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
Queffelec J, Allison JD, Greeff JM, Slippers B. (2020) Influence of reproductive biology on establishment capacity in introduced Hymenoptera species. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-020-02375-6
Bush SJ, Slippers B, Dittrich-Schröder G, Hurley BP. (2020) Host specificity tests reveals new host of a global biological control agent Psyllaephagus bliteus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). African Entomology 28:238-248. 10.4001/003.028.0238
Dittrich-Schröder G, Hurley BP, Wingfield MJ, Nahrung HF, Slippers B. (2020) Invasive gall-forming wasps that threaten non-native plantation-grown Eucalyptus: diversity and invasion patterns. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 10.1111/afe.12402
Jactel H, Desprez-Loustau M-L, Battisti A, Brockerhoff E, Santini A, Stenlid J, Björkman C, Branco M, Dehnen-Schmutz K, Douma JC, Drakulic J, Drizou F, Eschen R, Franco JC, Gossner MM, Green S, Kenis M, Klapwijk MJ, Liebhold AM, Orazio C, Prospero S, Robinet C, Schroeder M, Slippers B, Stoev P, Sun J, van den Dool R, Wingfield MJ, Zalucki MP. (2020) Pathologists and entomologists must join forces against forest pest and pathogen invasions. Neobiota 58:107-127. 10.3897/neobiota.58.54389
Drenkhan R, Ganley B, Martin-Garcia J, Vahalik P, Adamson K, Adamcikova K, Ahumada R, Blank L, Braganca H, Capretti P, Capretti P, Cleary M, Cornejo C, Davydenko K, Diez J, Lehtiharvi H, Dvorak M, Enderle R, Fourie G, Georgieva M, Ghelardini L, Hantula J, Ioos R, Iturritxa E, Kanetis L, Karpun N, Koltay A, Landera E, Markovskaja S, Mesanza N, Milenkovic I, Musolin D, Musolin D, Nikolaou K, Nowakowske J, Ogris N, Oskay F, Oszaka T, Papazova-Anakieva I, Paraschiv M, Pasquali M, Pecori F, Rafoss T, Raitelaityte K, Raposo R, Robin C, Rodas C, Santini A, Sanz-Ros A, Selikhovkin A, Solla A, Soukainen M, Soulioti N, Steenkamp E, Tsopelas P, Vemic A, Vettraino A, Wingfield M, Woodward S, Zamora-Ballesteros C, Mullet M. (2020) Global geographic distribution and host range of Fusarium circinatum, the causal agent of Pine Pitch Canker. Forests 11(724):1-38. 10.3390/f11070724
Slippers B, Visser M, Roux J. (2020) Why it’s so critical to continuously monitor and manage plant diseases. The Conversation https://theconversation.com/why-its-so-critical-to-continuously-monitor-and-manage-plant-diseases-139423#comment_2251101
Mutitu E, TB Hoareau, Hurley BP, Garnas JR, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2020) Reconstructing early routes of invasion of the bronze bug Thaumastocoris peregrinus (Hemiptera: Thaumastocoridae): cities as bridgeheads for global pest invasions. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-020-02258-w
Wondafrash M, Slippers B, Nambazimana A, Kayumba I, Nibouche S, van der Lingen S, Asfaw BA, Jenya H, Mutitu EK, Makowe IA, Chungu D, Kiwuso P, Kulimush E, Razafindrakotomamonjy A, Bosu PP, Sookar P, Hurley BP. (2020) Distribution and genetic diversity of five invasive pests of Eucalyptus in sub-Saharan Africa. Biological Invasions 22:2205–2221. 10.1007/s10530-020-02250-4
Gaudon JM, Lyons DB, Jones GC, Allison JD, Smith SM. (2020) Evaluating methods to detect and monitor North American larval parasitoids of the emerald ash borer (Coleoptera; Buprestidae). The Canadian Entomologist 152(3):389-398. 10.4039/tce.2020.8
Vivas M, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2020) Maternal effects should be considered in the establishment of forestry plantations. Forest Ecology and Management 460:117909. 10.1016/j.foreco.2020.117909
Bouwer MC, MacQuarrie CJK, Aguirre-Gil OJ, Slippers B, Allison JD. (2020) Impact of intercept trap type on plume structure: a potential mechanism for differential performance of intercept trap designs for Monochamus species. . Journal of Pest Science 93:993-1005. 10.1007/s10340-020-01204-y
Faccoli M, Gallego D, Branco M, Brockerhoff EG, Corley J, Coyle DR, Hurley BP, Jactel H, Lakatos F, Lantschner V, Lawson S, Martínez G, Gómez DF, Avtzis D. (2020) A first worldwide multispecies survey of invasive Mediterranean pine bark beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae). Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-020-02219-3
Nagel J, Cruywagen EM, Machua J, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2020) Highly transferable microsatellite markers for the genera Lasiodiplodia and Neofusicoccum. Fungal Ecology 44:100903. 10.1016/j.funeco.2019.100903
Haavik LJ, Slippers B, Hurley BP, Dodds KJ, Scarr T, Turgeon JJ, Allison JD. (2020) Influence of the community of associates on Sirex noctilio brood production is contextual. Ecological Entomology 45:456-465. 10.1111/een.12810
Schröder ML, Slippers B, Wingfield MJ, Hurley BP. (2020) Invasion history and management of Eucalyptus snout beetles in the Gonipterus scutellatus species complex. Journal of Pest Science 93:11-25. 10.1007/s10340-019-01156-y PDF
Huang J, Seidel R, Gershenzon J, Kandasamy D, Meddens AJH, Chonggang X, Goodsman DW, Adams HD, Raffa KF, Hammerbacher A, Towbridge AM, Kautz M, Hartmann H. (2020) Tree defence and bark beetles in a drying world: carbon partitioning, functioning and modelling. New Phytologist 225:25-36.
