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Durham University

Department of Biosciences


Dr Elaine Fitches

Assistant Professor in the Department of Biosciences

(email at

Research Interests

As an applied entomologist I have two principle areas of research interest. The first is the investigation and development of novel approaches for the control of invertebrate pests; research in our lab is currently focused on developing novel protein based biopesticides based upon the exploitation of invertebrate specific spider venom peptides. My second area of interest is in the emerging use of insects as a novel source of the nutrition for animal feed and as a means of reducing volumes of waste in line with a circular economy approach. Here our current focus, in collaboration with Professor Ari Sadanandom’s group at Durham, is understanding the value of insect derived biofertilisers for crop and soil health.

Research Groups

  • Durham Centre for Crop Improvement Technology
  • Molecular Plant Sciences


Journal Article

Chapter in book

  • Fitches, Elaine C. & Smith, Rhonda (2018). PROteINSECT: Insects as a Sustainable Source of Protein. In Edible Insects in Sustainable Food Systems. Halloran, A., Flore, R., Vantomme, P. & Roos, N. Cham: Springer. 421-435.
  • Kenis, Marc, Bouwassi, Bawoubati, Boafo, Hettie, Devic, Emilie, Han, Richou, Koko, Gabriel, Koné, N’Golopé, Maciel-Vergara, Gabriela, Nacambo, Saidou, Pomalegni, Sètchémè Charles Bertrand, Roffeis, Martin, Wakefield, Maureen, Zhu, Fen & Fitches, Elaine (2018). Small-Scale Fly Larvae Production for Animal Feed. In Edible Insects in Sustainable Food Systems. Halloran, Afton, Flore, Roberto, Roos, Nanna & Vantomme, Paul Cham: Springer. 239-261.