After the Second World War much entomological research was undertaken from the concept that most pest problems caused by insects could be solved by application of insecticides.
Chemical control was considered cheap, effective and safe. It is now realized that this approach was non-sustainable. Already in the early days of chemical control the Laboratory of Entomology choose a different approach for its research, with emphasis on alternative methods of control. Initially the research focused on insect physiology i.e. hormonal regulation of insect development and resulted in the discovery of insect growth regulators as modern and selective control agents. Subsequently much work was done (and continues to be done) on the physiology of insect/plant interactions and the ecology of parasite/host and predator/prey interactions. In the last decade research on arthropod vectors of human and animal diseases complemented the research at the Laboratory.
The Laboratory of Entomology conducts fundamental and applied research. Fundamental scientific research concerns 5 topics:
- Host plant selection by herbivorous insects and mites;
- Chemical communication between plants and carnivorous insects and mites;
- Foraging behaviour of predators and parasitoids;
- Population dynamics of parasitoids
- Evolutionary ecology of asexual reproduction in insects.
Applied research is narrowly associated with the fundamental research, and includes the following topics:
- Development of biological and integrated pest management in greenhouses, orchards and field crops;
- Mechanisms of host-plant resistance;
- Biological and integrated control of pests and vectors in the tropics
West Nile Virus: High Transmission Rate in North-Western European Mosquitoes Indicates Its Epidemic Potential and Warrants Increased SurveillancePLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 9 (2015)7. - ISSN 1935-2727
Combining malaria control with house electrification: adherence to recommended behaviours for proper deployment of solar-powered mosquito trapping systems, Rusinga Island, western KenyaTropical Medicine and International Health 20 (2015)8. - ISSN 1360-2276 - p. 1048 - 1056.
Understanding the long-lasting attraction of malaria mosquitoes to odor baitsPLoS ONE 10 (2015)3. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 16 p.
Effects of fungal infection on feeding and survival of Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae) on plant sugarsParasites & Vectors 8 (2015). - ISSN 1756-3305 - 11 p.
Tweede jaar op rij een recordaantal teken gevangenNature Today (2015).
Synthetic odour blends for sampling of malaria mosquitoesAntenna : Bulletin of the Royal Entomological Society (2014)Special Edition 2014. - ISSN 0140-1890 - p. 92 - 93.
Skin microbiota and attractiveness to mosquitoesIn: Encyclopedia of Metagenomics / , Nelson, K.E.. - New York : Springer Verlag - ISBN 9781461464181 - p. 591 - 595.
Field evaluation of a novel synthetic odour blend and of the synergistic role of carbon dioxide for sampling host-seeking Aedes albopictus adults in Rome, ItalyParasites & Vectors 7 (2014). - ISSN 1756-3305 - 5 p.
Natural variation in virulence of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana against malaria mosquitoesMalaria Journal 13 (2014). - ISSN 1475-2875 - 8 p.
Tracking the mutual shaping of the technical and social dimensions of solar-powered mosquito trapping systems (SMoTS) for malaria control on Rusinga Island, western KenyaParasites & Vectors 7 (2014). - ISSN 1756-3305