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Scott Brown, Alison

Photo of Alison Scott-Brown
Job title: 

Plant-Insect Interactions Specialist

Jodrell Laboratory
Sustainable Uses
Joined Kew: 


Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc (Hons), Horticulture, Univ. Reading, 1992
  • PhD, Birkbeck College, Univ. London, 2002.

To investigate characteristics of plant species and environmental factors which influence the detection, selection or avoidance of plants by thrips among diverse glasshouse collections.

Research is focused on the morphological and chemical characteristics of foliage of the species of plants which are persistently avoided by economically important species of thrips present in the glasshouses at Kew. Bioassays have been developed to identify extracts from plants which show anti- thrips properties and through this research several novel compounds have been identified which are toxic to thrips. Providing further insights into the mechanisms involved in plant resistance to thrips can serve to increase the possibilities of controlling thrips in environments where the use of current control techniques are restricted or unattainable. Supervision is provided for crop protection projects undertaken by Kew Horticulture Diploma students and for monitoring programmes set up in public display glasshouses for early detection of thrips infestations.

Selected publications: 

Scott Brown, A.S.; Veitch N.C and Simmonds, M.S.J. (2011) Leaf Chemistry and Foliage Avoidance by the Thrips Frankliniella occidentalis and Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis in Glasshouse Collections. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 37(3): 301-310.

Scott Brown, A.S.; Simmonds, M.S.J. (2006). Leaf morphology of hosts and non-hosts of the thrips Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Bouché). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 152: 109-130.

Scott Brown, A.S.; Simmonds, M.S.J. and Blaney, W.M. (2003). Influence of a short exposure to teflubenzuron residues on the predation of thrips by Iphiseius degenerans (Acari: Phytoseiidae) and Orius laevigatus (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae). Pest Management Science, 59: 1255-1259.

Scott Brown, A.S.; Simmonds, M.S.J. and Blaney, W.M. (2002). Relationship between nutritional composition of plant species and infestation levels of thrips. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 28(12): 2399-2409.

Scott Brown, A.S.; Simmonds, M.S.J. & Blaney, W.M. (1999). Influence of species of host plants on the predation of thrips by Neoseiulus cucumeris, Iphiseius degenerans and Orius laevigatus. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 92: 283-288.