G A Matthews

Emeritus Professor
G A Matthews
Pest Management

Research Interests:


I was Director of 
IPARC for 31 years, and helped establish it as a global pathfinder in research and training in improved methods of applying pesticides, with particular reference to the smallholder farmers in tropical countries. Following studies on cotton insect pest management in Central Africa from 1958 to 1972 I have studied application techniques required on a range of different crops and also on equipment used in vector control. This research, supported by the UK government (ODA, now DFID) concentrated on manually-carried equipment, including knapsack, spinning disc and electrostatic sprayers, but has involved tractor and aerial application. Development of ultra-low and very-low volume application techniques has enabled farmers in semi-arid areas to protect their crops. Information from these equipment studies has formed a basis for international standards adopted by the Food and Agricultural Organisation and the World Health Organisation. I also served on the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) in the UK for five years.


Figure 1: Ultra-low volume spraying against locusts

Figure 2: Scouting for Pests in a Crop

Using laser light diffraction equipment, spray droplet spectra from a range of nozzles has been studies and led to the spray quality criteria, adopted initially in the UK by the British Crop Production Council (BCPC) and now established internationally.

Detailed studies have examined the impact of different droplet sizes and spray coverage on sessile and more mobile pests. More recent work has concentrated on biological agents. Studies by Roy Bateman led to the successful application of Metarhizium acridum against locusts. Studies on foliar application and irrigation using entomopathogenic nematodes were in collaboration with Andrew Brown and Prof. Wright..

Figure 3: Red bollworm – pest of cotton in Africa

Figure 4: Spray on Leaves

Current collaboration with Hans Dobson (Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich) is examining ways of improving application techniques required on vegetable crops to integrate chemical and biological control tactics.

Other work in Cameroon, initially supported by FAO has involved training in pesticide application. Currently work is on improving livelihoods of farmers in rural areas by improving integrated vector management. This is in a tropical rain forest area along part of the Sanaga river.

Consultancy work has included studies and/or training in Brazil, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Cote D’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece, India, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand, Tanzania, Uzbekistan, West Indies and Zimbabwe.

Figure 5: Training Sprayer Calibration

Figure 6: Aerial Spraying — Bell Ag5 Helicopter — Bindwa, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)

Other Interests:

Chairman FAO Locust Pesticide Referee Group
Member BCPC Application Expert Working Group
Technical Consultant: International Pest Control
Editorial Board: Outlook on Agriculture
Member Editorial Board : Outlooks on Pest Management
Advisor to WHO on pesticide application equipment.
Technical Director: Yaounde Initiative Foundation


British Crop Protection Council Medal, 1992.
IPPC Award of Distinction, The Hague 1995

Figure 7: MSc course students with a crop adviser on a farm in the Thames Valley.


Key publications:

Matthews, G A. (2011) Integrated Vector Management. Wiley-Blackwell

Matthews, G. A., Dobson,, H.M, Nkot, P B , Wiles, T.L. and Birchmore, M. (2009) Preliminary Examination of Integrated Vector Management in a Tropical Rain Forest Area of Cameroon. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 103, 1098—1104.

Matthews Graham (2006) Pesticides: Health, Safety and the Environment Blackwell, Oxford

Matthews G.A, (2000) Pesticide Application Methods 3rd Edition Blackwell, Oxford

Matthews G A (1999) Application of Pesticides to Crops I C Press

Matthews, G.A. (1979) Pesticide Application Methods 2nd edition 1992 Blackwell, Oxford

Matthews G.A. (1984) Pest Management. Longman

Doble, S.J., Matthews, G.A., Rutherford, I. & Southcombe, E.S.E. (1985) A system for classifying hydraulic nozzle and other atomisers into categories of spray quality. Proc. for BCPC Conference, p. 1125-1133.

Matthews G.A.(1989) Cotton Insect Pests and their Management Longman

Matthews, G.A. and Thornhill E.W. (1994) Pesticide Application Equipment for use in Agriculture FAO

Matthews G.A. and Hislop E.C. (Eds.)(1993) Application Technology for Crop Protection. CABI

Matthews G.A. and Tunstall, J.P.(Eds.)(1994) Insect Pests of Cotton CABI

Gillham, F.E.M Bell, T.M., Arin, T., Matthews, G.A., Le Rumeur C. and Hearn A.B. (1995) Cotton Production Prospects for the Next Decade World Bank Technical Paper 287.

Thornhill, E.W., Matthews, G.A. and Clayton, J.S. (1995) Potential operator exposure to herbicides: a comparison between knapsack and CDA hand sprayers. Proc Brighton Conference 3, – . Also printed in The Planter, Kuala Lumpur 72, 425-433 (1996).

Thornhill, E.W., Matthews, G.A. and Clayton, J.S. (1996) Potential operator exposure to insecticides: a comparison between knapsack and CDA spinning disc sprayers. Proc. Brighton Conference 3, 1175-80.


Contact details:

Professor Graham Matthews
International Pesticide Application Research Consortium
c/o Division of Biology
Imperial College London
Silwood Park Campus
Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7PY. UK.
Tel. 00 44 (0) 207 594 2234


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