Effects of sublethal pesticide exposure on insect visual processing

    Project: Research

    Project Details


    The central question for this project is how sublethal effects of pesticide mixtures affect diverse ecologically-relevant insect species. When considering the efficacy and safety of new chemicals before they are brought to market, current regulatory authorities focus on test results for relative lethality in target versus a few non-target model species (e.g. honeybee). Testing typically considers only solitary compounds, yet end users in agriculture usually use many different pesticides, leading to highly variable accumulation in the environment. Most of these pesticides are neurotoxins, yet how and where in the brain sublethal mixtures accumulate is poorly understood, as are the effects on diverse ecologically-relevant insect species. We are attempting to address this shortfall to quantify the neurofunctional effects of sublethal exposure of commonly used pesticides, both individually and in mixtures.

    Our primary goals are to
    (I) assess sublethal effects and brain accumulation for both chronic and acute exposure
    (II) quantitively assess genetic, physiological and ecological differences of these effects across key insect species
    Effective start/end date2019/01/012022/09/01

    Collaborative partners