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
Variation in malaria transmission dynamics in three different sites in Western KenyaJournal of Tropical Medicine 2012 (2012). - ISSN 1687-9686
Insecticide-treated plastic sheeting for emergency malaria prevention and shelter among displaced populations: an observational cohort study in a refugee setting in Sierra LeoneAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 87 (2012)2. - ISSN 0002-9637 - p. 242 - 250.
Lessons from Agriculture for the Sustainable Management of Malaria VectorsPLOS Medicine 9 (2012)7. - ISSN 1549-1676
Exploiting the behaviour of wild malaria vectors to achieve high infection with fungal biocontrol agentsMalaria Journal 11 (2012). - ISSN 1475-2875
Identification of candidate volatiles that affect the behavioural response of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto to an active kairomone blend: laboratory and semi-field assaysPhysiological Entomology 37 (2012)1. - ISSN 0307-6962 - p. 60 - 71.
Feeding strategies of anthropophilic mosquitoes result in increased risk of pathogen transmissionTrends in Parasitology 28 (2012)3. - ISSN 1471-4922 - p. 114 - 121.
A Novel Synthetic Odorant Blend for Trapping of Malaria and Other African Mosquito SpeciesJournal of Chemical Ecology 38 (2012)3. - ISSN 0098-0331 - p. 235 - 244.
Collapse of Anopheles darlingi populations in Suriname after introduction of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs); malaria down to near elimination levelAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 86 (2012)4. - ISSN 0002-9637 - p. 649 - 655.
Novel strategies lead to pre-elimination of malaria in previously high-risk areas in Suriname, South AmericaMalaria Journal 11 (2012). - ISSN 1475-2875
Selection of mosquito life-histories: a hidden weapon against malaria?Malaria Journal 11 (2012). - ISSN 1475-2875