Chair: Walter S. Leal
Born: 1954 │ Appointed: 2016
Field: Chemical Ecology
E-mail: wsleal AT ucdavis.edu
Web page: http://chemecol.ucdavis.edu/
Bio: Walter S. Leal (USA) - born in the beautiful city of Recife, Brazil in 1954 - is Distinguished Professor at the University of California-Davis, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. He is former professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology.
Leal received his B. Eng. in chemical engineering from the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil, M. Sc. in agricultural chemistry from Mie University, Japan, and Ph. D. in applied biochemistry from Tsukuba University, Japan. He received postgraduate training in entomology and chemical ecology at the National Institute of Sericultural and Entomological Science, Japan and Cornell University, USA, respectively. Leal distinguished himself as the first non-Japanese scientist to earn tenure in the Japan Ministry of Agriculture.
Leal joined the faculty at UC Davis in 2000. Leal’s research if focused on insect chemical communication and olfaction. His laboratory discovered a mosquito receptor for the insect repellent DEET and published more than 220 peer-reviewed papers. Leal is a correspondent member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, Honorary Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society (Hon. F.R.E.S.), Honorary Member of the Entomological Society of America, and Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Entomological Society of America. He is recipient of prestigious awards from three different countries, including the Nan Yao Su Award for Innovation and Creativity in Entomology and the Silver Medal of the International Society of Chemical Ecology. Leal served (with Dr. Alvin Simmons, USDA-ARS) as co-Chair of the 2016 International Congress of Entomology. In 2019, Leal delivered the Founders' Memorial Lecture of the Entomological Society of America to honor Tom Eisner. He received the Distinguished Teaching Award for Undergraduate Teaching, UC Davis Academic Senate, 2020, the Award for Excellence in Teaching of the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America, the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences Faculty Teaching Award, 2022, and the Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award, UC Davis Academic Senate, 2022.
Deputy Chair: Marec Frantisek
Bio: Frantisek Marec (Czech Republic), born in 1957. Director of the Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (2012–2022), and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics at the Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, both in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic. He obtained his PhD in Entomology (insect genetics) in 1987 at the Institute of Entomology.
Since 1990 he has been a research fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany. He has had a long-standing collaboration with Prof. Walther Traut at the University of Lubeck, Germany, where he worked as a Humboldtian in 1991–1992 and 1998. Like many geneticists, he started his career in Drosophila, but soon become fascinated by Lepidoptera genetics. His research has focused on sex chromosomes in Lepidoptera, especially on meiotic pairing, molecular differentiation and evolution, and also applications of the sex chromosomes in genetic control strategies against pest species. Current research interests also include molecular mechanisms of sex determination in insects. In addition, his co-operation with the Insect Pest Control Section, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria, resulted in a new approach for the construction of genetic sexing strains in lepidopteran pests.
So far Prof. Marec has published more than 115 peer-reviewed articles and contributed to 6 book chapters. He was also editor of a book on “Molecular Biology and Genetics of the Lepidoptera” (edited by Marian R. Goldsmith and F. Marec, 2010, CRC Press). Since 2001 he has been an Executive Editor of the European Journal of Entomology. He co-organized symposia on insect genetics at the VIth and VIIIth European Congress of Entomology (ECE). In 2022, he was awarded the Gregor Johann Mendel Honorary Medal of the Czech Academy of Sciences for Merit in Biological Sciences.
Secretary General/ Treasurer: Angharad Gatehouse
Bio: Prof Angharad Gatehouse has the Chair of Invertebrate Molecular Biology at Newcastle University. Her research focuses on the molecular and biochemical bases of plant-pest interactions with a view to developing novel strategies for crop protection.
Her group was one of the first to produce insect-resistant transgenic crops. The group are currently developing novel biopesticides, including those based on RNAi. In addition to their efficacy, they are also involved in the biosafety of these strategies, notably in terms of their potential effects on beneficial insects such as pollinators and natural enemies. The group also studies the molecular responses of crops to abiotic/biotic stress for the development of molecular markers. She has published extensively in the field, including in discovery journals (Nature, PNAS) and is named inventor on several patents.
She was ranked 3rd in the world ratings for citations on work on GM crops and awarded an Honorary Doctorate for contributions to Biotechnology (Banat's University of Agricultural Science and Veterinary Medicine). In 2015 she was elected an Honorary Member of the National Italian Academy of Entomology and in 2016 she awarded the ‘Certificate of Distinction in Recognition of Outstanding Achievements in Entomology’, by the Council of the International Congress of Entomology (ICE). Currently she is Chair of External Scientific Advisory Board of Agrotecnio (Centre of Excellence for Agrifood sciences, Spain), and is a member of the International Advisory Board for The Agritech Foundation (Italy). She serves as Secretary General and Treasurer to Council of ICE.