Dr Richard Halfpenny

Course Director

Health, Education, Policing and Sciences

Having spent 16 years working in a business setting I returned to university where I studied my PhD on the species discrimination of cryptic Culex mosquito species using non-molecular methods, and their olfactory mediated sugar feeding behaviour. Throughout my PhD I was involved in teaching and developed a genuine love of those interactions with students, which I am delighted to continue as a lecturer.

I now teach levels 4 through 8 across a range of modules in the biosciences. I am actively working on various research projects and am a member of the Microplastics Research Group, the Green Wall Centre Research Group and the Invertebrate Research Group at Staffordshire University.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Royal Society of Biology
  • Member of the Royal Entomological Society
  • Member of the British Ecological Society
  • Member of the Entomological Society of America
  • Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Scientists

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, Biology. Thesis title “Morphometric identification, ecology and olfactory mediated sugar feeding behaviour of Culex pipiens s.s. and Culex torrentium mosquitoes of the North West Midlands of England.”
  • BSc (Hons) Biology. Staffordshire University
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher and Professional Education. Staffordshire University

Research interests

Current research is focused on:

  • The olfactory mediated feeding behaviour of mosquitoes.
  • The identification of sibling and cryptic mosquito species using semi-automated numerical morphometric techniques.
  • The biological impact of environmental microplastics
  • Urban green infrastructure interventions to improve biodiversity, health and well-being in modern cities.

Enterprise and commercial interests

Member of the Staffordshire University Arthropod Specimen Identification Service Team supporting the MOD in identification of potential disease vectors, and for the training of their environmental health operatives.


  • Level 4 Structure and Function, Comparative Behaviour, Global challenges coordinator
  • Level 5 Adaptation and Survival, Behaviour
  • Level 6 Applied Entomology, Current Advances in the Biosciences, Animal Health and Welfare
  • Level 7 Advanced Research Methods
  • Level 8 PhD Supervision


“Why Mosquitoes bite some people more than others” TheConversation.com 2018 https://theconversation.com/why-mosquitoes-bite-some-people-more-than-others-101353

“Feeding mosquitoes sugar makes them less likely to bite – but don’t go leaving out sugary treats just yet” TheConversation.com 2019 https://theconversation.com/feeding-mosquitoes-sugar-makes-them-less-likely-to-bite-but-dont-go-leaving-out-sugary-treats-just-yet-118029

“How to survive university – top tips for new students” TheConversation.com 2019 https://theconversation.com/how-to-survive-university-top-tips-for-new-students-121160

Conference Presentation “The Global Change Challenge” 3rd February 2020 STEM 2020 Advance HE conference

Poster titled: “Do Aedes aegypti teneral reserves affect antennal response to host and floral odours as measured by GC-EAG?” 20-22nd August 2019 ENTO 19 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Conference presentation “Do Aedes aegypti teneral reserves affect antennal response to host and floral odours as measured by GC-EAG?” given by my intern student Steven Lloyd-Jones. 20-22nd August 2019 ENTO 19 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Presented a technology enhanced learning (TEL) talk about mine and my colleagues’ use of Microsoft Sway to deliver and coordinate bidirectional teaching with our students. 21st February 2018 Royal Society of Biology, Heads of University Biosciences Workshop – University of Reading

Presented a talk titled “Olfactory mediated behaviour of Culex pipiens s.s. and Culex torrentium in relation to volatile organic chemical emissions of selected Apiaceae flowers.” 24th May 2017 Postgraduate research conference – Staffordshire University

Presented “British Mosquitoes: Their ecology and the role of olfaction in their sugar feeding behaviour” 12th February 2016 Royal Entomological Society PG Forum – Harper Adams University

Presented “Air, Odours and Excitement: On the Design and Build of a Dual Choice Olfactometer” 8th August 2014 10th European Congress of Entomology – University of York

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021