Mark McNeill

Research Assoc



MAgSc, Lincoln

Research interests & activities

• Research on population dynamics and impacts of three pastoral weevil pests Sitona lepidus, Listronotus bonariensis and Sitona discoideus, and biological control of above.
• Pest management in the context of issues facing agricultural producers in pastoral farming.
• Interaction of insect pests with endophyte, biological control agents and endosymbionts.
• Biosecurity research includes pathways for pest movement within New Zealand, risks from imported soil on contaminated footwear and sea freight (including arthropods) and arthropod trapping systems at borders.

Professional Memberships

  • Royal Society of New Zealand (Canterbury Branch)
  • New Zealand Plant Protection
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Institute
  • International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC)/ Asia and the Pacific Regional Section (APRS)


• Trimble Agricultural Research (Travel) Fellowship, 2014.
• The International Science and Technology (ISAT) Linkages Fund:  Clover root weevil (Sitona lepidus) pheromones: their role, synergists and utilisation in pest control, 2003.
• QEII Technicians Award. Pheromone communication by clover root weevil (Sitona lepidus), 2002.
• Grassland Memorial Trust travel grant for research on biological control agents of Sitona lepidus in the UK, 2000.


Arbab A, McNeill MR (2014). Spatial distribution and sequential sampling plans for adult Sitona humeralis Stephens (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in alfalfa. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 17: 515–519.

Arbab A, Kontodimas DC, McNeill MR (2008). Modeling embryo development of Sitona discoideus Gyllenhal (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) under constant temperature. Environmental Entomology 37(6): 1381-1388.

Bultman TL, McNeill MR, Goldson SL (2003). Isolate-dependent impacts of fungal endophytes in a multitrophic interaction.  Oikos 102 (3): 491–496.

McNeill MR, Goldson SL, Proffitt, J.P., Phillips, C.B., Addison, P.J. (2002). A description of the commercial rearing and distribution of Microctonus hyperodae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) for biological control of Listronotus bonariensis (Kuschel) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).  Biological Control 24: 167-175.

McNeill MR, Richards NK, White JA, Laugraud A. (2014). Hidden arsenal: endosymbionts in arthropods, their role and possible implications for biological control success. New Zealand Plant Protection 67: 204-212.

McNeill MR, Phillips CB, Young S, Shah F, Alders L, Bell N, Gerard E, Littlejohn R (2011). Transportation of nonindigenous species via soil on international aircraft passengers’ footwear. Biological Invasions 13: 2799-2815

Park K-C, McNeill M, Unelius CR, Hyun-Woo Oh, Suckling DM (2013). Characterization of olfactory receptor neurons for pheromone candidate and plant volatile compounds in the clover root weevil, Sitona lepidus. Journal of Insect Physiology 59: 1222–1234.

Phillips CB, Baird DB, Iline II, McNeill M, Proffitt JR, Goldson SL, Kean JM (2008). East meets west: Adaptive evolution of an insect introduced for biological control. Journal of Applied Ecology 45 (3):948 – 956.

Unelius CR, Park K-C, McNeill M, Wee SL, Bohman B, Suckling DM (2012). Identification and electrophysiological studies of (4S,5S)-5-hydroxy-4-methyl-3-heptanone in male lucerne weevils. Naturwissenschaften 100: 135-143. (DOI 10.1007/s00114-012-1003-4).

White JA, Richards NK, Laugraud A, Saeed A, Curry MM, McNeill MR (2015). Endosymbiotic candidates for parasitoid defense in exotic and native New Zealand weevils. Microbial Ecology (DOI 10.1007/s00248-014-0561-8).