Rothamsted Research

where knowledge grows


John Caulfield

Research Scientist
Biointeractions and Crop Protection

I joined Rothamsted in 2009 as a Mass Spectrometrist. I am responsible for running the mass spectrometry facility in the Chemical Ecology Group (BCCP dept.) and provide expertise in sample analysis, data interpretation and routine analyses for a wide variety of projects in support of the institute research programmes and within the BCCP department. The facility has a number of Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometers (Autospec – Micromass/Waters, Mat95 - ThermoFinnigan, Agilent 5972 MSD) and a Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer (Quattro Ultima - Micromass/Waters). We also have a number of Agilent Gas Chromatographs for routine analysis of volatile samples.

A key aspect of my role is maintaining instruments to avoid down time which I am able to achieve as I have over 17 years experience in this field (over 8 years working for Micromass/Waters Corp.).

I also provide training on the bench top MS (Agilent MSD) and in the GC facility to staff/students and visiting scientists.

Works With:
+44 (0) 1582 763 133 ext: +44 1582 938116
Rothamsted Research, West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ
Past Projects
  • Chemical ecology of pest and beneficial arthropods : Identification, biosynthesis and scaled production of pheromones and other semiochemicals
  • Adaptation and dissemination of the Push Pull technology (ADOPT)
  • Innovative approaches to pest management
  • Chemical ecology and integrated management of the banana weevil, Cosmopolites sordidus, in Ghana
  • SMART cereals for management of stemborer pests in staple cereals in Africa
  • The role of lipids in determining gas bubble retention and stability in wheat dough

József Vuts, Wittko Francke, Kenji Mori, Paulo H. G. Zarbin, Antony M. Hooper, Jocelyn G. Millar, John A. Pickett, Miklós, Tóth, John C. Caulfield, Christine M. Woodcock, Éva Bálintné Csonka, and Michael A. Birkett. ‘ Methyl (2E,4Z,7Z)-2,4,7-decatrienoate, a novel natural product from males of the bruchid beetle Acanthoscelides obtectus (Col., Chrysomelidae)’, submitted to Organic Letters June 2013


S. Oluwafemi, S.Y. Dewhirst, N. Veyrat, S. Powers, T.J.A. Bruce, J.C. Caulfield, J.A. Pickett and M.A. Birkett, ‘Priming of Defence Volatile Organic Compound Production in Maize by the Natural Plant Activator cis-Jasmone’. PLoS One, accepted June 2013


József Vuts, Lorenzo Furlan, Eva Bálintné Csonka, Christine M Woodcock, John C Caulfield, Patrick Mayon, John A Pickett, Michael A Birkett, Miklós Tóth. ‘Development of a female attractant for the click beetle pest Agriotes brevis’, Pest Management Science, accepted June 2013


Zdenka Babikova, Lucy Gilbert, Toby J. A. Bruce, Michael Birkett, John C. Caulfield,  Christine Woodcock, John A. Pickett and David Johnson. ‘Underground signals carried through fungal common mycelial networks warn neighbouring plants of aphid attack’, Ecology Letters accepted March 2013


D M Magalhaes, M Borges, R A Laumann, E R Sujii, P Mayon, J C Caulfield, C A O Midega, Z R Khan, J A Pickett, M A Birkett and M C Blassioli-Moraes. ‘Semiochemicals from herbivory induced cotton plants enhance the foraging behaviour of the cotton boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis’, Journal of Chemical Ecology 2012, 38: 1528-1538


Mary L Hamilton, Serge P Kuate, Melissa Brazier-Hicks, John C Caulfield, Ruth Rose, Robert Edwards, Baldwyn Torto, John A Pickett and Antony M Hooper. ‘Elucidation of the biosynthesis of the di-C-glycosylflavone isoschaftoside, an allelopathic component from Desmodium spp. That inhibits Striga spp. Development’, Phytochemistry 2012, Dec (84): 169-176


Mahabaleshwar Hegde, Janser N Oliveira, Joao G de Costa, Elisa Loza-Reyes, Ervino Bleicher, Antonio E G Santana, John C Caulfield, Patrick Mayon, Sarah Y Dewhirst, Toby J A Bruce, John A Pickett and Michael A Birkett. ‘Aphid antixenosis in cotton is activated by the natural plant defence elicitor cis-jasmone’, Phytochemistry 2012, Jun (78): 81-8


Pagadala D. Kamala Jayanthi, Christine M. Woodcock, John Caulfield, Michael A. Birkett and Toby J. A. Bruce. ‘Isolation and identification of host cues from mango, Mangifera indica, that attract gravid female oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis’, Journal of Chemical Ecology  2012, (38): 361-369


Angelica de Fatima S Barreto, Otilie E Vercillo, Mike A Birkett, John C Caulfield, Ludger A Wessjohann and Carlos Kleber Z Andrade. ‘Fast and efficient microwave-assisted synthesis of functionalized peptoids via Ugi reactions’, Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry 2011, 14 (9): 5024-5027


Amanuel Tamiru, Toby J. A. Bruce, Christine M. Woodcock, John C. Caulfield, Charles A. O. Midega, Callistus K.P.O. Ogol, Patrick Mayon, Michael A. Birkett, John A. Pickett and Zeyaur R. Khan. ‘Maize landraces recruit egg and larval parasitoids in response to egg deposition by a herbivore’, Ecology Letters 2011, 14 (11), 1075-1083


Mahabaleshwar Hegde, Janser Nobre Oliveira, Joao Gomes da Costa, Ervino Bleicher, Antonio Euzebio Goulart Santana, Toby J.A. Bruce, John Caulfield, Sarah Dewhirst, Christine M Woodcock, John A Pickett and Michael A Birkett. ‘Identification of semiochemicals released by cotton, Gossypium hirsutum, upon infestation by the cotton aphid, Aphis gossypil’, Journal of Chemical Ecology 2011, 37 (7):741-750 


Esayas Mendesil, Toby J A Bruce, Christine M Woodcock, John C Caulfield, Emiru Seyoum, John A Pickett, ‘Semiochemicals used in Host Location by the Coffee berry Borer, Hypothenemus hampei’ Journal of Chemical Ecology 2009, 35 (8):944-50


Mary L Hamilton, John C Caulfield, John A Pickett, Antony M Hooper ‘C-Glucosylflavonoid biosynthesis from 2-hydroxynaringenin by Desmodium uncinatum (Jacq.) (Fabaceae)’, Tetrahedron Letters 2009, Vol 50, No. 40



PhD in Chemistry, Mass Spectrometry (UMIST)


BSc in Chemistry with Instrumentation and IT (Glasgow Caledonian University)

Measures of esteem


  • Royal Society of Chemistry: Member