Dr Michelle Fountain

Dr Michelle Fountain
Head of Pest and Pathogen Ecology
01732 523749 / 07890 168934

Research interests

Michelle specialises in the minimisation of pesticide use in fruit horticulture, improving pollination in fruit crops and incorporating modern fruit growing practices with Integrated Pest Management. The former includes research on improving pest monitoring by developing semiochemical manipulation of insects, optimising the use of biological control agents and enhancing and fostering local landscape ecology to provide the ecosystem service of pest control.

Her pollination research is on the identification and enhancement of key insect pollinators of a range of fruit crops including blackcurrant, apple, pear and strawberry. She leads research into invasive pest species, such as, Drosophila suzukii and Anthonomus sp. and is a taxonomic specialist of Collembola, Araneae and fruit crop fauna.

She communicates research to growers and agronomists and presents papers at national and international conferences. She also authors best practice guidelines and factsheets for pest control in fruit crops and edits books and papers in specialist areas of fruit entomology.

Research projects

Defra/HDC (2017) SF 145 Development and implementation of season long control strategies for Drosophila suzukii in soft and tree fruit

Innovate UK (2018) Auto-dissemination of insect pathogens to control a new, economically damaging, invasive pest

BBSRC IPA (2018) Exploitation of interspecific signals to deter oviposition by spotted-wing drosophila

EU Interreg North Sea Region (2019) Benefitting ecosystems through evaluation of food supplies for pollination to open up knowledge for end users (BEESPOKE)

BBSRC/AHDB (2019) Identification of the sex pheromone of Nesidiocoris tenuis, a damaging pest of commercial tomato

AHDB (2020-2023) Soft Pest SF 174 Improving integrated pest management in soft fruit crops

AHDB (2020) TF 223a Improving integrated pest and disease management in tree fruit


Recent publications

Noble R, Walker A, Whitfield EC, Harris A, Dobrovin-Pennington A, Fountain MT (in press) Minimising insecticides for control of spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) in soft fruit using bait sprays. Journal of Applied Entomology.

Martin, C.D., Fountain, M.T. & Brown, M.J.F. The potential for parasite spill-back from commercial bumblebee colonies: a neglected threat to wild bees?. Journal of Insect Conservation (2021).

Mateos-Fierro Z, Fountain MT, Garratt MPD, Ashbrook K, Westbury DB (2021) Active management of wildflower strips in commercial sweet cherry orchards enhances natural enemies and pest regulation services. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 317, 107485.

Hall DR, Harte SJ, Bray DP, Farman DI, James R, Silva CX, Fountain MT. (2021) Hero Turned Villain: Identification of Components of the Sex Pheromone of the Tomato Bug, Nesidiocoris tenuis. J Chem Ecol. doi: 10.1007/s10886-021-01270-1.

Mozūraitis R, Hall D, Trandem N, Ralle B, Sigsgaard L, Baroffio C, Fountain MT, Cross JV, Wibe A, Borg-Karlson A-K (2021) Composition of Strawberry Floral Volatiles and their Effects on Behavior of Strawberry Blossom Weevil, Anthonomus rubi. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 46:1069–1081.

Full publication list on Google Scholar and ResearchGate