Neurotoxic pesticides have recently been implicated in declining insect biodiversity and impaired pollination service provision. In this project, we will investigate how acute and chronic exposure to sublethal levels of pesticide mixtures affects the brain, behavior and ecosystems of functionally different insect species.

A team of analytical chemists and neurobiologists will develop new methods and bioassays to quantify toxin and metabolite accumulation and its effect on the insect brain. Neuro-geneticists and ecologists will then link these changes to genetic factors and their consequences for insect behavior, reproduction and ecosystem service provisioning. We will also extend this interdisciplinary approach to investigate the impact of real-world exposure to pesticide mixtures in insects collected from high risk landscapes in Sweden. When evaluating the efficacy and safety of pesticides, current regulatory processes primarily consider single compounds and their lethal effects on target versus selected non-target model species. Our new and synergistic approach will instead fill a current shortfall in tools for assessment of sublethal effects of pesticide mixtures, towards a more comprehensive analysis of their effects and pathways. This will in turn provide important baseline knowledge and novel protocols to inform environmental risk assessment by government and other policy makers when considering both existing and newly developed pesticides.
Gällande start-/slutdatum2022/01/012027/12/31