Entomologists research insect species and behaviour in order to understand and identify significant criteria relevant to a specific purpose. This science together with integrated pest management (IPM) are the principle methods all commercial growers use to manage pests that may attack crops

Training, qualifications and skills Degree, Master’s and a PhD
Career progression opportunities Post-doctorate researcher, university role, senior scientist role
Useful links BASIS
PhD opportunities
Environment jobs
Countryside jobs
Royal Entomological Society
Royal Society of Biology
British Ecological Society

Focus on: Research assistant – entomology

Imogen Cavadino
Full time, salary up to £25k
RHS Garden Wisley

The RHS is fully funding and supporting my PhD as part of my job role at the RHS, which seeks to understand the diversity of slug and snail species in gardens and identify those that cause problems for gardeners. I am designing and implementing citizen science projects at the RHS to help achieve this.

Most of your life will be spent working, so find something you love doing! Get to know other people in the area of work you are interested in and learn from them. Make the most of every opportunity to learn and grow.

I am running lab and field experiments at RHS Garden Wisley with the aim of understanding slug and snail diets and how these are different between species and populations. I spend much of my time persuading gardeners that slugs and snails aren’t that bad after all, and use scientific evidence to prove this. Understanding these creatures and their lifestyles is vital in knowing how and when it’s appropriate to use control methods.

Focus on: Entomologist / integrated pest management specialist

Neil Helyer
Fargro Ltd
Full time, salary up to £45k
West Sussex

I advise and visit numerous growers around the country, including large edible crop producers; herb, salad and soft fruit growers, ornamental plants producers, botanic gardens (Kew, RHS and universities), private estates, butterfly houses and zoos. These diverse facilities often have a diverse range of pests and diseases requiring specific control strategies. No two sites are the same, meaning individual growers often have a unique integrated pest management (IPM) strategy. 

If you're interested in this type of career, contact the major horticultural suppliers and biocontrol companies.

As an advisor I have to maintain my personal learning and be able to pass this on in a practical way to growers. I prepare biological control schedules for the major pests and diseases as well as providing a back-up plan for unforeseen issues.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.