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Rickard Ignell

Published: 04 June 2016
Rickard Ignell
The overall aim of my research group is to understand the chemical ecology, ethology and evolution of disease vectors.


We plan and promote basic research on the chemical ecology of disease vectors in accordance with societal needs, nationally and internationally, and apply this know‐how to develop novel surveillance and control tools. 

We use a multi-disciplinary approach to study how odour-mediated behaviours of disease vectors are modulated by external chemosensory cues and internal physiological states.


I obtained my MSc and PhD at the Department of Ecology at Lund University in 1996 and 2001, respectively. After 2 years as a postdoc associate/fellow at John Carlson's lab at Yale University, I obtained an Assistant Professorship through the Scientific Council (Vetenskapsrådet) and joined the Unit of Chemical Ecology at the Department of Plant Protection Biology. I became an Associate Professor in 2008 and was appointed Professor in 2011. As of 2012 I am the Head of Department of Plant Protection Biology.

Selected publications

Peer-reviewed publications

1. Ignell R, Anton S, Hansson BS (1998) Central nervous processing of behaviourally relevant odours in solitary and gregarious fifth instar locusts, Schistocerca gregaria, Journal of Comparative Physiology A 183: 453-465.

2. Ignell R, Anton S, Hansson BS (1999) Integration of behaviourally relevant odours at the central nervous level in solitary and gregarious third instar locusts, Schistocerca gregaria. Journal of Insect Physiology 45: 993-1000.

3. Ignell R, Couillaud F, Anton S (2000) Juvenile hormone-mediated plasticity of aggregation behaviour and olfactory processing in adult desert locusts. Journal of Experimental Biology 204: 249-259.

4. Ignell R, Anton S, Hansson BS (2000) The maxillary palp sensory pathway of Orthoptera. Arthropod, Structure and Development 29: 295-305.

5. Ignell R, Anton S, Hansson BS (2001) The antennal lobe of Orthoptera - Anatomy and Evolution. Brain, Behaviour and Evolution 57: 1-17.

6. Ignell R (2001) Monoamines and neuropeptides in interneurons of the antennal lobe of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Cell and Tissue Research 306: 143-156.

7. Anton S, Ignell R, Hansson BS (2002) Developmental changes in the structure and function of the central olfactory system in gregarious and solitary locusts. Microscopy Research and Technique 56: 281-291. (Shared first authorship)

8. Elmore T, Ignell R, Carlson JR, Smith DP (2003) Targeted mutation of a Drosophila odor receptor defines receptor requirement in a novel class of sensillum. Journal of Neuroscience 23: 9906-9912.

9.     Ignell R, Hansson BS (2005) Projection patterns of gustatory neurons in the suboesophageal ganglion and tritocerebrum of mosquitoes. Journal of Comparative Neurology 492: 214-233.

10. Ignell R, Dekker T, Ghaninia M, Hansson BS (2005) Neuronal architecture of the mosquito deutocerebrum. Journal of Comparative Neurology 493: 207-240.

11. Yao CA, Ignell R, Carlson JR (2005) Chemosensory coding by neurons in the coeloconic sensilla of the Drosophila antenna. Journal of Neuroscience 25: 8359-8367. (Shared first authorship)

12. Sjöholm M, Sinakevitch I, Ignell R, Strausfeld N, Hansson BS (2005) Organization of Kenyon cells in subdivisions of the mushroom bodies of a Lepidopteran insect. Journal of Comparative Neurology 491: 290-304.

13. Ansebo L, Ignell R, Löfkvist J, Hansson BS (2005) Responses to sex pheromone and plant odours by olfactory receptor neurons housed in sensilla auricillica of the codling moth, Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Journal of Insect Physiology 51: 1066-1074.

14. Sjöholm M, Sinakevitch I, Strausfeld NJ, Ignell R, Hansson BS (2006) Functional division of intrinsic neurons in the mushroom bodies of male Spodoptera littoralis revealed by antibodies against aspartate, taurine, FMRFamide, Mas-allatotropin and DC0. Arthropod Structure and Development 35: 153-168.

15. Ghaninia M, Hansson BS, Ignell R (2007) The antennal lobe of the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae - innervation and three-dimensional reconstruction. Arthropod Structure and Development 36: 23-39.

16. Ghaninia M, Ignell R, Hansson BS (2007) Functional classification and central nervous projections of olfactory receptor neurons in antennal trichoid sensilla of female yellow fever mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti. European Journal of Neuroscience 26:1611-1623.

17. Purayil S, Hansson BS, Ignell R (2008) Immunocytochemical localization of serotonin in the central and peripheral chemosensory system of mosquitoes. Arthropod Structure and Development 37:248-259.

