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Professor Steve Compton

South African Research Chair in Sustainable Agriculture


Discipline: Entomology, Sustainable Agriculture

Steve Compton

Office: Biological Sci, Lab 110

Phone: +27 46 603 8235

Email: s.compton@ru.ac.za


PhD Hull University (1979)‌




Prof Compton completed his PhD at University of Hull in 1979. He has been back and forth between Rhodes and Yorkshire over the years, lecturing at Rhodes from 1985-1992 and at Leeds since then. As he can’t make his mind up where to stay, he now has a joint position at both places. His research area is plant-animal interactions and this has allowed him to achieve a schoolboy ambition to work on glaciers, volcanoes and tropical rainforests, often but not always in connection with research on fig trees and their associated animals.

Research Interests

  • Biological control of weeds

  • Plant - insect interactions

  • Figs and fig wasps

  • Parasitoids

Recent Publications

  • Wang G., Compton S.G. and Chen J. 2013. The mechanism of pollinator specificity between two sympatric fig varieties: a combination of olfactory signals and contact cues. Annals of Botany 111: 173-181.

  • Suleman N., Quinnell R.J. and Compton S.G. 2013. Variation in inflorescence size in a dioecious fig tree and its consequences for the plant and its pollinator fig wasp. Plant Systematics and Evolution 299:  927-934.

  • Chen H-H., Yang D-R., Gu D., Compton S.G. and Peng Y-Q. (2013). When is a fig wasp an inquiline? A novel feeding strategy among ‘non-pollinating’ fig wasps. Ecological Entomology, 38: 381-389.

  • Suleman N., Raja S. and Compton S.G. 2012. Only pollinator fig wasps have males that collaborate to release their females from figs of an Asian fig tree. Biology Letters 8: 344-346.

  • Yu, H and Compton S.G. 2012. Moving your sons to safety: galls containing male fig wasps expand into the centre of figs, away from enemies. PLoS ONE 7: e30833.

  • Chen Y., Compton S.G. Liu, M. and Chen X-Y 2012. Fig trees at the northern limit of their range: the distributions of cryptic pollinators indicate multiple glacial refugia. Molecular Ecology, 21: 1687–1701.

  • Ghana S., Suleman N. and Compton S.G. 2012. Factors influencing realized sex ratios in fig wasps: double oviposition and larval mortalities. Journal of Insect Behavior, 25: 254-263.

  • Jauharlina J., Lindquist E.E., Quinnell R.J., Robertson H.G. and Compton S.G. 2012. Fig wasps as vectors of mites and nematodes. African Entomology, 20: 101-110.

  • Zhang Y., Yang D., Peng Y., Compton S.G. 2012. Costs of inflorescence longevity for an Asian fig tree and its pollinator. Evolutionary Ecology, 26: 513-527.

  • Gu D., Yang D., Peng Y., Gu D. and Compton S.G. 2012. Age at pollination modifies relative male and female reproductive success in a monoecious fig tree. Symbiosis, 57: 73-81.

  • Gu D., Compton S.G., Peng Y. and Yang D. 2012. ‘Push’ and ‘Pull’ responses by fig wasps to volatiles released by their host figs. Chemoecology, 22: 217-227.

  • Wang R., Compton, S.G., Shi, Y-S.and Chen X-Y. 2012. Fragmentation reduces regional-scale spatial genetic structure in a wind-pollinated tree because genetic barriers are removed. Ecology and Evolution, 2: 2250-2261.

  • Yaowanit T., Pornwiwan P., Wattana T. and Compton S.G. 2012.  The distribution and ecology of the purple form of Ficus montana in western Thailand. Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany), 40: 26-30.

Last Modified :Fri, 10 Apr 2015 11:24:18 SAST