For 10 years, I worked on mosquito biology at Reading university, and I obtained my PhD in the subject at this time. I then had two post doctoral posts in Brazil before returning to work as an entomologist in the UK. I joined the Bruce group here at Keele last year.
At Reading, I worked on various aspects of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes, and whilst there I completed my doctorate on biochemical and molecular characterisation of p-glycoprotein in Culex pipiens, and it’s connection to protection against pesticides.
In 2007, I was awarded a FAPESP post-doctoral grant to study in Brazil, at the University of Sao Carlos. This was followed in 2009 by a further Brazilian (CAPES) postdoctoral grant at the University of Espirito Santo to study the molecular responses of papaya to infection, especially “meleira”, caused by Papaya Meleira Virus (PMeV).
In 2013, I returned to the UK and took up a post as an entomologist at East Malling Research in Kent, UK, focussing on pests of fruit crops.
And in 2018 I joined Toby Bruce’s group at Keele University, on a joint UK-Brazil project developing novel plant protection products.
Research and scholarship
My main focus is a collaborative project between Keele and the universities Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar) and Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) in Brazil.
Novel, environmentally responsible, means for managing insect pests are urgently needed around the world. Current insecticides are either being phased out, or abandoned in the face of increasing pest resistance. At the same time, human populations are increasing rapidly and invasive pests such as Spodoptera frugiperda are spreading to new continents.
This project aims to generate solutions to this problem, using exciting advances in the area of nanotechnology to enhance the action of plant secondary metabolites, which have evolved over millions of years to defend against insect attack.
The UK and Brazilian sides of this collaboration have significant and complimentary expertise in crop protection and in nanoformulation, and by combining we are confident of developing options for crop defence. In addition, this has been an excellent opportunity to share insights and knowledge through workshops and exchange visits.