Food and Environmental Safety

Helen Thompson leads the Environmental Risk Team, in the Food and Environmental Safety Programme at Food & Environmental Research Agency (Fera) in the UK. The team comprises 50 scientists assessing and managing the risks posed to the environment from chemical pollutants and contaminants. Helen gained her PhD in 1988 from Reading University, UK. She joined Fera in 1988 as an environmental biochemist but has also trained in honeybee disease diagnosis and beekeeping with 4 years in the National Bee Unit at Fera. Helen undertakes research for UK government and for industry on the impacts of pesticides on terrestrial wildlife including honeybees and has expertise in regulatory laboratory, semi-field and field studies. Recent projects on honeybees have included assessments of the impacts of synergism between fungicides and insecticides, the role of guttation as a route of exposure and the interpretation of honeybee brood studies. She is also currently co-supervising a PhD student looking at the immune effects of pesticides on honeybees and bumble bees. Helen has over 75 peer reviewed publications in the area of terrestrial ecotoxicology and has been chair of the ICPBR Bees and Pesticides working group since 2011.