World Food Prize Laureate To Present York Distinguished Lecture

By:
Carole L. Jaworski

Source:
Marjorie Hoy (352) 392-1901 ext. 153

GAINESVILLE — Dr. Hans Rudolf Herren, Chief Executive and Director General of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Kenya, Africa, will present this year’s York Distinguished Lecture. The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24 in the J. Wayne Reitz Union Ballroom on the University of Florida campus. A reception follows in rooms 122 – 123. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Herren will speak on “Insect Science for Sustainable Development: A Revisited Agenda.”

In 1995, Herren was named World Food Prize Laureate for advancing human development By improving the quality, quantity and availability of the world’s food supply. The World Food Prize, created By Nobel Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug, is the foremost award in agriculture, food and nutrition.

Herren was awarded the prize for his work on controlling the cassava mealybug in Africa. Cassava is a staple root crop for more than 200 million African people. An introduced pest, the cassava mealybug threatened to destroy this important food crop, creating a food emergency across the continent.

“Dr. Herren’s efforts to relieve this disaster provide one of the most outstanding examples of classical biological control in the world,” says Marjorie Hoy, UF eminent scholar in entomology and nematology. “It will serve as a model for other efforts to enhance food production in Africa for years to come.”

Thirty countries eventually benefited from the control program. Today, cassava mealybug and its natural enemies coexist in low-level equilibrium across Africa, ensuring lasting biological control of this pest without further inputs.

In addition to the World Food Prize, Herren has received numerous other awards. In 1991, he received the Sir and Lady Rank Prize for Nutrition from Mrs. Margaret Thatcher in London. He also received the Merit Award for Outstanding Service to Crop Protection from the XII International Plant Protection Congress at Rio de Janeiro; the KilBy Award for Extraordinary Contribution to Society Through Science, Technology, Innovation, Invention, and Education; the King Baudoin Award for research and control of the cassava mealybug; the Plaque of Appreciation from the African Association of Insect Scientists in recognition for extraordinary contribution to entomology in Africa; and the Parasitis 86 Award for planning and implementation of the world’s largest biological control project.

Herren is Editor in Chief of Insect Science and Its Application and is a member of the Editorial Board of Biological Control Science and Technology. He is also a member of the Entomological Society of America, African Association of Insect Scientists, International Organization of Biological Control, New York Academy of Science, American Institute of Biological Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He is the author of some 80 scientific publications.

A native of Switzerland, he received his bachelor’s degree from the Humboldtianum in Bern and his master’s and doctorate degrees in agricultural sciences from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. His doctoral research on biological control of the larch bud moth in the Swiss Alps was a pioneering study of insect population manipulation. It is featured today in most ecology books as a component of long term population dynamics studies.

The York Distinguished Lecturer Series was established in 1984 By an endowment from Dr. and Mrs. E.T. York.

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