Christian W. Borgemeister, ESA Fellow (2012)

Dr. Christian W. Borgemeister, Director General of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), was elected as Fellow in 2012. Borgemeister is internationally recognized for his research on biocontrol and IPM in the tropics.

Borgemeister was born in Wuppertal, Germany, in 1959 and attended Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany, receiving a Diploma in Agricultural Engineering in 1985. At Göttingen he became interested in IPM and biocontrol of cereal aphids. In 1986 he started his Ph.D. program at Leibniz University, Hannover (LUH), continuing his research on aphid biocontrol, and receiving his degree in applied entomology in 1991.

From 1992–1997 he worked as a postdoc, associate, and later, senior scientist in the Biological Control Program for Africa at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Benin, West Africa. He continued his work on IPM and biocontrol but shifted focus to the invasive larger grain borer (LGB), Prostephanus truncatus (Horn), a devastating pest of stored maize and cassava that was accidentally introduced from Mexico and Central America into East and West Africa. Borgemeister and his team at IITA conclusively demonstrated the potential for LGB classical biocontrol in West Africa.

In 1998 Borgemeister returned to Germany working as assistant, and later associate, professor at LUH and Justus-Liebig University Giessen. He continued his research focus on pest control in the tropics, with major projects in sub-Saharan Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. In addition to biocontrol, Borgemeister and his group ventured into entomopathology, mainly through work on entomopathogenic nematodes and fungi for control of thrips, white flies, and other important pests. In 2005 Borgemeister was appointed the Director General of ICIPE, in Nairobi, Kenya. Under his leadership the Centre has grown in funding and scientific achievements.

Borgemeister has been an invited speaker at many universities around the world, including Harvard, University of California, Riverside, Swedish Agriculture University,Uppsala, Oxford, Universities of Tokyo and Kyushu,and at various scientific events like the Society for Vector Control meeting in Belek, Turkey (2009) and the World Food Prize in Des Moines, IA, USA (2010). In 2010 Borgemeister gave the Sawicki Lecture at Rothamsted Research (UK) and in 2011 he received the International Plant Protection Award of Distinction for “Contributions toward the Development of Plant Protection Strategies and the Global Promotion of Food Security” on the occasion of the joint IPPC/APS meeting in Hawaii, USA. Borgemeister is Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society (UK) and the African Academy of Sciences. Since November 2011 he has been the President of the ESA International Branch.

Borgemeister has published over 110 peer-reviewed papers, is the editor in chief of theInternational Journal of Tropical Insect Science and is a member of the editorial board of the Bulletin of Entomological Research. Throughout his career Borgemeister has supervised 25 M.S. and Diploma, and 23 Ph.D. students from 16 countries.  Borgemeister is married to Juliana Jaramillo Salazar and has two daughters, Julia and Flora. He loves contemporary art and literature, good wine and food, travel and classical music, especially Bach, as influenced by Juliana.

(updated May, 2013)