Chemical ecology is the study of the role that chemicals play mediating interactions between organisms and organisms and their environment, and the consequences of those interactions in ecological and evolutionary time.  It is not an autonomous discipline but rather an approach to ecology, one of viewing ecological interactions through a chemical lens.  Consequently it is highly interdisciplinary, commonly involving behavior, ecology, genomics, physiology, biochemistry, chemistry and neurobiology.  Olfaction is the dominant modality for how most insects perceive and interact with the biotic world and consequently the study of insect chemical ecology has immense potential to inform our understanding of the natural world.  In addition to its heuristic value, this understanding has potential to provide powerful tools for the management of pests. 

Our research interests lie at the interface of behavioral chemical ecology and pest management.  The primary focus of our work is the development of an understanding of the chemical ecology of insect pests of plantation forests and agricultural tree crops in the southern hemisphere.  By using pest species as model systems we are able to simultaneously make discoveries that advance our understanding of the natural world and provide biorational pest management tools to stakeholders.  Specific ongoing projects include the development and optimization of survey and detection tools, characterization of the active space of semiochemical-baited traps and the biotic and abiotic factors that influence it, the impact of chemical ecology on the efficacy of biological control, the chemical ecology of insect pests of plantation and fruit and nut trees and the causes and consequences of variation in insect sex pheromones.

If any of these topics or related ones interest you please contact us.  We are always looking for talented graduate students, postdocs and collaborators.

 

