Morphology, physiology amd behaviour of invertebrates.
The research that I and my laboratory undertake incorporates behaviour, morphology and physiology of invertebrates, with the aim of applied outcomes.
Research themes are:
- Insect-plant interactions
- Arthropod structure and function
- Management of specific insect pests
Interactions between plants and insects underpin our survival on the planet. I am interested in how the macro and micro environment of plants affects behavioural choices made by insect pests. Such information informs pest management. My earlier work has helped establish the fundamental rules governing movement behaviour and I am currently investigating the role of plant chemical defenses. I also study micro/ nanostructural adaptations used by arthropods such as incorporation of metals into jaws or mandibles and the microarrays that aid in anitwetting and self cleaning. Apart from helping us understand how arthropods function, this information is a source of ideas for biomimetic developments, for example adaptation into fabricated polymers, or in developing self-cleaning or anti-wetting materials.