skip to content

Conservation Research Institute



My current work is on the potential environmental, health and socioeconomic impacts of an increased demand for edible insects.

As an undergraduate I studied Biological Anthropology, and one research project I worked on was on insectivory in wild chimpanzees. After graduating I went to Japan on a scholarship from the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation. I learnt Japanese and developed an interest in insectivory - and insect agriculture - by humans. I spent a further two years in Japan studying this on a MEXT government scholarship at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, and also worked with the BHFCPNP group at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, Oxford University. 


I am interested in the potential impacts of the expansion of a (relatively) new type of agriculture - farming insects for human food. It has been claimed that this could greatly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and the pressure on land use that are currently created by our increasing demand for edible animal-based protein. It has also been claimed that insects as food may have health benefits that rival traditional livestock. Finally, it has been claimed that insect farming has the potential to aid socio-economic mobility. The purpose of my PhD is to address these claims, through a combination of fieldwork and modelling. 


Other publications: 

Cox, S., Payne, C., Badolo, A., Attenborough, R., & Milbank, C. (2018). The nutritional role of insects as food: a case study of ‘chitoumou’(Cirina butyrospermi), an edible caterpillar in rural Burkina Faso. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, 1-12.

Jucker, T., Wintle, B., Shackelford, G., Bocquillon, P., Geffert, J. L., Kasoar, T., Jovacs, E., Mumby, H. S., Orland, C., Schleicher, J., Tew, E., Zabala, A., Amano, T., Bell, A., Bongalov, B., Chambers, J. M., Corrigan, C., Durán, A. P., Duvic-Paoli, L-A., Emilson, C., da Silva, J. F., Garnett, E. E., Green, E. J., Guth, M. K., Hacket-Pain, A., Hinsley, A., Igea, J., Kunz, M., Luke, S. H., Lynam, W., Martin, P. A., Nunes, M. H., Ockendon, N., Pavitt, A., Payne, C. L. R., Plutshack, V., Rademacher, T., Robertson, R. J., Rose, D. C., Serban, A., Simmons, B. I., Szkokan-Emilson, E. J., Tayleur, C., Wordley, C. and Mukherjee, N.(2018) Ten‐year assessment of the 100 priority questions for global biodiversity conservation. Conservation Biology. 14th June 2018.

Payne, C. L. R., Van Itterbeeck, J. V. I. (2017) Ecosystem services from insects in agricultural systems, Insects 8(1):24

Payne, C. L. R, Evans, J. D. (2017) Nested Houses: Domestication dynamics of human-wasp relations in contemporary rural Japan, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 13:13

Payne, C.L.R., Scarborough, P., Rayner, M., Nonaka, K. (2016) A systematic review of nutrient composition data available for twelve commercially available edible insects, and comparison with reference values, Trends in Food Science & Technology 47:69-77, doi: 10.1016/j.tifs.2015.10.012. 

Müller, A., Evans, J., Payne, C. L. R., & Roberts, R. (2016). Entomophagy and Power. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, 2(2), 121-136.

Dunkel F and Payne C L R (2016) Chapter 1. Introduction to edible insects, in: Dossey A T, Morales-Ramos J and Rojas G (Ed.) Insects as a Sustainable Food Ingredient, Elesevier

Payne, C. L., Dobermann, D., Forkes, A., House, J., Josephs, J., McBride, A., ... & Soares, S. (2016). Insects as food and feed: European perspectives on recent research and future priorities. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed.

Payne C L R (2016) Insects as Food and Feed – an interdisciplinary workshop held in Oxford, December 2015, Antenna

Payne C L R, Fruth B, Mato B(2016) Entomophagy in the area surrounding LuiKotale, Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo, ​African Study Monographs 37(1):1-12

Evans, J., Alemu, M.H., Flore, R., Frøst, M.B., Halloran, A., Jensen, A.B., Maciel-Vergara, G., Meyer-Rochow, V.B., Münke-Svendsen, C., Olsen, S.B. and Payne, C., 2015. ‘Entomophagy’: an evolving terminology in need of review. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, 1(4), pp.293-305.

Payne, C. L. R., Umemura, M., Dube, S., Azuma, A., Takenaka C., & Nonaka, K. (2015). The mineral composition of five insects as sold for human consumption in Southern Africa. African Journal of Biotechnology , 14(31), 2443-2448.

Payne, C L R (2015) Perception and Practice of Entomophagy in Central Rural Japan, The Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, fifth series, volume 7, 139-149

Payne, C L R (2015) The ‘domestication’ of edible insects, Seibutsukagaku (Journal of Biological Sciences) 66(3):166-176 (In Japanese) 

Payne, C L R (2015) A report from the first international conference on entomophagy, Seibutsukagaku (Journal of Biological Sciences) 66(3):166-176 (In Japanese) 

Payne, C L R (2014) Wild harvesting declines as pesticides and imports rise: The collection and consumption of insects in contemporary rural Japan, Journal of Insects as Food and Feed 

Payne, C L R and Nonaka, K (2014) Erntefest Auf Japanisch: Wespen als leckerbissen in fernost [Black wasps and giant hornets: A harvest feast in central Japan] Bugs magazin (In German)

Webster, T HMcGrew, W CMarchant, L F, Payne, C L R, and Hunt, K D (2014) Selective insectivory at Toro-Semliki, Uganda: Comparative analyses suggest no ‘savanna’ chimpanzee pattern Journal of Human Evolution 71:20-27

Scarborough, P, Payne, C L R, Agu, C GKaur, A, Mizdrak, A, Rayner, M, Halford, J C G, and Boyland, E (2013) How important is the choice of the nutrient profile model used to regulate broadcast advertising of foods to children? A comparison using a targeted data set, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013) 67, 815–820

McGrew, W C, Marchant, L F, Payne, C L RWebster, T H, and Hunt, K D (2010). Chimpanzees at Semliki Ignore Oil Palms. Pan Africa News 17(2): 19-21. 

Payne, C L R, Webster, T H and Hunt, K D (2008) Coprophagy by the Semi-Habituated Chimpanzees of Semliki, Uganda, Pan Africa News 15(2)