Mike Coulson
Mike Coulson
Senior Managing Scientist
Chemical Regulation & Food Safety
Harrogate (UK)

Mr. Coulson has an international reputation as a pesticide ecotoxicology expert and has over 30 years of experience working within the field. He has a proven track record in developing regulatory solutions to environmental issues. This includes both theoretical argumentation/justification and also experimental strategies for addressing major regulatory issues. Examples include higher tier testing strategies, finessed risk assessments and assessing the risk/ benefit of different techno- regulatory approaches.

Mr. Coulson is able to implement these strategies on behalf of clients, monitor any studies required, and provide revised/refined risk assessments to demonstrate regulatory acceptability. Mr. Coulson has written many expert papers on various aspects of environmental risk assessment and has had frequent dealings with European regulatory Authorities. Mr Coulson is a member of various Expert Groups and presents regularly at various International fora.

Within the bee and pollinator area, he has been involved with many different working groups including chairing the ICPPR (International Commission for Plant Pollinator Relationships) Working group on Semi- field and field testing for several years. He was a key contributor at the 2011 SETAC Pellston Workshop on Pesticide Risk Assessment for Pollinators. He has been involved in pollinator testing and risk assessment strategy in Europe, Canada, USA, Brazil and India.

Mr. Coulson was on the organizing committee and an editor for the third ESCORT (European Standard Characteristics Of Beneficials Regulatory Testing) workshop – proceedings issued in 2012. He is also on the Steering Committee of the upcoming SETAC workshop on soil organisms and non- target arthropods.


  • B.Sc., Biology, University of York, UK, 1982


Campbell P, Coulson M, Ward K. 2017. Authors response on Schick et al. 2017 “An experiment of the impact of a neonicotinoid pesticide on honey bees; the value of a formal analysis of the data”. Environ Sci 29.2.

Christl H, Bendall J, Bergtold M, Coulson M, Dinter A, Garlej B, Hammel K, Kabouw P, Sharples A, von Mérey G, Vrbka S, Ernst G. 2016. Re-calibration of the earthworm tier 1 risk assessment of plant protection products. Int Env Ass Manag Volume 12, Issue 4, pages 643–650.

Thompson H, Coulson M, Ruddle N, Wilkins S, Harkin S. 2016 Thiamethoxam: assessing flight activity of honeybees foraging on treated oilseed rape using radio frequency identification technology. Environ.Toxicol. Chem Vol 35, No.2, pp 385-393.

Sam Maynard, Ruth Albuquerque, Christoph Weber and Mike Coulson 2015. Weeds in the treated field - a realistic scenario for pollinator risk assessment? Hazards of pesticides to bees, Nr. 450, pp.56-62.

C.D. Maus, A. Alix, D. Castle, M. Coulson, J. Cuffe, L. Sears,; H. Thompson,; S. Maund, 2015 A Risk Assessment Scheme to Assess Potential Side Effects of Pesticides to Honeybees. SETAC Latin America 11th Biennial Meeting, Buenos Aires, PT59.

Helen Thompson, Mike Coulson, Natalie Ruddle, Selwyn Wilkins, Paul Harrington, Sarah Harkin 2015. Monitoring effects of thiamethoxam applied as a seed treatment to winter oilseed rape on development of bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) colonies. Pest Management Science 10.1002/ps.4202.

Edward Pilling, Peter Campbell, Mike Coulson, Natalie Ruddle, Ingo Tornier 2015. Authors’ response on Hoppe et al. (2015) “Effects of a neonicotinoid pesticide on honey bee colonies: a response to the field study by Pilling et al. (2013)”. Environ Sci Eur (2015) 27–28

Edward Pilling, Peter Campbell, Mike Coulson, Natalie Ruddle, Ingo Tornier 2013. A Four-Year Field Program Investigating Long-Term Effects of Repeated Exposure of Honey Bee Colonies to Flowering Crops Treated with Thiamethoxam. PLoS One 8(10):e77193.

Dinter, A.; Oberwalder, C.H.; Kabouw, P.; Coulson, M.; Ernst, G.; Leicher, T.; Miles, M.; Weyman, G.; Klein, O.2013. Occurrence and distribution of earthworms in agricultural landscapes across Europe with regard to testing for responses to plant protection products..J. Soils Sediments 13, 278–293. 

Vanbergen et al 2012. Insect pollinators: linking research and policy. U.K. Science and Innovation Network Workshop 10.13140/2.1.3274.5286.

Alix, A., Bakker, F., Barrett, K., Brühl, C.A., Coulson, M., Hoy, S., Jansen, J.P.,Jepson, P., Lewis, G., Neumann, P., Süßenbach, D., and Van Vliet, P. 2012.Ecological risk assessment of pesticides: Linking non-target arthropod testing with protection goals (ESCORT 3). SETAC Press ISBN 978-1-880611-98-2.

Gavin Lewis*, Mike Coulson, Christine Vergnet, Christian Maus, Helen M Thompson, Roland Becker, Dick Rogers, Ingo Tornier 2009. Proposed revision of the higher tier testing requirements for EPPO Standard PP1/170: Test methods for evaluating the side-effects of plant protection products on honeybees. Julius-Kuehn-Archiv, 423.

Dinter, A., Coulson, M., Heimbach, F., Keppler, J., Krieg, W., K ̈olzer, U., 2008.Technical experiences made with the litter bag test as required for the risk assessment of plant protection products in soil. J. Soils Sediment 8(5):333-339. 

Wehling A, Heimbach U, Coulson JM, Rombke J, Schmitzer S, Wilhelmy H 1998. Method for testing effects of plant protection agents on spiders of the Genus Pardosa (Araneae, Lycosidae) in the laboratory. IOBC Bull Vol 21 (6) pp 109-117.

Edwards, P.J., Brown, R.A., Coulson, J.M. & Buckle, A.P. 1988. Field methods for studying the non-target hazard of rodenticide. In Field Methods for Studying Environmental Effects of Pesticides (eds. M.P. Greaves, P.W. Greig-Smith & B.D. Smith), pp. 77-88. British Crop Protection Council.

Prior Experience

Principal Technical Expert, Syngenta, Bracknell, UK, 1983-2016

Scientific Officer, ADAS, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, 1982-1983


  • B.Sc., Biology, University of York, UK, 1982