My main interests centre around biological pest control, mainly of aphids and lepidopteran pests of agriculture, horticulture and forestry. My work has taken me around the world from Iceland to Africa! My main interest at the moment is examining the effect of organic crop production on tri-trophic systems in glasshouse systems, but I have, in collaboration with the Game Conservancy Trust examined the effect of agricultural practice on aerial predators of cereal pests. We were also involved in work with the Game Conservancy Trust looking at the interactions between cropping systems and game bird population dynamics. I have also been involved in research on biofuel production, in my case short rotation willow and poplar crops. I have worked with Rothamsted Research investigating the population dynamics of willow aphids on different clonal varieties of willow and poplar. My major interest with forestry is with pests of establishment forestry. I have been working on the large pine weevil, Hylobius abietis and the black pine beetle, Hylastes ater for more than 20 years, with a particular interest in their feeding behaviour and reproductive ecology, with the ultimate aim of introducing non-chemical control methods. I have also worked with the green spruce aphid, investigating the factors affecting its population dynamics. For over ten years I was involved with a project investigating the biodiversity of urban geen spaces in Bracknell. I collaborate closely with Paul Pearce-Kelly at London Zoo, latterly with Partula snails and more recently on a project investigating the vectors of avian malaria.
I am also part of a DEFRA funded project in conjunction with Dr Sandra Denman of Forest Research, Alice Holt, investigating the possible role of Agrilus biguttatus as a vector of the bacterium causing Acute Oak Decline.
Course Leader MSc Entomology, MRes Entomology, MSc Conservation & Forest Protection, MSc Ecological Applications and MSc Integrated Pest Management
GuildHE Research Repositories is a joint repository for research outputs designed to capture the work of individuals and institutions who are Members of GuildHE.
Harper Adams University supports Food and Farming Futures, the online land-based library.
I am a Senior Editor of Insect Conservation & Diversity, Editor-in-Chief and Senior Editor (Invertebrates and pests) of Annals of Applied Biology and serve on the editorial boards of Ecological Entomology and Agricultural & Forest Entomology.
I serve on the Publications Committee, The Wallace Award Committee and the Conservation Commitee of the Royal Entomological Society.
I am an external examiner for BSc Biosciences (Ecology & Zoology) at Cardiff University.
I am external examiner for MSc Biodiversity & Conservation at Leeds University
I am a trustee of the Scottish Forestry Trust.
I am part of the Tree Health & Plant Biosecurity Expert Taskforce
I am a member of the Steering Advisory Group for the Environmental Change Network.
I am an Assessor for the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour Fund
You can contact Professor Simon Leather if you would like to discuss any of the following course modules: