I am currently a BBSRC funded post doctoral researcher on the ENhancing Diversity to Overcome ReSistance Evolution project.
I completed my PhD in Entomology at University College Dublin in 2013, developing a biological control program for aquatic invasive plants in Ireland. I moved to Rhodes University, South Africa to examine the genetic basis of performance differences in plants and their natural enemies between the native and introduced ranges.
I then became interested in the problems associated with mismanagement and widespread overuse of pesticides and the need for more sustainable agricultural practices. Since 2016 I have worked on improved approaches for environmentally sensitive control for pests of conifer forests across Northern Europe (Maynooth University, Ireland), investigating new integrated pest management techniques in arable and horticultural crops (Teagasc and University College Dublin, Ireland), and the prevalence of insecticide resistance genes in major arable crop pests (Teagasc, Ireland).
I am an applied entomologist interested in the positive and negative influences that insects and entomology have on human economics and society. My work focuses on developing management strategies for insect and plant pests and improving approaches for environmentally sensitive and sustainable pest control. I study the factors regulating insect abundance, distribution, and population growth, as well as consequences of intensive pesticide use, the prevalence of insecticide resistance genes, and the development of strategies to reduce reliance on chemical pesticides.
My current research focuses on pesticide-resistant insects which are among the most important and expensive obstacles to food security. New technologies are urgently required that minimise disruptions to natural environments while sustainably safeguarding our ability to protect crops. I am studying how diversifying agricultural landscapes and fungal entomopathogens used as pesticides might sustainably prevent resistance evolution.
Mangan R, Carolan JC & Baars J (2019) Molecular characterization of Hydrellia lagarosiphon, a leaf mining biological control agent for Lagarosiphon major, reveals weak variance across large geographic areas in South Africa. Biological Control, 132, pp. 8-15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocontrol.2019.01.017