International Branch Award Winners
Past Award Winners
2011 Award Winners
J.H. Comstock Graduate Student Award
Mr. Itai Opatovsky, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel)
Itai Opatovsky’s interest in entomology started as a child growing up in Kohav-Yair, Israel. Following five years in the Israeli Defence Force, he studied biology at Ben-Gurion University, and continued with a M.Sc. in environment and ecology under the supervision of Prof. Yael Lubin. Itai then worked at the Gilat Research Center with Dr. Phyllis Weintraub. Now enrolled in a Ph.D program, he is studying interactions between agrobiont and immigrant spider species in wheat fields and their effect on pest populations. Itai has won a BARD fellowship to learn molecular techniques in the laboratory of Prof. James Harwood (U. Kentucky), has thrice received the American Arachnological Society Research Award and obtained a Sigma Xi Research Award in 2011. He lives in Midreshet Ben-Gurion in the Negev desert with his wife, Jenia.
International Branch Graduate Student Award
Mrs. Valeria Hochman Adler, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel)
Valeria Hochman Adler is in the last year of her Ph.D. in Desert Ecology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, under the joint supervision of Prof. Yael Lubin and Prof. Moshe Coll (Hebrew University of Jerusalem). Valeria conducts her research in the arid Arava valley of southern Israel, where foreign cultivars are cropped in an otherwise undisturbed landscape. She studies the interactions of local arthropods from natural areas with culturally dependent species from adjacent agricultural areas, and their influence on the desert food chains. Valeria has also studied Nubian Ibex foraging behavior, for which she received a master’s degree in Desert Ecology, also from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Distinguished Scientist Award
Dr. René Feyereisen, Research Director of the INRA Centre of Sophia Antipolis (France)
Dr. René Feyereisen is Research Director of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) Sophia-Antipolis research center, in Provence-Cote d’Azur, France. Over the last three decades, he has become a leading authority in the biochemistry and physiology of insects. He is best known for his contributions to the field of insect endocrinology and his groundbreaking research on the role of cytochrome P450 enzymes in insecticide metabolism and resistance. Dr. Feyereisen has served on the review boards of several institutes, including the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, and has been co-Editor in Chief of the top ranked journal Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology since 2002.
2010 Award Winners
The International Branch Awards Committee is pleased to announce two award recipients for 2010.
Distinguished Service to Entomology
Dr. Zeyaur R. Khan is the Leader of the Habitat Management Program at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) (www.icipe.org) located in Nairobi, Kenya. He has dedicated his 30-year career as an entomologist to advancing the science and practice of entomology by studying and applying chemical ecology, behavior, plant-plant and insect-plant interactions to improve agricultural production to combat poverty and food insecurity in Africa. He is responsible for the discovery and wide scale implementation of a biologically-based IPM technology called "Push-Pull", developed for small-holder cereal-livestock African farmers. Dr. Khan has been a member of the Entomological Society of America for more than 20 years and was elected a Fellow in 2010.
J.H. Comstock Graduate Student Award
Originally from Boston, Massachusetts in the United States, Maggie earned her MSc in Entomology from the University of Hawaii in 2007 and began her PhD that year at The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience. Maggie’s dissertation is focused on discovering novel insecticides from the venom of native Australian spiders, including funnel-webs and tarantulas. Maggie’s scientific research has been published in eleven peer-reviewed manuscripts and her educational projects have featured in refereed publications, conference posters, and the Entomology Digital Library. For a current list of Maggie’s publications please visit (ID: A-5576-2009).
The Graduate Student Scholarship was not awarded this year.