A new computer model could help biologists predict how various species will respond to pesticides.  Because of varying responses to pesticides between species – including their tendency to develop tolerance – it’s costly and difficult not only to judge their potential effectiveness but also to manage the  unintended consequences in non-target species.

The new model ties predictions about tolerance to phylogeny, that is, the family relationship between species. This could help researchers extrapolate existing data to species for which tests have not yet been done.

Original research paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences on July 9, 2014.

Names and affiliations of selected authors

Guillaume Guénard, University of Montréal, Quebec