Megan Coombs

Megan Coombs

School of Biosciences
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

School of Biosciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

PhD Title: Cold tolerance of arthropod biological control agents

Supervisors: Professor Jeff Bale

Megan is studying the suitability of acarid biological control agents for release in glasshouses in Northern Europe through a combination of cold tolerance laboratory experiments and field trials. The research is designed to fulfil the environmental risk assessment requirements of the DEFRA license to release a non-native species for biological control purposes in the UK.


BSc Hons. Ecology – Lancaster University with a year in Macquarie University, Australia


I graduated from Lancaster University with a 1st Class BSc Hons. in Ecology, having spent my second year in Macquarie University, Australia.

Prior to undertaking my PhD at the University of Birmingham I worked as a countryside access warden with Norfolk County Council. My role required interaction with local farmers, members of the public and governmental organisations such as Natural England on a daily basis.

I am now in the third year of a four year studentship funded by the BBSRC and Biobest, Belgium.


Research group: Arthropod Ecophysiology

Interests: Acarology; agricultural entomology; biological control; cold tolerance; sustainable agriculture; physiological entomology

Other activities

I am a member of the British Ecological Society and the Royal Entomological Society.

I am also a member of the Biosciences Graduate Student Committee. I was co-chair of this committee in the 2010 to 2011 academic year, and during this time I helped organise the annual Biosciences symposium.

I am a laboratory demonstrator in undergraduate practicals, and have worked on a variety of modules including evolution, invertebrate development and identification.

I am currently a language support tutor for first year undergraduates who require extra assistance with scientific writing.