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We do fundamental research to understand insect movement and migration, the way pesticides act, weeds, the mechanisms and evolution of pesticide resistance, how host plants resist to insects and pathogens and on semiochemical signalling as defence mechanism.

This is all aimed at informing better, environmental-friendly and more sustainable crop protection strategies, that minimise chemical inputs, without reducing yields. We deliver this approach via collaborations with the agrochemical industry, agri-advisors and directly with farmers/growers and policy makers.

We have a wide range of expertise across chemistry, molecular biology and biochemistry, genetics and genomics, bioinformatics, entomology, plant pathology, weed science and modelling.

By improving crop protection, we can reduce crop losses from insects, pathogens and weeds, and support the institutes’ s Science Portfolios. The department also houses the Rothamsted Insect Survey National Capability and many other resources such as an insectary, electrophysiology, the Pathogen-Host Interactions database, a Virus-Induced Gene Silencing lab and many others.

Contacts

Dr Julian Smith

Dr Julian Smith

Science Director

Sheila Bishop

Sheila Bishop

Executive Assistant to the Science Director

Projects