Centre for Biological Sciences

Guy M Poppy

BSc, DPhil

Primary position:
Chief Scientific Adviser to the Food Standards Agency (UK Govt)
Other positions:
Professor of Ecology, Principal Investigator (Insect/plant interactions)


The University of Southampton
Professor Guy M Poppy's photo

Career history

2014-present: Chief Scientific Adviser to the Food Standards Agency (UK Govt), UK.
2014-present: Professor of Ecology. University of Southampton, UK.
2012-2014: Director of Multidisciplinary Research. University of Southampton, UK.
2009: Head of Biological Sciences. University of Southampton, UK.
2003: Head of Biodiversity and Ecology Division. University of Southampton, UK.
2001: Senior Lecturer. University of Southampton, UK.
1991: Higher, Senior and Principal Scientific Officer, IACR Rothamsted, UK.

Academic qualifications

1990: DPhil Chemical Ecology. Oxford University, UK.
1987: BSc Biology. Imperial College, UK.

What's related


The University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints)


Weyell, Jessica, Eigenbrod, Felix, Hudson, Malcolm D., Kafumbata, Dalitso, Tsirizeni, Mathews, Chiotha, Sosten, Poppy, Guy M. and Willcock, Simon (2015) The impact of animals on crop yields in Malawian rural villages. African Journal of Agricultural Research , 10, (31), 3016-3028. (doi:10.5897/AJAR2015.9966).
Ramirez-Gomez, Sara O.I., Torres-Vitolas, Carlos A., Schreckenberg, Kate, Honzák, Miroslav, Cruz-Garcia, Gisella S., Willcock, Simon, Palacios, Erwin, Pérez-Miñana, Elena, Verweij, Pita A. and Poppy, Guy M. (2015) Analysis of ecosystem services provision in the Colombian Amazon using participatory research and mapping techniques. Ecosystem Services (doi:10.1016/j.ecoser.2014.12.009).
Dearing, John A., Wang, Rong, Zhang, Ke, Dyke, James G., Haberl, Helmut, Hossain, Sarwar, Langdon, Peter G., Lenton, Timothy, Raworth, Kate, Brown, Sally, Carstensen, Jacob, Cole, Megan, Cornell, Sarah, Dawson, Terence, Doncaster, C. Patrick, Eigenbrod, Felix, Flörke, Martina, Jeffers, Elizabeth, Mackay, Anson, Nykvist, Björn and Poppy, Guy M. (2014) Safe and just operating spaces for regional social-ecological systems. Global Environmental Change, 28, 227-238. (doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.06.012).
Rogers, C.D., Armsworth, Clare G. and Poppy, G. M. (2014) Conspecific transmission of insecticidal adhesive powder through mating in the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata. Journal of Pest Science, 87, (2), 361-369. (doi:10.1007/s10340-013-0545-3).
Poppy, G.M., Jepson, P., Pickett, J.A. and Birkett, M.A. (2014) Achieving food and environmental security: new approaches to close the gap. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 369, (1639), 20120272-[6pp]. (doi:10.1098/rstb.2012.0272). (PMID:24535396).
Poppy, G.M., Chiotha, S., Eigenbrod, F., Harvey, C. A., Honzak, M., Hudson, Malcolm D., Jarvis, A., Madise, N.J., Schreckenberg, K., Shackleton, C.M., Villa, F. and Dawson, Terence P. (2014) Food security in a perfect storm: using the ecosystem services framework to increase understanding. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 369, (1639), 1-14. (doi:10.1098/rstb.2012.0288). (PMID:24535394).
Brooks, Emma G. E., Smith, Kevin G., Holland, Robert A., Poppy, Guy M. and Eigenbrod, Felix (2014) Effects of methodology and stakeholder disaggregation on ecosystem service valuation. Ecology and Society , 19, (3) (doi:10.5751/ES-06811-190318).
Hanley, M.E., Girling, R.D., Felix, A.E., Olliff, E.D., Newland, P.L. and Poppy, G.M. (2013) Olfactory selection of Plantago lanceolata by snails declines with seedling age. Annals of Botany (doi:10.1093/aob/mct003).
Dearing, John A., Bullock, Seth, Contanza, Robert, Dawson, Terry P., Edwards, Mary E., Poppy, Guy M. and Smith, Graham (2012) Navigating the perfect storm: research strategies for socialecological systems in a rapidly evolving world. Environmental Management, 49, (4), 767-775. (doi:10.1007/s00267-012-9833-6).
Clements, L.J., Salter, A.M., Banks, C.J. and Poppy, G.M. (2012) The usability of digestate in organic farming. Water Science & Technology, 66, (9), 1864-1870. (doi:10.2166/wst.2012.389). (PMID:22925857).
Pope, T.W., Girling, R.D., Staley, J.T., Trigodet, B., Wright, D.J., Leather, S.R., van Emden, H.F. and Poppy, G.M. (2012) Effects of organic and conventional fertilizer treatments on host selection by the aphid parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae. Journal of Applied Entomology (doi:10.1111/j.1439-0418.2011.01667.x).
Fernández-Grandon, G. Mandela, Girling, Robbie D. and Poppy, Guy M. (2011) Utilizing insect behavior in chemical detection by a behavioral biosensor. [in special issue: Proceedings of the Symposium “Biological interaction networks that promote biodiversity”] Journal of Plant Interactions, 6, (2), 109 - 112. (doi:10.1080/17429145.2010.544778).
Staley, Joanna T., Stafford, David B., Green, Emma R., Leather, Simon R., Rossiter, John T., Poppy, Guy M. and Wright, Denis J. (2011) Plant nutrient supply determines competition between phytophagous insects. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 278, (1706), 718-724. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.1593). (PMID:20843847).
Girling, Robbie D., Stewart-Jones, Alex, Dherbecourt, Julie, Staley, Joanna T., Wright, Denis J. and Poppy, Guy M. (2011) Parasitoids select plants more heavily infested with their caterpillar hosts: a new approach to aid interpretation of plant headspace volatiles. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 278, (1718), 2646-2653. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.2725). (PMID:21270031).
Staley, J.T., Girling, R.D., Stewart-Jones, A., Poppy, G.M., Leather, S.R. and Wright, D.J. (2011) Organic and conventional fertilizer effects on a tritrophic interaction: parasitism, performance and preference of Cotesia vestalis. Journal of Applied Entomology (doi:10.1111/j.1439-0418.2010.01604.x).
Himanen, Sari J., Nerg, Anne-Marja, Poppy, Guy M., Stewart Jr., C. Neal and Holopainen, Jarmo K. (2010) Abiotic stress and transgenics: implications for reproductive success and crop-to-wild gene flow in Brassicas. Basic and Applied Ecology, 11, (6), 513-521. (doi:10.1016/j.baae.2010.06.007).
Staley, Joanna T., Stewart-Jones, Alex, Pope, Tom W., Wright, Denis J., Leather, Simon R., Hadley, Paul, Rossiter, John T., van Emden, Helmut F. and Poppy, Guy M. (2009) Varying responses of insect herbivores to altered plant chemistry under organic and conventional treatments. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277, (1682), 779-786. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.1631).
Staley, Joanna T., Stewart-Jones, Alex, Poppy, Guy M., Leather, Simon R. and Wright, Denis J. (2009) Fertilizer affects the behaviour and performance of Plutella xylostella on brassicas. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, 11, (3), 275-282. (doi:10.1111/j.1461-9563.2009.00432.x).
Himanen, Sari J., Nerg, Anne-Marja, Nissinen, Anne, Pinto, Delia M., Stewart, C. Neal, Poppy, Guy M. and Holopainen, Jarmo K. (2009) Effects of elevated carbon dioxide and ozone on volatile terpenoid emissions and multitrophic communication of transgenic insecticidal oilseed rape (Brassica napus). New Phytologist, 181, (1), 174-186. (doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02646.x). (PMID:19076723).
Himanen, Sari, Nerg, Anne-Marja, Nissinen, Anne, Stewart Jr, C. NEil, Poppy, Guy and Holopainena, Jarmo K. (2009) Elevated atmospheric ozone increases concentration of insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1Ac protein in Bt Brassica napus and reduces feeding of a Bt target herbivore on the non-transgenic parent. Environmental Pollution, 157, (1), 181-185. (doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2008.07.006).
Storkey, J., Bohan, D.A., Haughton, A.J., Champion, G.T., Perry, J.N., Poppy, G.M. and Woiwod, I.P. (2008) Providing the evidence base for environmental risk assessments of novel farm management practices. Environmental Science & Policy, 11, (7), 579-587. (doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2008.06.001).
