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Dr James Ryalls


Areas of interest

  • Understanding the mechanisms driving invertebrate responses to changes in climate and atmospheric conditions
  • Chemical ecology of plant-insect interactions
  • Insect orientation behaviour and pollination ecology
  • Air pollution impacts on the volatile compounds used by insects for communication
  • Aboveground-belowground interactions between plants and insects.

Research projects

Current Projects:

The Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship - The little things that run a polluted world: investigating the combined effects of diesel exhaust and ozone pollution on aboveground-belowground insect interactions (SAPD, University of Reading, 2021-2024).

Previous Projects:

  • NERC Capital Call and UoR RETF Open Fund (postdoc) - Free Air Diesel and Ozone Enrichment (FADOE) platform construction (SAPD, University of Reading, 2019-2020).
  • EIT Food (postdoc) - CleanFruit: Standardisation of innovative pest control strategies to produce zero-residue fruit (SAPD, University of Reading, 2019-2020).
  • British Ecological Society Large Research Grant (awardee) - Does air pollution inhibit the recruitment of plant bodyguards? (SAPD, University of Reading, 2018-2020).
  • NERC New Investigator Project (postdoc) - DOMINO: Degradation of Odour Signals by air pollution: chemical Mechanisms, plume dynamics and INsect Orientation behaviour (SAPD, University of Reading, 2018-2020).
  • Australian Research Council (postdoc) - Get tough, get toxic or get a bodyguard - exploring the mechanisms of aboveground-belowground herbivory in grasses (Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, 2016-2017).
  • BES Small Research Project (awardee) - Silicon-based grass defences extend up the food chain (Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, 2016).



  • 2021-date Research Fellow, SAPD, University of Reading, UK
  • 2018-2020 Postdoctoral Researcher, SAPD, University of Reading, UK
  • 2016-2017 Postdoctoral Researcher, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Australia
  • 2012-2016 PhD Student, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University
  • 2010-2011 Masters of Research (MRes), Cardiff University, Wales
  • 2006-2010 BSc (Hons) Zoology (incl. Professional Training Year with The Dodwell Trust/Association Mitsinjo, Madagascar), Cardiff University, Wales


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