Insects play a major role in food security - both as pests and as pollinators

Ian Hardy started in April as the Professor of Agricultural Entomology at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.

His field of research is fundamental and applied behaviour and ecology of insects of agricultural importance.

“Insects are incredibly common and diverse and they play a major role in food security – both as detrimental pests and beneficial natural enemies of the pest species, plus as pollinators.”, Hardy describes.

On the fundamental side, the study of the evolution of animal behaviour, including insect behaviour, fascinates him. Applying this knowledge in crop-protection scenarios gives a very pleasing and equally important reason for doing the work.

“Solving problems in agricultural entomology often also stimulates more theoretical insights, so the two reasons for doing the work stimulate each other reciprocally.” he explains.

Ian Hardy joined the Faculty in April 2021 and looks forward to working in a good environment to pursue the agroentomological research in collaboration with colleagues from Helsinki and elsewhere. He has ongoing collaborations with entomologists in Calicut, Milan, Nanjing, among other places.


Ian Hardy’s CV in a nutshell
  • My parents were biologists and it was always my favourite subject at school.
  • BSc in Zoology, University of Birmingham, UK (1984-7).
  • PhD in the Behavioural ecology of parasitoid wasps at Imperial College (London, UK)
  • Post-doctoral research positions over an 11 year period (1991-2002) at the following Universities: Leiden (Netherlands), Jagiellonian (Kraków, Poland), Århus (Denmark), Granada (Spain) and Sunderland (UK).
  • Lectureship, Associate Professorship and Readership in Animal Population Biology, at the University of Nottingham, UK (2002-2021). I also had an additional, and fairly substantial, role in overseeing and developing many aspects of student welfare and social provision on the Sutton Bonington Campus for 16 of the years I worked at Nottingham.
  • Professorship in Agricultural Entomology, University of Helsinki, Finland (from April 2021).