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Fellows Directory

John Pickett

John Pickett

Professor John Pickett CBE FRS


Elected: 1996


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.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Agricultural and forest science, Plant sciences / botany
  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Biochemistry and molecular biology, Cell biology (incl molecular cell biology)
  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences
    • Behavioural neuroscience, Development and control of behaviour


Pheromones, semiochemical, crop protection, push-pull, genetic modification, aphid, Mosquitoes


  • Croonian Medal and Lecture

    On 'Plant and animal communication'.

  • Wolf Prize

    In the field of agriculture for their remarkable discoveries of mechanisms governing plant-insect and plant-plant interactions. Their scientific contributions on chemical ecology have fostered the development of integrated pest management and significantl

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