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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences
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Professor Guy M Poppy BSc, DPhil

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

Professor Guy M Poppy's photo

Professor Guy M Poppy is Chief Scientific Adviser to the Food Standards Agency (UK Govt) and is a Professor of Ecology in Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton.

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.

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 utilises 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.

Research group

Ecology and Evolution

Affiliate research groups

Plants and Food Security , Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS)

Research project(s)

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

Rapid assessment of biodiversity and biogeochemical processing across tropical land-use gradients

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

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.

Evaluation of Management and Monitoring of Freshwater Systems in Oil Palm Plantations

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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

Professional Affiliations

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

Professor Guy M Poppy
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 85/3009

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