18. Ghaninia M, Larsson MC, Hansson BS, Ignell R (2008). Natural odor ligands for olfactory receptor neurons of the female mosquito Aedes aegypti: use of gas chromatography-linked single sensillum recordings. Journal of Experimental Biology 211:3020-3027.

19. Hill SR, Hansson BS, Ignell R (2009) Characterisation of antennal trichoid sensilla from host seeking female Culex quinquefasciatus Say. Chemical Senses 34: 231-252.

20. Ignell R, Root CM, Birse RT, Wang JW, Nässel DR, Winther ÅME (2009) Presynaptic peptidergic modulation of olfactory receptor neurons in Drosophila. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106: 13070-13075.

21. Harraca V, Ignell R, Löfstedt C, Ryne C (2010) Characterization of the antennal olfactory system of the bed bug (Cimex lectularius). Chemical Senses 35: 195–204.

22. Siju KP, Hill SR, Hansson BS, Ignell R (2010) Influence of blood meal on the responsiveness of olfactory receptor neurons in antennal sensilla trichodea of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Journal of Insect Physiology 56:659-665.

23. Winther ÅME, Ignell R (2010) Local peptidergic signaling in the antennal lobe shapes olfactory behavior. Fly 4:2, 1-5.

24. Ignell R, Okawa S, Englund JE, Hill SR (2010) Assessment of diet choice by the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti. Physiological Entomology 35: 274-286.

25. Stancyk NM, Brookfield JF, Ignell R, Logan JG, Field LM (2010) Behavioural insensitivity to DEET in Aedes aegypti: a genetically determined trait residing in changes in sensillum function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107 (19) 8575-8580.

26. Hill SR, Zaspel J, Weller S, Hansson BS, Ignell R (2010) To be or not to be… a vampire: a matter of sensilla numbers in Calyptra thalictri? Arthropod Structure and Development 39: 322-333.

27. Harraca V, Ryne C, Ignell R (2010) Nymphs of the common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) produce anti-aphrodisiac defence against conspecific males. BMC Biology.8:121.

28. Arensburger P, Megy K, Waterhouse RM, Abrudan J, Amedeo P, Antelo B, Bartholomay L, Bidwell S, Caler E, Camara F, Campbell CL, Campbell KS, Casola C, Castro MT, Chandramouliswaran I, Chapman SB, Christley S, Costas J, Eisenstadt E, Feschotte C, Fraser-Liggett C, Guigo R, Haas B, Hammond M, Hansson BS, Hemingway J, Hill SR, Howarth C, Ignell R, Kennedy RC, Kodira CD, Lobo NF, Mao C, Mayhew G, Michel K, Mori A, Liu N, Naveira H, Nene V, Nguyen N, Pearson MD, Pritham EJ, Puiu D, Qi Y, Ranson H, Ribeiro JM, Roberston HM, Severson DW, Shumway M, Stanke M, Strausberg RL, Sun C, Sutton G, Tu ZJ, Tubio JM, Unger MF, Vanlandingham DL, Vilella AJ, White O, White JR, Wondji CS, Wortman J, Zdobnov EM, Birren B, Christensen BM, Collins FH, Cornel A, Dimopoulos G, Hannick LI, Higgs S, Lanzaro GC, Lawson D, Lee NH, Muskavitch MA, Raikhel AS, Atkinson PW. (2010) Sequencing of Culex quinquefasciatus establishes a platform for mosquito comparative genomics. Science 330: 86-88.

29. Trona F. Witzgall P, Ignell R (2010) Coding and interaction of sex pheromone and plant volatile information in the antennal lobe of Cydia pomonella. Journal of Experimental Biology 213: 4303.

30. Ullsten N, Gällstedt M, Spencer GM, Johansson E, Marttila S, Ignell R, Hedenqvist MS. (2010) Extruded high quality materials from wheat gluten Polymers from Renewable Resources, 1: 173-186.

31. Kuktaite R, Plivelic TS, Cerenius Y, Hedenqvist MS, Gällstedt M, Marttila S, Ignell R, Popineau Y, Tranquet O, Shewry PR, Johansson E (2011) Structure and morphology of wheat gluten films: from polymeric protein aggregates towards unique superstructure arrangements. Biomacromolecules 12: 1438-1448.

32. Cook JI, Majeed S, Birkett MA, Ignell R, Logan JG, Pickett JA. (2011) Behavioural and electrophysiological responses of Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus to 1-octen-3-ol enantiomers. Bulletin of Entomological Research 101: 541-550.

33. Dekker T, Ignell R, Waka M, Glinwood R, Hopkins R. (2011) Identification of mosquito repellent odours from Ocimum forskolei. Parasites and Vectors 4:183.

34. Martel V, Schlyter F, Ignell R, Hansson BS, Anderson P. (2011) Mosquito feeding affects larval behaviour and development in a moth. Plos One 6: e25658.

35. Fikru F, Tadesse K, Seyoum E, Tekie H, Ignell R, Hill SR. Fresh, dried or smoked? (2011) Repellent properties of volatiles emitted from ethnomedicinal plant leaves against malaria and yellow fever vectors in Ethiopia. Malaria Journal 10:375.

36. Harraca V, Ryne C, Birgersson G, Ignell R. (2012) Smelling your way to food: can bed bugs use our odour? Journal of Experimental Biology 215, 623-629

37. Bengtsson JM, Trona F, Montagné N, Anfora G, Ignell R, Witzgall P, Jacquin-Joly E. (2012) Putative chemosensory receptors of the codling moth, Cydia pomonella, identified by antennal transcriptome analysis. Plos One 7:e31620.

38. Saveer AM, Kromann SH, Birgersson G, Bengtsson M, Lindblom T, Balkenius A, Hansson BS, Witzgall P, Becher PG, Ignell R (2012) Floral to green - mating switches moth olfactory coding and preference. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279: 2314-2322.

39. Binyameen M, Anderson P, Ignell R, Seada MA, Hansson BS, Schlyter F. (2012) Spatial organization of antennal olfactory sensory neurons in the female Spodoptera littoralis moth: Differences in sensitivity and temporal characteristics. Chemical Senses 37: 613-629.

40. Jaleta KT, Hill SR, Seyoum E, Balkew M, Belina M, Gebre T, Ignell R*, Tekie H*. (2013) Agro-ecosystems impact malaria prevalence: large-scale irrigation drives vector population in western Ethiopia. Malaria Journal 12: 350. *Shared last authorship

41. Pettersson E, Bensch S, Ander M, Chirico J, Sigvald R, Ignell R. (2013) Molecular identification of blood meals and species composition in Culicoides biting midges. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 27, 104–112.

42.  Isberg E, Hillbur Y, Ignell R. (2013) Comparative study of antennal and maxillary palp olfactory sensilla of female biting midges (Culicoides: Ceratopogonidae) in the context of host preference and phylogeny. Journal of Medical Entomology 50: 485-492.

43. Trona F, Anfora G, Balkenius A, Bengtsson M, Knight A, Tasin M, Witzgall P, Ignell R. (2013) Neural ensemble coding of sex and habitat chemosensory signals in an insect herbivore. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 280: 20130267.

44. Kromann S, Hansson BS, Ignell R. (2013) Distribution of neuropeptides in the antennal lobes of the male Spodoptera littoralis. Cell and Tissue Research 354:431–440.

45. Siju KP, Schachtner J, Scheiblich H, Predel R, Hansson BS, Ignell R. (2014) Neuropeptides in the antennal lobe of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Journal of Comparative Neurology 522:592–608.

46. Bengtsson JM, Gonzalez F, Cattaneo AM, Montagné N, Anfora G, Ignell R, Jacquin-Joly E, Witzgall P (2014) A predicted sex pheromone receptor of codling moth Cydia pomonella detects the plant volatile pear ester. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 2: 1-11.

47. Binyameen M, Anderson P, Ignell R, Birgersson G, Razaq M, Shad SA, Hansson BS, Schlyter F (2014) Identification of plant semiochemicals and characterization of new olfactory sensory neuron types in a polyphagous pest moth, Spodoptera littoralis. Chemical Senses 39: 719-733

48. Lebreton S, Grabe V, Omondi AB, Ignell R, Becher PG, Hansson BS, Sachse S, Witzgall P. (2014) Love makes smell blind: mating suppresses pheromone attraction in Drosophila females via Or65a olfactory neurons. Scientific Reports 4: 7119

49. Majeed S, Hill SR, Ignell R (2014) Impact of elevated CO2 background levels on the   host-seeking behaviour of Aedes aegypti. Journal of Experimental Biology 217: 596-604.       

50. McBride CS, Baier F, Omondi AB, Spitzer SA, Lutomiah J, Sang R, Ignell R, Vosshall LB (2014) Evolution of mosquito preference for humans linked to an odorant receptor. Nature 515: 222-227

51. Schröder ML, Glinwood R, Ignell R, Krüger K (2014) Visual cues and host-plant preference of the bird cherry - oat aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi (Hemiptera: Aphididae). African Entomologist 22: 428-436

52. Zaspel JM, Scott CH, Hill SR, Ignell R, Kononenko VS, Weller SJ (2014) Phylogeographic patterns and genetic diversity of the fruit and blood feeding moth Calyptra thalictri Borkhausen (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Erebidae). J Parasitol 100: 583-591

53. Gonzalez F, Bengtsson JM, Walker WB, Sousa M, Cattaneo AM, Montagé N, Anfora G, Jacquin-Joly E, Witzgall P, Ignell R, Bengtsson M (2015) A conserved odorant receptor detects the same 1-indanone analogs in a tortricid and a noctuid moth. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 3:131 doi: 10.3389/fevo.2015.00131

54. Hatano E, Saveer AM, Borrero-Echeverry F, Strauch M, Zakir A, Bengtsson M, Ignell R, Anderson P, Becher PG, Witzgall P, Dekker T (2015) A herbivore-induced volatile interferes with host plant and mate location in moths through jamming signalling pathways in the brain. BMC Biology 13:75

55. Hesson J, Ignell R, Hill SR, Östman Ö, Lundström J. (2015) Trapping biases of Culex torrentium and Cx. pipiens revealed by comparison of captures in CDC light traps, Oviposition traps and Gravid traps. Journal of Vector Ecology 40:158-163.

56. Hill SR, Majeed S, Ignell R. (2015) Molecular basis for odourant receptor tuning: a short C-terminal sequence is necessary and sufficient for selectivity. Insect Molecular Biology 24: 491-501

57. Kromann SH, Saveer AM, Binyameen M, Bengtsson M, Birgersson G, Hansson BS, Schlyter F, Witzgall P, Ignell R*, Becher PG* (2015) Concurrent modulation of neuronal and behavioural olfactory responses to sex and host plant cues in a male moth. Proceedings of the Royal Society 282: 20141884

58. Latorre-Estivalis JM, Omondi BA, Oliveira IR; Ignell R, Lorenzo MG. (2015) Plasticity in the molecular basis of olfaction in Rhodnius prolixus, a Chagas disease vector. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 3: 74

59. Omondi BA, Latorre-Estivalis JM, Oliveira IR, Ignell R, Lorenzo MG. (2015) Evaluation of reference genes for insect olfaction studies. Parasites and Vectors 8:243.

60. Omondi BA, Majeed S, Ignell R, (2015) Functional development of odorant detection in the maxillary palp of Anopheles gambiae Journal of Experimental Biology 218: 2482-2488.

61. Schröder ML, Glinwood R, Ignell R, Krüger K. (2015) Landing preference and reproduction of Rhopalosiphum padi (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on three maize and wheat cultivars.  Journal of Insect Science 15: 63

62. Schröder ML, Glinwood R, Webster B, Ignell R, Krüger K (2015) Olfactory responses of Rhopalosiphum padi (Aphididae: Hemiptera) to three maize, potato and wheat cultivars and the selection of prospective crop border plants. Ent Exp Appl DOI: 10.1111/eea.12359

63. Hussain A, Zhang M, Üçpunar HK, Svensson T, Quillery E, Gompel N, Ignell R, Grunwald Kadow IC, Ionotropic chemosensory receptors mediate the taste and smell of polyamines. PlosBiology 14: e1002454

64. Isberg E, Birgersson G, Hillbur Y, Ignell R (2016) Identification of cattle-derived volatiles that modulate the behavioural response of the biting midge Culicoides nubeculosus (Diptera; Ceratopognidae) Journal of Chemical Ecology 42: 24-32

65. Low M, Tsegaye AT, Ignell R, Hill SR, Elleby R, Feltelius V, Hopkins R. The importance of accounting for larval detectability in mosquito habitat-association studies Malaria Journal 15: 253

66. Seada M, Ignell R, Anderson P (2016) Ultrastructure and function of sensory sensilla on the ovipositor of female cotton leaf worm Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Entomological Science 19: 9-19

67. Zaspel JM, Kononenko VS, Ignell R, Hill SR Host-related olfactory behaviour in a fruit-piercing moth in far eastern Russia. Journal of Insect Science (Accepted)


Book chapters and reviews

1. Ignell R, Hansson BS, Anton S (2001) Pheromone communication in desert locusts - behaviour, sensory processing and applied aspects. Current Research Advances in Agricultural Entomology 1: 1-11.

2. Ignell R, Hansson BS (2005) Insect olfactory neuroethology – An electrophysiological perspective. In ”Methods in Insect sensory neuroscience.” Christensen TA, ed, CRC Press, New York, pp 319-347.

3. Ignell R, Sengul MS, Hill S, Hansson BS (2010) Odour coding and neural connections. In: Takken W, Knols BGJ (eds) Ecology and control of vector borne diseases, Vol 2. Olfaction in vector host interactions. Wageningen Academic Publishers. pp 63-90.


Professor at the Institutionen för växtskyddsbiologi
Telephone: 040-415311
Postal address:
Växtskyddsbiologi, Box 102
23053 Alnarp
Visiting address: Sundsvägen 16, Alnarp