School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Gordon Port

Senior Lecturer

Background

I study insects and other invertebrates and have a particular interest in how invertebrates find their food and the impact this has, either good or bad, on us. I have particular interests in insect identification, ecology and behaviour and my research includes managing habitats to improve pollinator diversity and how to manage slug and snail pests

Research

Research Interests

Insects and other invertebrates have been described as the little things that rule the world (E.O. Wilson). We need to understand the ecology and behaviour of these animals in order to manage them more effectively whether they are friends (beneficial) or foes (pests).

My work on pests concerns a range of species affecting either crops e.g. slugs and aphids, or livestock and man e.g. mites and mosquitoes. With a better understanding of the factors that affect activity and food seeking it is possible to find more effective ways of managing these pests using biological controls, chemicals etc. For beneficial species such as pollinators and natural enemies of pest species a similar understanding leads to ways to promote their populations and understand their roles. My research group investigates these interactions using a range of ecological and behavioural experimental approaches.

Other Expertise

I work as an assessor for a number of external organisations, usually assessing proposals or publications associated with pest management

Postgraduate Supervision

Ali Kareem: Population genetics of glasshouse whitefly

Sienaa Al-Zurfi: Control of stored products pest with entomopathogenic fungi

Amy Campbell: Behavioural response of slugs to molluscicide pellets

Samantha de Silva: Physiological response of slugs to molluscicide pellets

Industrial Relevance

Much of the work we do on pest management has relevance to the agrochemical and biological control industry through to farmers and growers. We have a close collaboration with a contract research organisation, i2LResearch, and together we form a Centre for Mollusc Expertise.

Teaching

My teaching focusses on the behaviour and ecology of insects and other invertebrates

Publications