John Pickett

CBE, DSc, FRS – Past Chair

Having received his BSc Honours chemistry in 1967 and PhD, in organic chemistry synthesis in 1971 from the University of Surrey, John completed his training in organic chemistry with a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Manchester (then UMIST) 1970/1972.  He joined the Brewing Industry Research Institute in 1972 studying the chemistry of malt and hops for new brewing processes.  In 1976 he joined the Insecticides and Fungicides Department (later the Department of Biological Chemistry) and was appointed Head of Department in 1984 and, concurrently in 2007, Scientific Director of the Rothamsted Centre for Sustainable Pest and Disease Management. In 2010, he relinquished these positions on being awarded the first Michael Elliott Distinguished Research Fellowship at Rothamsted. In November 2017, he took up a new position as Chair of Biological Chemistry in the School of Chemistry at the University of Cardiff. As well as fulfilling this prestigious new role, he leads a new laboratory at Cardiff contributing to the subject of chemical ecology and wider interests in biological chemistry in the UK and around the world. He has over 540 publications and patents. John’s contributions to the field of chemical ecology have been acknowledged with the 1995 Rank Prize for Nutrition and Crop Husbandry, election to Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1996, Member of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina, 2001, International Society of Chemical Ecology Medal 2002, appointment to CBE for Services to Biological Chemistry in 2004, and the Wolf Foundation Prize in Agriculture in 2008, among many other international measures of esteem. He also presented, in 2008, the Royal Society’s premier lecture in the biological sciences, The Croonian Prize Lecture, and the Cornell University Lecture in 2009. He was awarded the International Congress of Entomology Certificate of Distinction, presented at the XXIV International Congress of Entomology. In June 2014 he became President of the Royal Entomological Society. In April 2014 he was elected Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (US). In 2017 he presented Sterling B Hendricks Memorial Lecture of the American Chemical Society.