Michelle specialises in the minimisation of pesticide use in fruit horticulture, improving pollination in fruit crops and incorporating modern fruit growing practices with Integrated Pest Management. The former includes research on improving pest monitoring by developing semiochemical manipulation of insects, optimising the use of biological control agents and enhancing and fostering local landscape ecology to provide the ecosystem service of pest control.
Her pollination research is on the identification and enhancement of key insect pollinators of a range of fruit crops including blackcurrant, apple, pear and strawberry. She leads research into invasive pest species, such as, Drosophila suzukii and Anthonomus sp. and is a taxonomic specialist of Collembola, Araneae and fruit crop fauna.
She communicates research to growers and agronomists and presents papers at national and international conferences. She also authors best practice guidelines and factsheets for pest control in fruit crops and edits books and papers in specialist areas of fruit entomology.
In 2022 Michelle has been elected as convenor of the IOBC-WPRS Working Group “Integrated Protection of Fruit Crops”.