I am Ilan's lab manager and also a postdoctoral researcher, and I have been in the lab since 2013. In the Davis lab I am working as part of a team on a wide-ranging RNA localisation screen. This screen is based in the Drosophila nervous system and I am working primarily on screening the larval brain. Prior to this project I had worked on another screen project in which we collaborated with several other research groups from across the world. This project was completed recently and was published in G3 pdf . 

Current Project

Along with several other Davis lab members I am working on a large-scale screening project, looking for localising RNA and proteins in the larval nervous system. This screen will include both the central and peripheral nervous system and will cover hundreds of genes. In the course of this project we will generate thousands of high-quality images using advanced imaging techniques in collaboration with Micron, the imaging unit housed within our department. My tissue of interest is the brain of the third instar Drosophila larva. 

Previous Work

Prior to working in Oxford I was a postdoc in Concordia University in Montreal. Here I worked for Dr. Emma Despland on behavioural studies of two economically important forestry insect pests. The spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) project involved investigating the influence secondary foliar chemicals had on feeding stimulation, while the forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) project involved the testing of different aspen and maple cultivars for resistance to forest tent outbreaks.


Tel: 01865 613271


Twitter: @bones_giles

For my PhD, I worked in NUI Maynooth in Ireland in Dr. Christine Griffin's lab. I worked on a project involving behavioural interactions between a major forestry pest, the large pine weevil (Hylobius abietis) and a proposed biological control agent, entomopathogenic nematodes. This involved working on long-term field trials under Dr. Aoife Dillon as well as lab-based experiments. 


Yang L, Titlow J, Ennis D, Smith C, Mitchell J, Young FL, Waddell S, Ish-Horowicz D, Davis I. (2017) Single molecule fluorescence in situ hybridisation for quantitating post-transcriptional regulation in Drosophila brains. Methods.

Ennis D, Despland E, Chen F, Forgione P, Bauce E. (2017) Spruce budworm feeding and oviposition are stimulated by monoterpenes in white spruce epicuticular waxes. Insect science. 24(1):73-80

Misra, M., Edmund, H., Ennis, D., Schlueter, M.A., Marot, J.E., Tambasco, J., Barlow, I., Sigurbjornsdottir, S., Mathew, R., Vallés, A.M. and Davis, I., (2016). A Genome-Wide Screen for Dendritically Localized RNAs Identifies Genes Required for Dendrite Morphogenesis. G3: Genes| Genomes| Genetics, pp.g3-116.

Ennis, D. E., Mader, B. and Despland, E. (2015) Is feeding behaviour on foliage affected by lab-rearing on artificial diet? Journal of Insect Behavior 28(2):147-156. DOI: 10.1007/s10905-015-9483-7

Ennis, D.E., Despland, E., Chen, F., Forgione, P., Bauce, E. (2015) Spruce Budworm feeding and oviposition are stimulated by monoterpenes in white spruce epicuticular waxes. Insect Science 00, 1-8. 
DOI 10.1111/1744-7917.12279

Williams, C.D., Dillon, A.B., Ennis, D.E., Hennessy, R., Griffin, C.T. (2015) Differential susceptibility of pine weevil,Hylobius abietis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), larvae and pupae to entomopathogenic nematodes and death of adults infected as pupae. Biocontrol 60(4) 537-546.

Garcia, R. Q., Despland, E., Ennis, D. E. and Bauce, E. (2014) Effects of food nutritive quality on feeding behavior of Choristoneura fumiferana. (Under review, Journal Insect Behavior)

Francoeur, A.M, Dalati, O., Mottile, V., Ennis, D.E., Tessier, A. (2012). Is your honey contaminant free? American Bee Journal, May 2012, 591 - 592

Ennis, D. E., Dillon, A. B. and Griffin, C. T. (2010). Pine weevils modulate defensive behaviour in response to parasites of differing virulence. Animal Behaviour 80, 283-288.

Ennis, D.E., Dillon, A.B. and Griffin, C. T. (2010). Simulated roots and host- feeding enhance infection of subterranean insects by the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema carpocapsae. J. of Invertebrate Pathology 103, 140-143.

Girling, R. D., Ennis D. E., Dillon A. B. and Griffin, C. T. (2010). The lethal and sub-lethal consequences of entomopathogenic nematode infestation and exposure for adult pine weevils, Hylobius abietis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 104(3), 195-202.

Above: Adult pine weevil Below: Infective juvenile of Steinernema feltiae

Above: Honeybees on a healthy comb

I also worked in partnership with a Montreal biotech company working on honeybees. This project involved testing of contaminants in honey as well as working on developing automated assessment of brood-combs using image analysis.

Top: Fourth instar forest tent caterpillar with distinctive 'penguin' markings along it's midline

Bottom: Fifth instar Spruce Budworm larva on white spruce needles

Contact Us

Biochemistry Dept.
University of  Oxford,
South Parks Rd.,
Oxford, ​OX1 3QU