John Pickett is a chemist who is celebrated for his pioneering work on insect pheromones. He made a number of remarkable discoveries relating more widely to chemical signals, known as semiochemicals, which govern communication between insects and the interaction between insects and plants. His contributions to the field of chemical ecology have significantly improved pest management and agricultural sustainability.
He made the first chemical characterisation of mosquito, sandfly and aphid sex pheromones and was also first to report the presence of synergy between pheromones and plant-derived semiochemicals. The impact of his work reaches far beyond the scientific community, contributing to a greater and more widespread understanding of chemical communication in natural and agricultural ecosystems.
John has received a significant number of honours and awards, including the 1995 Rank Prize for Nutrition and Crop Husbandry, and the International Society of Chemical Ecology’s 2002 Silver Medal. In 2004, he was awarded a CBE for his services to biological chemistry, the 2008 Wolf Prize in Agriculture and in 2014 he was elected Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences.