Harper Adams University receives major donation to fund specialist entomology facilities

Students at Harper Adams University will soon benefit from new specialist entomology facilities thanks to a generous donation from the Jean Jackson Charitable Trust.

Entomology, the study of insects, is integrated into a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered at the University’s campus in Shropshire.

The funding will enable the conversion of an existing carbon-friendly building into an entomology laboratory and insect culturing facilities. These are not currently available, yet are essential to support both teaching and research.

Professor Simon Leather, Professor of Entomology, said: “The refurbished and newly-equipped building will provide an excellent teaching and research facility to support the activities of those whose training will offer benefits to the wider countryside and the environment.

“We are delighted that the Jean Jackson Charitable Trust has chosen to support the development, as it will provide training for the next generation of conservation staff and scientists that we all need to deliver food security in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way.”

Insects and their relatives play an important role in all ecosystems. They range from beneficial insects such as pollinators and natural control agents, to essential parts of the decomposition cycle such as dung and carrion insects.

Many are important pests in agriculture, horticulture and forestry, in addition to those that cause human health problems.

The entomology team at Harper Adams is currently working hard to take this knowledge to the next level to ensure that future ecologists and scientists, as well as farmers, can harness the power of the insect world.

Funding from the Jean Jackson Charitable Trust will enable the conversion of the rear section of the CELT building, which was completed in 2009, into a high-quality specialist entomology laboratory, including controlled temperature insect rearing facilities in the form of three walk-in chambers.