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22 November 2017 by Sarah Mintey

Developing Experts films with Dr. Ian Bedford Head of the Entomology at John Innes Centre

Mike Linley is delighted to be filming with Dr. Ian Bedford is Head of the Entomology Facility at the John Innes Centre. Ian works with two full time Research Entomologists who specilaise in invertebrates who investigate many different aspects of plant pest management. Ian and his team are often asked to identify different specimens found.

Ian’s areas of expertise are Invertebrates, Entomology, Plant-Insect Interactions, Crop Protection, Bioassay designs, Insect virus vectors, Crop Protection Efficacy trials, Integrated Pest Management, Biological Control, Insecticides and Networking.

For many years, his research centred on a range of sap sucking insect species (Hemipterans), that are specific vectors of plant viruses throughout the world. This has included aphids, leafhoppers, plant hoppers and whitefly. The problems of whitefly and associated plant viruses within the horticultural crops of southern Europe formed a major part of Ian’s research from 2000 onwards, for which he established and coordinated the European Whitefly Studies Network (EWSN) to collate and disseminate data and focus European research programmes. Ian has also established a DEFRA-approved testing facility at JIC for evaluating the effectiveness of crop protection products on a wide range of invertebrate pest species. Research projects throughout the Norwich Research Park (NRP) where an entomological component is required, rely on the Entomology Facility to design and undertake the biological assessments.

The facility also provides an interface with amateur and commercial growers where invertebrate pest issues can be identified and discussed. Topical issues and research outputs relating to invertebrates are also regularly presented through local and national media by Ian and his team of entomologists. Currently Ian is investigating the appearance of the invasive Spanish slug Arion vulgaris in East Anglia.

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