Girling, Robbie D., Madison, Rachel, Hassall, Mark, Poppy, Guy M. and Turner, J.G. (2008) Investigations into plant biochemical wound-response pathways involved in the production of aphid-induced plant volatiles. Journal of Experimental Botany, 59, (11), 3077-3085. (doi:10.1093/jxb/ern163).
Himanen, Sari J., Nissinen, Anne, Dong, Wen-Xia, Nerg, Anne-Marja, Stewart , C. Neal, Poppy, Guy M. and Holopainen, Jarmo K. (2008) Interactions of elevated carbon dioxide and temperature with aphid feeding on transgenic oilseed rape: are Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) plants more susceptible to nontarget herbivores in future climate? Global Change Biology, 14, (6), 1437-1454. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01574.x).
Stewart-Jones, Alex, Dewhirst, Sarah Y., Durrant, Lisa, Fitzgerald, Jean D., Hardie, Jim, Hooper, Antony M., Pickett, John A. and Poppy, Guy. M. (2007) Structure, ratios and patterns of release in the sex pheromone of an aphid, Dysaphis plantaginea. Journal of Experimental Biology, 210, (24), 4335-4344. (doi:10.1242/jeb.009944). (Submitted).
Pidgeon, J.D., May, M.J., Perry, J.N. and Poppy, G.M. (2007) Mitigation of indirect environmental effects of GM crops. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 274, (1617), 1475-1479. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.0401).
Nansen, C., MacDonald, K.M., Rogers, C.D., Thomas, M., Poppy, G.M. and Baxter, I.H. (2007) Effects of sex pheromone in electrostatic powder on mating behaviour by Lobesia botrana males. Journal of Applied Entomology, 131, (5), 303-310. (doi:10.1111/j.1439-0418.2007.01167.x).
Sanders, Christopher.J., Pell, Judith.K., Poppy, Guy.M., Raybould, Alan, Garcia-Alonso, Monica and Schuler, Tanja.H. (2007) Host-plant mediated effects of transgenic maize on the insect parasitoid campoletis sonorensis (hymenoptera : ichneumonidae). Biological Control, 40, (3), 362-369. (doi:10.1016/j.biocontrol.2006.12.010).
Foster, S.P., Tomiczek, M., Thompson, R., Denholm, I., Poppy, G., Kraaijeveld, Alex R. and Powell, W. (2007) Behavioural side effects of insecticide resistance in aphids increase their vulnerability to parasitoid attack. Animal Behaviour, 74, 621-632.
Barker, J.E., Poppy, G.M. and Payne, C.C. (2007) Suitability of Arabidopsis thaliana as a model for host plant-Plutella xylostella-Cotesia plutellae interactions. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 122, (1), 17-26. (doi:10.1111/j.1570-7458.2006.00459.x).
Johnson, Katy L., Raybould, Alan F., Hudson, Malcolm D. and Poppy, Guy M. (2007) How does scientific risk assessment of GM crops fit within the wider risk analysis? Trends in Plant Science , 12, (1), 1-5. (doi:10.1016/j.tplants.2006.11.004).
Armsworth, Clare G., Baxter, Ian H., Barton, Lucy E.E., Poppy, Guy M. and Nansen, Christian (2006) Effects of adhesive powders on the mating and flight behavior of Mediterranean fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal of Economic Entomology, 99, (4), 1194-1202.
Girling, R.D., Hassall, M., Turner, J.G. and Poppy, G.M. (2006) Behavioural responses of the aphid parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae to volatiles from Arabidopsis thaliana induced by Myzus persicae. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 120, (1), 1-9. (doi:10.1111/j.1570-7458.2006.00423.x).
Stewart-Jones, A. and Poppy, G.M. (2006) Comparison of glass vessels and plastic bags for enclosing living plant parts for headspace analysis. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 32, (4), 845-864. (doi:10.1007/s10886-006-9039-6).
Young, S., Newland, P., Shepherd, D., Schuppe, H. and Poppy, G. (2006) Does larval diet influence adult food choice? Gustatory learning and memory in Drosophila melanogaster. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A, 143, (4, Supplement 1), p.S118. (doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2006.01.047).
Stewart-Jones, Alex and Poppy, Guy M. (2006) Comparison of glass vessels and plastic bags for enclosing living plant parts for headspace analysis. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 32, (4), 845-864. (doi:10.1007/s10886-006-9039-6).