New Publications

Pham NQ, Marincowitz S, Solís M, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Barnes I, Slippers B, Muro Abad JI, Durán A, Wingfield MJ. (2021) Eucalyptus scab and shoot malformation: A new and serious foliar disease of Eucalyptus caused by Elsinoe necatrix sp. nov.. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.13348 PDF
Hurley BP. (2021) The enemy of my enemy is my friend. TIP-MAG (2):4-6. PDF
Guignard Q, Bouwer M, Slippers B, Allison J. (2020) Biology of a putative male aggregation-sex pheromone in Sirex noctilio (Hymenoptera: Siricidae). 15(12):e0244943. 10.1371/journal.pone.0244943 PDF
Bush SJ, Slippers B, Hurley BP. (2020) Eucalypt susceptibility towards the invasive Glycaspis brimblecombei Moore (Hemiptera: Aphalaridae) in South Africa. Southern Forests 82:243-252. 10.2989/20702620.2020.1824556
Makunde PT, Slippers B, Burckhardt D, de Queiroz DL, Lawson SA, Hurley BP. (2020) Current and potential threat of psyllids (Hemiptera: Psylloidea) on eucalypts. Southern Forests 82:233-242. 10.2989/20702620.2020.1813650
Krivak-Tetley FE, Lantschner MV, Lombardero MJ, Garnas JR, Hurley BP, Villacide JM, Slippers B, Corley J, Liebhold AM, Ayers MP. (2020) Aggressive tree killer or natural thinning agent? Assessing the impacts of a globally important forest insect. Forest Ecology and Management 10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118728
Slippers B. (2020) The Plant Disease Pyramid: The relevance of the original vision of plant pathology in 2020. South Africa Journal of Science 116(11/12) 10.17159/sajs.2020/9011
Wingfield MJ, Hurley BP, Wingfield BD, Slippers B. (2020) Tree health in South Africa: Retrospect and prospect. South Africa Journal of Science 116(11/12) 10.17159/sajs.2020/8038
Oates C, Denby K, Myburg A, Slippers B, Naidoo S. (2020) Insect egg‐induced physiological changes and transcriptional reprogramming leading to gall formation. Plant, Cell & Environment 10.1111/pce.13930
Slippers B, Hurley BP, Allison JD. (2020) Harnessing the potential of Precision Pest Management in plantation forests. Southern Forests 10.2989/20702620.2020.1813651
Noeth KP, Verleur PM, Bouwer MC, Crous JW, Roux J, Hurley BP, Slippers B. (2020) Mass trapping of Coryphodema tristis (Lepidoptera: Cossidae) using a sex pheromone in Eucalyptus nitens compartments in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Southern Forests 10.2989/20702620.2020.1813648
Geiser DM, Al-Hatmi A, Aoki T, Arie T, Balmas V, Barnes I, Bergstrom GC, Bhattacharyya MKK, Blomquist CL, Bowden R, Brankovics B, Brown DW, Burgess LW, Bushley K, Busman M, Cano-Lira JF, Carrillo JD, Chang HX, Chen CY, Chen W, Chilvers MI, Chulze SN, Coleman JJ, Cuomo CA, de Beer ZW, de Hoog GS, Del Castillo-Múnera J, Del Ponte E, Diéguez-Uribeondo J, Di Pietro A, Edel-Hermann V, Elmer WH, Epstein L, Eskalen A, Esposto MC, Everts KL, Fernández-Pavía SP, da Silva GF, Foroud NA, Fourie G, Frandsen RJN, Freeman S, Freitag M, Frenkel O, Fuller KK, Gagkaeva T, Gardiner DM, Glenn AE, Gold S, Gordon T, Gregory NF, Gryzenhout M, Guarro J, Gugino B, Gutiérrez S, Hammond-Kosack K, Harris LJ, Homa M, Hong CF, Hornok L, Huang JW, Ilkit M, Jacobs A, Jacobs K, Jiang C, Jimenez-Gasco MDM, Kang S, Kasson MT, Kazan K, Kennell JC, Kim H, Kistler HC, Kuldau GA, Kulik T, Kurzai O, Laraba I, Laurence MH, Lee TY, Lee YW, Lee YH, Leslie JF, Liew ECY, Lofton LW, Logrieco A, Sánchez López-Berges M, Luque AG, Lysøe E, Ma LJ, Marra RE, Martin FN, May SR, McCormick S, McGee CT, Meis JF, Migheli Q, Mohamed Nor NMI, Monod M, Moretti A, Mostert D, Mulé G, Munaut F, Munkvold GP, Nicholson P, Nucci M, O'Donnell K, Pasquali M, Pfenning LH, Prigitano A, Proctor R, Ranque S, Rehner S, Rep M, Rodríguez-Alvarado G, Rose LJ, Roth MG, Ruiz-Roldán C, Saleh AA, Salleh B, Sang H, Scandiani M, Scauflaire J, Schmale D 3, Short DP, Šišić A, Smith J, Smyth CW, Son H, Spahr E, Stajich JE, Steenkamp E, Steinberg C, Subramaniam R, Suga H, Summerell BA, Susca A, Swett CL, Toomajian C, Torres-Cruz TJ, Tortorano AM, Urban M, Vaillancourt LJ, Vallad GE, van der Lee T, Vanderpool D, van Diepeningen AD, Vaughan M, Venter E, Vermeulen M, Verweij PE, Viljoen A, Waalwijk C, Wallace EC, Walther G, Wang J, Ward T, Wickes B, Wiederhold NP, Wingfield MJ, Wood AKM, Xu JR, Yang XB, Yli-Matilla T, Yun SH, Zakaria L, Zhang H, Zhang N, Zhang S, Zhang X. (2020) Phylogenomic analysis of a 55.1 kb 19-gene dataset resolves a monophyletic Fusarium that includes the Fusarium solani Species Complex. Phytopathology 10.1094/PHYTO-08-20-0330-LE
Garnas JR, Vann KE, Hurley BP. (2020) Biotic and abiotic effects on density, body size, sex ratio, and survival in immature stages of the European woodwasp, Sirex noctilio. Ecology and Evolution 10.1002/ece3.6966 PDF
Mufamadi Z, Fourie G, Willis-Boyum A, van den Berg N. (2020) Husk rot disease: causal agents and disease epidemiology. SAMAC Journal PDF
Pal E, Hurley BP, Slippers B, Fourie G. (2020) Progress towards characterisation of pheromones of Bathycoelia distincta. SAMAC Journal PDF
Smith A, Hurley BP, Slippers B, Fourie G. (2020) Life stage characterisation of Thaumatotibia batrachopa on an artificial diet. SAMAC Journal PDF
Twiddy D, de Beer ZW, Fourie G. (2020) The PSHB and its potential impact on the South African macadamia Industry. SAMAC Journal PDF
Twiddy D, Fell S, de Beer ZW, Fourie G. (2020) Screening for susceptibility of Macadamia to E. fornicatus and its fungal symbiont Fusarium euwallaceae. Plant Disease 10.1094/PDIS-07-20-1555-SC
Li GQ, Slippers B, Wingfield MJ, Chen SF. (2020) Variation in Botryosphaeriaceae from Eucalyptus plantations in YunNan Province in southwestern China across a climatic gradient. IMA Fungus 11(22) 10.1186/s43008-020-00043-x
Gevers CR, Dittrich-Schroder D, Slippers B, Hurley BP. (2020) Interactions between hymenopteran species associated with gall-forming wasps: the Leptocybe invasa community as a case study. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 10.1111/afe.12413