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Dr Philip Donkersley

Formerly at Lancaster University

Research overview

Philip is an entomologist with a major focus on evolutionary and microbial ecology. He has worked on a range of ecosystems including pollinators and pathogen vectors. By working with both symbiotic and pathogenic microbes, he hopes to understand pest control with microbes and symbiotic microbes to benefit important ecosystem service providing insects.

Philip is currently undertaking an EPSRC-funded Parliamentary Academic Fellowship, working with the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST). Within this role, he is researching and collecting evidence on the future state and meaning of sustainability in land management in the UK.

He recently completed his second research position at the Lancaster Environment Centre, working on the Biopesticides for Africa project in the Insect Parasite Ecology Group. This project studies the practical applications of an insect pathogen as a pesticide for control of a key crop pest in sub-Saharan Africa.

Published research

He is at an early stage of his career, and has published five papers thus far on pollinator ecology, pesticide application and an emerging crop disease spreading globally. Philip has also published a book chapter on the insect pests and microbial pathogens of citrus – a major global food crop. His pollinator research has been written about by the Sunday Times and BBC and he has been interviewed about it on Lancashire and Cumbrian radio.


Philip has worked on four research projects to date:

  • PhD: Causes and consequences of variation in the nutrition and endemic microflora of food stores in managed honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)
  • Postdoctoral research assistant: Managing grassland diversity for multiple ecosystem services.
  • Postdoctoral research associate: Etiology, tolerance and management of diseases of acid lime.
  • Senior postdoctoral research associate: Biopesticides for Africa.


Philip has joined the editorial board of Ecology and Evolution, a high impact international journal publishing open access research. He also has a commitment to scientific outreach, he has worked with Dr Emma Sayer on the Sex Bugs, Rock’n’roll program, bringing science to music festivals across the UK. He also works with Dr Carly Stevens on the Science Hunters outreach program, using computer games to teach science to children with learning difficulties.


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