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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Dr Chris Jackson BSc, PhD

Emeritus Fellow

Dr Chris Jackson's photo

Dr Chris Jackson is Emeritus Fellow within Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Career history

2018-present: Emeritus Fellow. University of Southampton, UK.
Associate Dean (Education). University of Southampton, UK.
2008-2010: Deputy Head of Biosciences (Education). University of Southampton, UK.
2000-2008: Chair of the Honours School of Biology. University of Southampton, UK.
1987-present: Lecturer. University of Southampton, UK.
1985-1987: Temporary lectureship. University of Southampton, UK.

Academic qualifications

1980-1984: PhD Fungal/insect interactions. University of London, UK.
1977-1980: BSc Agricultural Botany. U.C.N.W., Bangor, Wales.

Research interests

My present research interests revolve around insects and fungi in the areas of ecology, evolution, behaviour and pest control.

Fungi for the microbial control of insect pests. Entomopathogenic fungi naturally pathogenic to insects can be used as biological control agents for invertebrate pests. We are exploring pathogenicity and specificity factors (biochemical/ physical/behavioural/ecological), and using this information to develop formulation and application strategies. The effect of microbial control agents on non-target invertebrates is also an important part of this work. In relation to this we are investigating how insects protect themselves from microbial pathogens, in particular antimicrobial compounds found in ant glands

Insect - fungal symbiosis. A number of important insect pests have a symbiotic fungal association. We are concentrating on the Leaf-cutting ants, which culture their unique symbiotic fungus and exclude contamination by alien microbes. How do they do this? What are the ecological and evolutionary benefits of the association to the fungus and its invertebrate partner.

The role of electrostatics in entomology. This relatively new venture has already yielded new and interesting data. with implications for insect behaviour and pest control.

Research group

Ecology and Evolution

Affiliate research groups

Plants and Food Security , Microbiology

Research project(s)

Tsetse fly control

Tsetse fly are responsible for transmitting a variety of Trypanosoma protozoal parasites that cause sickness in humans and cattle.

Control of fruit flies in Malaysian fruit crops

Sulaiman Zulkifly (sponsored by MARDI), is looking at the formulation of naturally occurring entomopathogenic fungi that have the potential to infect and kill fruit fly pests, as an alternative control strategy.

Evolutionary aspects of ant-fungus interactions in leaf-cutting ants

There have been a number of researchers looking at Leaf-cutting ants. Projects have ranged from studying the ecological and evolutionary role of the symbiotic fungus in manipulating ant foraging behaviour to the potential of using entomopathogenic fungi for controlling this pest.

Role of electrostatics in entomology

we have established that insects walking on dielectric surfaces accumulate electrostatic charges and have developed a model to explain the relationship between insect movement and charge accumulation for a variety of surfaces.

Effects of electric fields on animal behaviour

Animals show species-specific behavioural responses to electrical fields that are dependent upon the type of electric field and species involved

Optimisation of reintroduction protocol for cryptic species: reintroducing the sand lizard Lacerta agilis to a lowland heath site

Dr Chris Jackson
Biological Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ


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