Halfhill, M.D., Sutherland, J.P., Moon, H.S., Poppy, G.M., Warwick, S.I., Weissinger, A.K., Rufty, T.W., Raymer, P.L. and Stewart, C.N. (2005) Growth, productivity, and competitiveness of introgressed weedy Brassica rapa hybrids selected for the presence of Bt cry1Ac and gfp transgenes. Molecular Ecology, 14, (10), 3177-3189. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2005.02649.x).
Schuler, T.H., Clark, A.J., Clark, S.J., Poppy, G.M., Stewart, C.N. and Denholm, I. (2005) Laboratory studies of the effects of reduced prey choice caused by Bt plants on a predatory insect. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 95, 243-247. (doi:10.1079/BER2004356).
Cook, Samantha M., Sandoz, Jean-Christophe, Martin, Andrew P., Murray, Darren A., Poppy, Guy M. and Williams, Ingrid H. (2005) Could learning of pollen odours by honey bees (Apis mellifera) play a role in their foraging behaviour? Physiological Entomology, 30, (2), 164-174. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-3032.2005.00445.x).
Kelly, Colleen K., Bowler, Michael G., Breden, Felix, Fenner, Michael and Poppy, Guy M. (2005) An analytical model assessing the potential threat to natural habitats from insect resistance transgenes. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 272, (1574), 1759-1767. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2005.3131).
Meissle, M., Vojtech, E. and Poppy, G.M. (2005) Effects of Bt maize-fed prey on the generalist predator Poecilus cupretis L. (Coleoptera : Carabidae). Transgenic Research, 14, (2), 123-132. (doi:10.1007/s11248-004-6458-4).
Foster, S.P., Denholm, I., Thompson, R., Poppy, G.M. and Powell, W. (2005) Reduced response of insecticide-resistant aphids and attraction of parasitoids to aphid alarm pheromone; a potential fitness trade-off. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 95, 37-46. (doi:10.1079/BER2004336).
Blande, J.D., Pickett, J.A. and Poppy, G.M. (2004) Attack rate and success of the parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae on specialist and generalist feeding aphids. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 30, (9), 1781-1795. (doi:10.1023/B:JOEC.0000042401.52088.54).
Schuler, T.H., Potting, R.P.J., Denholm, I., Clark, S.J., Clark, A.J., Stewart, C.N. and Poppy, G.M. (2003) Tritrophic choice experiments with Bt plants, the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) and the parasitoid Cotesia plutellae. Transgenic Research, 12, (3), 351-361. (doi:10.1023/A:1023342027192).
Wilkinson, Mike J., Sweet, Jeremy and Poppy, Guy M. (2003) Risk assessment of GM plants: avoiding gridlock? Trends in Plant Science, 8, (5), 208-212. (doi:10.1016/S1360-1385(03)00057-8).
Guerrieri, E., Poppy, G.M., Powell, W., Rao, R. and Pennacchio, F. (2002) Plant-to-plant communication mediating in-flight orientation of Aphidius ervi. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 28, (9), 1703-1715. (doi:10.1023/A:1020553531658).
Couty, A., Down, R.E., Gatehouse, A.M.R., Kaiser, L., Pham-Delegue, M.H. and Poppy, G.M. (2001) Effects of artificial diet containing GNA and GNA-expressing potatoes on the development of the aphid parasitoid Aphidius ervi Haliday (Hymenoptera : Aphidiidae). Journal of Insect Physiology, 47, (12), 1357-1366. (doi:10.1016/S0022-1910(01)00111-1).
Couty, A. and Poppy, G.M. (2001) Does host-feeding on GNA-intoxicated aphids by Aphelinus abdominalis affect their longevity and/or fecundity? Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 100, (3), 331-337. (doi:10.1046/j.1570-7458.2001.00880.x).
Pickett, John A. and Poppy, Guy M. (2001) Switching on plant genes by external chemical signals. Trends in Plant Science, 6, (4), 137-139. (doi:10.1016/S1360-1385(01)01899-4).
Schuler, T.H., Denholm, I., Jouanin, L., Clark, S.J. and Poppy, G.M. (2001) Population-scale laboratory studies of the effect of transgenic plants on nontarget insects. Molecular Ecology, 10, (7), 1845-1853. (doi:10.1046/j.0962-1083.2001.01309.x).

