Research & Development

  • For more information on our R&D services, or any of our other services, then contact us today.
  • Get in touch
Research & Development

Our scientists conduct research and development studies to identify ways to improve crop health, yield, efficiency and value.


With over 100 years' experience of delivering pest and disease identification services to a wide range of commercial growers and Government departments, both in the UK and overseas, we understand the needs of our customers. 

Our R&D is delivered over three sections, Crop, Pest Management and Pathology, learn more about our services and click below. 

Related Fera Product 2

Crop R&D

To nurture healthy plants and crops, increasing food productivity sustainably and protect the environment our work focuses on strategic research into the biology and control of diseases of agricultural, horticultural and tree health importance.

Related Fera Product 3

Invertebrate Pest Management R&D

Our expertise covers pest species including insects, mites, slugs and nematodes. Our specialists can help you to detect, identify, monitor and control pests in growing crops and stored produce. 

Related Fera Product 1

Pathology R&D

We can support you with our research expertise in pathogen epidemiology, disease-management strategies, chemical applications, pesticide efficacy testing (ORETO registered) and monitoring for resistance in pathogen populations.


Crop R&D

To nurture healthy plants and crops, increasing food productivity sustainably and protect the environment our work focuses on strategic research into the biology and control of diseases of agricultural, horticultural and tree health importance. A key theme for us is in disease surveillance and risk forecasting which is strongly supported by our expertise and specialist knowledge in epidemiology, pathogen and disease identification, molecular diagnosis, spatial aspects of disease spread, knowledge management and transfer. 

The team is dedicated to the development of technologies that enable stakeholders to make decisions across the agri-food chain and in the environment. Our interest is in the application of generic solutions such as PCR, isothermal amplification and next generation sequencing techniques. In particular we have considerable expertise in developing diagnostics for front line use. We work with growers, agronomists and Defra developing methods to enable better detect of plant pathogens in propagation material, soil, water and air. Early detection of pathogens in crops enables us to initiate control measures much earlier, preventing spread and reducing the impact of disease. We offer the most comprehensive range of testing services and are the UK's largest tester of crop health testing in excess of 8,500 samples a year.

  • around one third of the global harvest is lost to weeds, pests and diseases every year. Presenting a major challenge to both agriculture & our natural environment.
  • we can help with identification, risk assessment, monitoring and control of key pests and pathogens affecting crops and plants (both quarantine and non-quarantine).
  • Our work on plant diseases includes surveillance and risk forecasting, supported by our expertise in epidemiology, pathogen and disease identification and molecular diagnosis.
  • we can help you to detect, identify and control pests in growing crops and stored produce, and support the development of novel biological and chemical pesticides.

In this section:

Related Fera Product 2

In-Field Diagnostics

Fera is developing a range of in-field diagnostic services to help farmers and growers quickly identify pests and diseases and take appropriate action. In-field testing allows you to make treatment decisions immediately, without the additional expense.

Related Fera Product 3

Alternative Pesticides

The fruit fly, spotted winged Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii), is a major concern and challenge to fruit production and causes significant economic damage. Since its introduction in 2008, D. suzukii continues to spread in Europe unabated.  

Related Fera Product 1

Dropsa EU Project

DROPSA was a 4-year project involving 26 partners from Europe, Asia, New Zealand and North America. Focusing on emerging threats due to Drosophila suzukii, and other bacterial pathogens damaging soft fruits.


Invertebrate Pest Management R&D

Our expertise covers pest species including insects, mites, slugs and nematodes. Our specialists can help you to detect, identify, monitor and control pests in growing crops and stored produce. Our work also includes research on pests, such as house flies, blow flies, midges and parasitic mites, as well as supporting the development of novel biological and chemical pesticides.

If you are developing new pest control measures, our team has the expertise to support you every step of the way – from early stage pre-commercialisation research, through to preparing registration dossiers and product stewardship. Our interdisciplinary approach and access to specialist facilities enable us to adapt our research to meet the specific requirements of your project.

