Nilsa A. Bosque-Pérez, ESA Fellow (2014)


Dr. Nilsa A. Bosque-Pérez, a professor at the University of Idaho (UI) in the Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences, was elected as Fellow in 2014. She is internationally known for her research on insect-host plant interactions, insect vectors of plant viruses, and host plant resistance to insects and pathogens. She is additionally recognized for her distinguished contributions to interdisciplinary graduate education.

Bosque-Pérez was born in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico in 1957 and spent her early years living at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Agricultural Experiment Station in Adjuntas, where her father served as agronomist and director. Following in her father’s footsteps, she obtained a B.S. in agricultural sciences from UPR Mayagüez (1979). She then attended the University of California, Davis, where she received her M.S. (1981) and Ph.D. (1985) in entomology. In 1985, she joined the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria, where she worked for 11 years as a member of a multidisciplinary team of scientists working to increase food production, productivity, and sustainability in sub-Saharan Africa. Bosque-Pérez joined the UI faculty in 1997 and attained the rank of full professor in 2006. She served as interim dean of the UI College of Graduate Studies from 2010–2011.

Bosque-Pérez contributed to fundamental discoveries in the field of host plant-virus-vector interactions, including demonstrating that transgenic virus resistance can influence vector life history and production of plant volatiles to which vectors respond. Her lab group was the first to demonstrate that plant viruses can directly alter host plant selection by vectors, indicating that plant viruses can manipulate vectors to enhance spread. These findings opened new doors for the study of host plant-virus-vector interactions as well as disease and vector management. Her research group studies the impact of management practices and landscape elements on arthropod biodiversity in temperate and tropical regions. She has over 160 scientific publications. A devoted student mentor, she has served on 52 graduate committees, including 14 as major professor. As project director and student mentor of two NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) projects, she facilitated novel infrastructures for interdisciplinary team research by doctoral students.

A sought after speaker at conferences and scientific venues around the world, Bosque-Pérez has authored or co-authored 112 invited and over 265 contributed presentations. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and her awards include the ESA Recognition Award in Entomology (2006), the University of Idaho Award for Excellence in Interdisciplinary or Collaborative Efforts (2011), and the ESA Pacific Branch Award for Distinction in Student Mentoring (2012). She has served ESA on the Journal of Medical Entomology Editorial Board (1999–2003), as a Journal of Economic Entomology subject editor (2010–2011), and as a member of the International Affairs Committee (2000–2002) and the Pacific Branch Executive Committee (2007–2009). She also served as guest editor of Virus Research (2011, 2013–2014).

Bosque-Pérez is the proud aunt of 13 nephews and nieces and two grandnieces, and enjoys traveling and birdwatching.

(updated February, 2015)