Professor Emeritus
Department of Entomology 

Research Interests:

  • Insect chemical ecology: 
    • Focusing on the identification of chemicals mediating insect-insect (especially pheromone) and insect-plant interactions. This work involves chemical isolation and identification techniques, as well as characterizing the relevant behavioral responses of insects.
  • Insect reproductive physiology: 
    • Insect pheromone biochemistry, including the biosynthesis of insect pheromones, and their neural and endocrine regulation, influence of nutrients on reproductive behavior, and the metabolism of lipids and carbohydrates.
  • Other interests: 
    • The use of semiochemicals (behavior-influencing chemicals) for the control of pest insects, and the differentiation of closely-related species and biotypes through chemical (e.g., pheromonal, behavioral (including host selection), and other (e.g., morphological, genetic) differences.

Recent Publications:

  • Foster, S.P. (2004) Fatty acid and Sex Pheromone Changes and the role of glandular lipids in the Z-Strain of the European Corn Borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner). Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology, 56: 73-83.
  • Foster, S.P. (2004). The effects of topical application of various fatty acids on pheromone and glandular lipid biosynthesis in the moth Heliothis virescens. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 34: 467-475.
  • Morris, B. D., Foster, S. P., Grugel, S,  and Charlet, L.D. (2005). Isolation of the diterpenoids, ent-kauran-16a-ol and ent-atisan-16a-ol, from sunflowers, as oviposition stimulants for the banded sunflower moth, Cochylis hospes. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 31: 89-102.
  • Morris, B. D., Smyth, R.R., Foster, S. P., Hoffmann, M.P., Roelofs, W.L., Franke, S., and Francke, W. (2005). Vittatalactone, a bLactone from the Striped Cucumber Beetle, Acalymma vittatum. Journal of Natural Products, 68: 26-30.
  • El-Sayed, A.M., Gibb, A.R., Suckling, D.M.,  Bunn, B., Comesky, D., Moss, K.A., Manning, L.A., Foster, S.P., Morris, B.D., Ando, T.,  Mori, K.,  and Fielder, S. (2005). Identification of the sex pheromone of the Australian painted apple moth, Teia anartoides: a diverse pheromone blend with a thermally labile component. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 31: 621-646.
  • Foster, S.P. (2005) Lipid analysis of the sex pheromone gland of the moth Heliothis virescens. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology, 59: 80-90.
  • Foster, S.P. (2005). The incorporation of topically applied fatty acids into lipids in the sex pheromone gland of the moth Heliothis virescens. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 35: 1021-1031.
  • Eltahlawy, H., Buckner, J.S. and Foster, S.P. (2007). Evidence for two-step regulation of pheromone biosynthesis by the pheromone biosynthesis-activating neuropeptide in the moth Heliothis virescens. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology, 64: 120-130.
  • Eltahlawy, H., and Foster, S.P. (2007). Regulation of pheromone biosynthesis by PBAN in the “Z strain” of the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology, 65: 29-38.
  • Newbrey, J. L., W. L. Reed, S. P. Foster, and G. L. Zander (2008). Laying sequence variation in yolk carotenoid concentrations in yellow-headed blackbird eggs. The Auk, 125: 124-30.
  • Morris B, Charlet L & Foster S (2009) Isolation of Three Diterpenoid Acids from Sunflowers, as Oviposition Stimulants for the Banded Sunflower Moth, Cochylis hospes. Journal of Chemical Ecology 35: 50-57.
  • Andersson M, Haftmann J, Stuart J, Cambron S, Harris M, Foster S, Franke S, Francke W & Hillbur Y (2009) Identification of Sex Pheromone Components of the Hessian Fly, Mayetiola destructor. Journal of Chemical Ecology 35: 81-95.
  • Foster, S. P. (2009). Sugar feeding via trehalose haemolymph concentration affects sex pheromone production in mated Heliothis virescens moths. Journal of Experimental Biology 212, 2789-2794.
  • Mphosi, M.S. & Foster, S.P. (2009). Female preference and larval performance of sunflower moth, Homoeosoma electellum, on sunflower pre-breeding lines. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. In press.


  • Ph.D., Chemistry; University of Wailkato (New Zealand), 1983
  • M.Sc., Chemistry; University of Wailkato, 1979
  • B.Sc., Chemistry; University of Wailkato, 1977
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