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 Sally Luker

Sally Luker

PhD researcher

Being rather prone to sticking my head amongst the leaves of trees, bushes and plants, I have been a keen natural historian since childhood.  Having had the opportunity to study avian biology, ecology and behaviour, followed by conservation biology/ecology, I am now thoroughly enjoying embracing my inner-nerdiness by investigating how non-native species of the entomological variety interact in native food-webs/interaction networks.

I am also an ardent biological recorder, specialising in invertebrates and plants but covering all taxonomic groupings.  I have a strong leaning towards the application of such knowledge and research to UK biodiversity conservation issues, and am an active member of a number of national and local special interest groups, including Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Forum for Biological Recorders (CISFBR), National Forum for Biological Recording (NFBR), and The British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS).

Broad research specialisms:

  • Entomology
  • Invertebrate ecology
  • Conservation ecology
  • Non-native species
  • Insect-plant relationships


1994 BA (Hons) Music (Bath Spa University)
2008 FdSc Animal Science (Bird Biology) (University of Plymouth) (Distinction)
2009 BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology & Ecology (University of Exeter) (1st Class)


Research projects

Project Title: The integration of non-native phytophagous invertebrates in native interaction networks

Supervisors: Frank van Veen, Stuart Bearhop

Funding Body: Self-funded

Project Description:

The aim of this project is to study the potential and actual integration of non-native phytophagous insects in the interaction network(s) of native species and their natural enemies.  This system can be used to test a general predictive framework based on host and natural enemy phylogenies.  Based on these results the potential pathogen-mediated indirect effects of the non-native species on related native species will be assessed.  These results will then be reviewed in light of the economic implications for local businesses, such as ornamental gardens (tourism) and agriculture, which may see negative effects, such as loss of plants/crops, or added benefits from indirect suppression of native species that are deemed problematic.


Luker, S. 2017. A review of the gall-inducing psyllids in Britain with proposals for additions to the Galls Checklist Cecidology 32(1).

Luker, S. 2015. A Pistachio Psyllid Agonoscena targionii (Hemiptera: Aphalaridae) New to Britain Br. J. Ent. Nat. Hist. 28: 1-4.

Malumphy, C. & Luker, S. 2014. The status of Acizzia acaciaebaileyanae (Froggat), A. jamatonica (Kuwayama) and A. uncatoides (Ferris & Klyver) (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) in Britain Entomologist’s Gazette 65: 161–167.

Luker, S. (2011) Crypturaphis grassii (Sternorryncha: Aphidae): first records for Cornwall Br. J. Ent. Nat. Hist 24: 205-209.

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