Additional publications

Van Dam, N.M. & Poppy, G.M. (2008) Why plant volatile analysis needs bioinformatics – Detecting signal from noise in increasingly complex profiles. Journal of Plant Biology, 10(1), 29-37.

Firbank, L., Lonsdale, M & Poppy, G. (2005) Reassessing the environmental risks of GM crops. Nature Biotechnology 23(12 1475-147

Poppy, G.M. & M.J. Wilkinson (2005) Gene Flow from GM plants – A manual for assessing, measuring and managing the risks. Blackwell Publishing 241pp

Foster, S.P. Powell, W., Denholm, I. & Poppy, G.M. (2005) Fitness trade-offs in insecticide resistant aphids. Bull Ent Res 95, 37-46



Research Interests

The overall aim of our research is to understand how insect/plant communities interact and thus determine how biotic and abiotic changes to the system influence the multi-trophic interactions.

We conduct both proximate and adaptive studies on insect/plant interactions. Research in my lab utilses a range of disciplines (behavioural ecology, chemical ecology, molecular genetics) to answer both fundamental and applied questions. By combining the two schools of biology (proximate and adaptive), we can identify the key ecological questions which need answering, and adopt a reductionist approach to deliver the answers. Further details of the work of the group can be found at the following web-site.

We are keen to receive enquiries re collaboration/research projects at all levels (undergraduate through to scientists on sabbatical). Please email your interests/ideas and we will try to establish a way forward.

Primary research group:  Environmental Biosciences

Affiliate research group:  Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS)

Research projects

Multitrophic interactions - inducted plant resistance and plant S.O.S. signalling

The importance of considering interactions from a multitrophic perspective has become increasingly realised in the last decade. The majority of research in this area has been focussed on crop plants, insect pest herbivores and predators/parasitoids.

Environmental impact of transgenic (GM) plants

This is a very exciting area of research which is of great scientific and political importance. It illustrates how adopting both proximate and adaptive approaches to science provides dividends.

ASSETS: Attaining sustainable services from ecosystems

An ecosystem service approach to quantifying the role of freshwater biodiversity in supporting food security - Dormant

Quantifying linkages between livelihoods, freshwater biodiversity, and drivers of food security and other ecosystem services.

Integrated Systems for Farm Diversification into Energy Production by Anaerobic Digestion: Implications for Rural Development, Land Use & Environment

The research examined the potential for development of anaerobic digestion (AD) on farms, and the contribution that this could make to rural development and diversification of agricultural practice by enhanced land use planning for bioenergy production. The research is set in the context of a rapidly developing European agenda aimed at both strengthening the rural economy and protecting the environment.


Professional Affiliations

Chief Scientific Adviser to the Food Standards Agency (UK Govt)


Professor Guy M Poppy
Centre for Biological Sciences Faculty of Natural & Environmental Sciences Life Sciences Building 85 University of Southampton Highfield Campus Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 85/6053

Telephone: (023) 8059 3217
Email: G.M.Poppy@soton.ac.uk