Biological Control and Integrated Pest Management



Biological control and integrated pest management aims to minimise crop damage and control unwanted organisms by using naturally occurring predators, parasites and diseases. With the pressure to reduce pesticide use and increase the sustainability of farming as well as manage harmful non-native species, more producers and land managers are looking towards biocontrol as a means to achieve these goals.​

Biocontrol already forms an integral part of many integrated cropping systems but further research and development is needed if its full potential is to be realised and it is to be more widely implemented. Our Biocontrol Group includes specialists from all the main fields of biocontrol research and our goal is to encourage discussion and co-operation among members of this interdisciplinary topic. Vine Weevil header image from Eugenia Fezza.


Keith Walters

Keith Walters is an entomologist at Imperial College London whose research interests are organised under two well established and closely interrelated programmes of collaborative multidisciplinary work. The first focuses on the biology of insects and their interactions with the environment, and supports the development of sustainable IPM strategies (utilising conventional pesticides, biological agents and physical control methods) for use in agriculture and horticulture. In addition to yielding new insect management methods and IPM systems that have been adopted by industry, the research has also contributed to the mitigation of potential environmental damage resulting from chemical pollutants through the establishment of ecotoxicological hazards caused by, and reduced reliance on, xenobiotic inputs to the agri-environment. The second is focused on work at the science/policy interface, addressing the biology, impact assessment and policy response to quarantine pests and diseases introduced to the UK on the global trade in plants and plant products and, if they establish in the UK, the use of IPM techniques to contain and eradicate outbreak populations.

Group Members

Toby Bruce

Toby is a Prof of Insect Chemical Ecology at the School of Life Sciences at Keele University. He has a background in Biology and a PhD in Chemical Ecology. His research focuses on host location in insects, alarm and sex pheromone signals and induced plant defence. He has 50 scientific publications which include high impact journals such as PNAS and Trends in Plant Science. As well as advancing fundamental aspects of insect host location, he devises strategies for utilising semiochemicals for insect pest management at the field level ranging from plant activators that switch on plant defence to pheromone monitoring systems. He has very recently obtained national (BBSRC) funding for two IPM related projects, one on transgenic wheat emitting aphid alarm pheromone (BB/G004781/1) and the other on seed treatments to induce resistance to pests and diseases in tomato (BB/G021791/1). He supports a collaborative project on maize pests with Kenya and has organised an international conference on plant signalling in 2008.

School of Life Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG

Tel: +44 (0) 178 273 3673

Phil Morley

Phil Morley is a graduate of the University of Leeds where he completed his PhD in Plant Physiology and Nutrition in the 1990’s. Since then he has worked in the fresh produce glasshouse industry for almost 20 years. His work has concentrated on practical approaches to organic and pesticide free production in large scale commercial Tomatoes crops in the UK and mainland Europe. Phil is now the Technical Director of the British Tomato Growers’ Association and continues to work on a range of HDC funded applied research projects in glasshouse production which range from Pathology and Entomology through to soil biology, plant nutrition and physiology…

Richard Shaw

Dick Shaw has worked for CABI for 26 years and is now the Senior Regional Director responsible for the running of CABI’s UK science sites in the UK, Switzerland, Brazil and Trinidad & Tobago which collectively absorbed the former CABI institutes of Parasitology, Entomology, Mycology and Biological Control. He is an applied entomologist, having completed both his MSc and PhD at University of London (now Imperial College) and specialises in Invasive Species.  Dick has a particular interest in invasive weeds and their management using biological control which is more sustainable and can be much more effective than conventional methods whilst operating at a much larger scale. As an entomologist in CABI he has a particular interest in arthropod pests and beneficials in the Developing World where CABI mainly operates.

David Chandler

I am a microbiologist and entomologist, and conduct research into invertebrate microbial interactions. My main areas of interest are: entomopathogens and microbial control; ecology and physiology of entomopathogenic fungi; biopesticide regulation and governance; and Integrated Pest Management. I’ve worked at Warwick at HRI since 1990. Previous to this, I studied for a bachelor degree in biology at the University of Nottingham, followed by a PhD in mycology at Kings College London.

Joe Roberts

Joe is an applied insect chemical ecologist whose expertise lies at the interface of ecology, biology and chemistry. My research focuses on using insect and plant derived semiochemicals to develop novel tools for sustainable management of phytophagous insect pests in global agricultural environments. I am also interested in developing data-driven approaches to inform integrated pest management decisions in horticultural production systems.

Rosemary Collier

Rosemary is a research entomologist at the University of Warwick and is based at the Wellesbourne Campus (Warwick Crop Centre). Her main interests are researching and modelling interactions between insects and the environment, the host-plant finding behaviour of phytophagous insects and the development of Integrated Pest Management systems for the pests of field vegetable and bulb crops. Rosemary has developed weather-based forecasts of the timing of attack by several pests of field crops; most of which have been used commercially for a number of years. Rosemary is a former convenor of the International Organisation for Biological Control Working Group on Integrated Protection of Field Vegetables and Chair of the UK Insecticide Resistance Action Group (IRAG).

Xiangming Xu

Xiangming is a plant disease epidemiologist, and conduct research into epidemiology and management of diseases on various crops, primarily in top and soft fruit. In addition, I have also continuously engaged in theoretical studies of the spatio-temporal dynamics of plant disease epidemics. My current interest in biocontrol focuses on development of application strategies of commercial BCAs for effective control of plant diseases