Measey J, Robinson TB, Kruger N, Zengeya TA, Hurley BP. 2020. South Africa as a donor of alien animals. In: Biological Invasions in South Africa. van Wilgen BW, Measey J, Richardson DM, Wilson JR, Zengeya TA. (eds). Springer, pp 787-830. PDF
Hurley BP, Fitza KNE, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2019) Sequence data reflect the introduction pathways of the Sirex woodwasp parasitoid, Ibalia leucospoides (Ibaliidae, Hymenoptera). Agricultural and Forest Entomology 10.1111/afe.12367
Allison JD, Slippers B, Bouwer M, Hurley BP. (2019) Simulated leks increase the capture of female Sirex noctilio in the absence of host volatiles. International Journal of Pest Management :1-7. 10.1080/09670874.2019.1695074 PDF
Allison JD, Bernard Slippers, Marc Bouwer, Hurley BP. (2019) Simulated leks increase the capture of female Sirex noctilio in the absence of host volatiles. International Journal of Pest Management 10.1080/09670874.2019.1695074
Hirsch H, Wingfield MJ, van Wilgen B, Ruwanza S, Klein H, Keet JH, Jones W, Hurley BP, Harding G, Geldenhuys CJ, Geerts S, Cheek M, Canavan S, Allsopp MH, Richardson DM. (2019) Eucalyptus camaldulensis in South Africa - past, present, future. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 10.1080/0035919X.2019.1669732
Katumanyane A, Malan AP, Tiedt LR, Hurley BP. (2019) Steinernema bertusi n. sp. (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae), a new entomopathogenic nematode from South Africa. Nematology 10.1163/15685411-00003309
Olatinwo RO, Schowalter TD, Doucet D, Bowman S, Johnson WC, Allison JD. (2019) Intergenic spacer single nucleotide polymorphisms for genotyping Amylostereum areolatum (Russulales: Amylostereacea) symbionts of Native and non-native Sirex species. Annals of the Entomological Society of America XX(XX):1-8. 10.1093/aesa/saz058 PDF
Messal M, Slippers B, Naidoo S, Bezuidt O, Kemler M. (2019) Active fungal communities in asymptomatic Eucalyptus grandis stems differ between a susceptible and resistant clone. Microorganisms 7(10):375. 10.3390/microorganisms7100375
Vainio EJ, Bezos D, Braganca H, Cleary M, Fourie G, Georgieva M, Ghelardini L, Hunnunen S, Ioos R, Martin-Garcia J, Martinez-Alvarez P, Mullet M, Oszako T, Papazova-Anakieve I, Piskur B, Romeralo C, Sanz-Ros A, Steenkamp ET, Tubby K, Wingfield MJ, Diez JJ. (2019) Sampling and detection strategies for the Pine Pitch Canker (PPC) disease pathogen Fusarium circinatum in Europe. Forests 10(723):1-28. 10.3390/f10090723 PDF
Postma A, Mlonyeni OX, Clasen F, Joubert F, Slippers B. (2019) The draft genome of Deladenus siricidicola. Journal of Nematology 51:e2019-36. 10.21307/jofnem-2019-036
Jami F, Marincowitz S, Slippers B, Crous PW, Le Roux JJ, Richardson DM, Wingfield MJ. (2019) Botryosphaeriaceae associated with Acacia heterophylla (La Reunion) and Acacia koa (Hawaii). Fungal Biology 10.1016/j.funbio.2019.07.001 PDF
Abate BA, Slippers B, Wingfield MJ, Conlong DE, Burger DA, Hurley BP. (2019) Virulence and survival of native entomopathogenic nematodes for the management of white grubs in South Africa. Biological Control 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2019.104043 PDF
Queffelec J, Wooding AL, Greef JM, Garnas JR, Hurley BP, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2019) Mechanisms that influence sex ratio variation in the invasive hymenopteran Sirex noctilio in South Africa. Ecology and Evolution :1-8. 10.5061/dryad.f3p8j8g PDF
Ioos R, Aloi F, Piskur B, Guinet C, Mullet M, Berbegal M, Braganca H, Cacciola SO, Oskay F, Cornejo C, Adamson K, Douanla-Meli C, Kacergius A, Martinez-Alvarez P, Nowakowska JA, Luchi N, Vettraino AM, Ahumada R, Pasquali M, Fourie G, Kanetis L, Alves A, Ghelardini L, Dvorak M, Sanz-Ros A, Diez JJ, Baskarathevan J, Aguayo J. (2019) Transferability of PCR-based diagnostic protocols: An international collaborative case study assessing protocols targeting the quarantine pine pathogen Fusarium circinatum. Scientific Reports 10.1038/s41598-019-44672-8