2004
          Waters, J. W.,Foster, S. P.

          Resistance in Myzus persicae : MACE returns?

          TAG Bulletin No. 2 : pp.18-19

        • 2004
          Waters, J. W.,Denholm, I.,Harrington, R.,Foster, S. P.,Parker, S. J.,Dewar, A. M.

          Wielding the MACE: recent events regarding resistance and the peach potato aphid, Myzus persicae

          British Sugar Beet Review 72(1) : pp.28-32

        • 2003
          Denholm, I.,Foster, S. P.,Moores, G. D.,Anstead, J. A.,Williamson, M. S.

          Insecticide resistance to aphids

          Rothamsted Research Annual Report 2002-2003 : pp.29-31

        • 2003
          Dewar, A. M.,Haylock, L. A.,Garner, B. H.,Baker, P.,Sands, R. J. N.,Foster, S. P.,Cox, D.,Mason, N.,Denholm, I.

          The effect of clothianidin on aphids and virus yellows in sugar beet

          Pflanzenschutz-Nachrichten Bayer 56 : pp.127-146

        • 2003
          Harrington, R.,Parker, S. J.,Taylor, M. S.,Adamowicz, T.,Cox, D. M.,Foster, S. P.,Denholm, I.,Dewar, A. M.,Pickup, J.

          Trapped in 2002

          British Sugar Beet Review 71(1) : pp.12-17

        • 2002
          Foster, S. P.,Denholm, I.,Harrington, R.,Dewar, A. M.

          Why worry about insecticide-resistant aphids?

          British Sugar Beet Review 70(2) : pp.20-29

        • 2002
          Foster, S. P.

          Guidelines for preventing and managing insecticide resistance in aphids on potatoes

          : pp.4pp

        • 2001
          Foster, S. P.

          Aphid resistance - vigilance still required

          Eyewitness June 2001 : pp.15

        • 2001
          Wallwork, C.,Foster, S. P.

          Brassica bug alert

          Vegetable Farmer August 2001 : pp.14,16

        • 2001
          Evans, A.,Foster, S. P.

          How to keep aphids out of seed potatoes

          Potato Review March 2001 : pp.12-15

        • 1999
          Foster, S. P.

          Aphids: never relax guard

          Farmers Weekly 26 February 1999

        • 1998
          Foster, S. P.

          Insecticide resistant aphids remain a danger

          Farmers Weekly 27 November 1998

        • 1998
          Dewar, A. M.,Haylock, L. A.,Foster, S. P.,Devonshire, A. L.,Harrington, R.

          Three into one will go - the evolution of resistance in the peach-potato aphid Myzus persicae

          British Sugar Beet Review 66(4) : pp.14-19

        Science project

        • Extension to combating resistance to aphicides in UK aphid pests


        • 1989 - PhD Genetics (University of Nottingham)
        • 1982 - BSc (2.i. Hons.) Biological Sciences (University of York)


        • FRES (Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society)
        • Chair, UK Insecticide Resistance Action Group (IRAG-UK)
        • Co-organiser of Resistance 2015 International Conference (held at Rothamsted)
        • PhD co-supervisor