  • Develop practical solutions to tackle agricultural, horticultural and forestry pests
  • Support for new chemical and biological pesticide development
  • Development of integrated pest-management strategies
  • Research on the monitoring and control of mites and nuisance insects

Invertebrate pest R&D services

Fera provides research and development services for a wide range of government departments and authorities, as well as commercial businesses, farmers and growers. Our research capabilities include:


Developing novel control methods for invertebrate pests

Research and development into novel pesticide targets and delivery systems, including hormones and receptors, parasitic wasp venoms, enhanced biological control by immune suppression, modifying reproductive behaviour, fusion proteins for enhanced oral uptake, novel toxins and RNA-interference (RNAi).


Developing new chemical and biological pesticides

Efficacy evaluation and development of insecticides, acaricides, molluscicides and adjuvants.

Developing integrated pest-management strategies for UK, European and invasive pest species

Strategies to tackle both indigenous and non-indigenous pests of agriculture, horticulture, tree and bee health importance, including improved monitoring, evaluation of non-chemical control techniques, natural enemies and ecosystem management.


Mite services and nuisance insects

Research and development, commercial monitoring services and strategic advice covering a range of mite-borne and insect nuisance problems, including storage and allergenic mites of food processing, stored products, animal feed stocks and habitation.


Biology and behaviour research

Understanding the biology and behaviour of key invertebrate pest species to advise on policy and control strategies.


For more information on these, or any of our other services, please get in touch.


Contact us



Pathology R&D

Our work helps farmers and growers to achieve more sustainable crop production while protecting the environment from disease threats, and focuses on disease surveillance and risk forecasting, supported by our expertise in epidemiology, pathogen and disease identification, molecular diagnosis, spatial aspects of disease spread, knowledge management and transfer.

  • Develop improved methods for controlling plant diseases
  • Support effective crop treatment through disease surveillance and risk forecasting
  • Optimise resources with improved disease-management strategies
  • Bespoke analysis to identify long-term disease trends

We can support you with our research expertise in pathogen epidemiology, disease-management strategies, chemical applications, pesticide efficacy testing (ORETO registered) and monitoring for resistance in pathogen populations. Our team is also a leading provider of research on quarantine plant pathogens. Our facilities include specialised quarantine laboratories and glasshouses, which we use to study the epidemiology and control of pathogens that may present a threat to UK farmers and growers.

We maintain culture collections of major plant pathogens including Fusarium species, Septoria tritici, Phytophthora ramorum, P. kernoviae and Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus (the cause of ash dieback). We can also collect additional isolates on request, particularly pathogens of wheat and oilseed rape.

Pathology R&D Services

Fera provides research and development services for a wide range of government departments and authorities, as well as commercial businesses, farmers and growers. Our pathology research capabilities include:

Biology and behaviour research

Understanding the biology and behaviour of key invertebrate pest species to advise on policy and control strategies.


Mite services and nuisance insects

Strategies to tackle both indigenous and non-indigenous pests of agriculture, horticulture, tree and bee health importance, including improved monitoring, evaluation of non-chemical control techniques, natural enemies and ecosystem management.

Developing new chemical and biological pesticides

Efficacy evaluation and development of insecticides, acaricides, molluscicides and adjuvants.

Developing novel control methods for invertebrate pests Research and development into novel pesticide targets and delivery systems, including hormones and receptors, parasitic wasp venoms, enhanced biological control by immune suppression, modifying reproductive behaviour, fusion proteins for enhanced oral uptake, novel toxins and RNA-interference (RNAi).


Developing integrated pest-management strategies

Strategies to tackle both indigenous and non-indigenous pests of agriculture, horticulture, tree and bee health importance, including improved monitoring, evaluation of non-chemical control techniques, natural enemies and ecosystem management.


For more information about these services, please get in touch:


Contact us



Copyright © 2019 Fera Science Limited (“Fera”). All rights reserved.
Registered Office: 30 Berners Street, London, W1T 3LR. Registered in England & Wales, No 9413107. Fera is a joint venture company of Capita Plc, 30 Berners Street, London, W1T 3LR. Registered in England and Wales No 02081330. VAT Registration ID: GB 618184140
For further information about how Fera uses any personal data collected from you, please see our Privacy Notice at www.fera.co.uk/privacy-policy.