Myron P. Zalucki, ESA Fellow (2014)


Dr. Myron (pronounced Meron) P. Zalucki, a professor at the University of Queensland (UQ), was elected Fellow in 2014. He is internationally recognized for his research on basic and applied aspects of insect-plant interactions, primarily in the Lepidoptera, and particularly on monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus L.) and pest heliothines (Noctuidae).

Zalucki was born in Canberra on 26 May 1954, where he spent his first 22 years. He attended the Australian National University (ANU), received his B.S. in 1974, and completed his honors in zoology (first class) at ANU in 1976. He then entered the doctoral program in ecology at Griffith University, earning a Ph.D. in 1982. He took a short-term temporary position at UQ in 1981, and within one year he accepted a position as a lecturer (equivalent to assistant professor) in the Department of Entomology, attaining the rank of full professor in 2001 in the School of Biological Sciences.

To date, Zalucki has mentored more than 80 students that have successfully completed honors, masters', or doctoral degrees, with more in the wings. His laboratory focuses on understanding the ecology of insects, using field and laboratory experiments to reveal underlying mechanisms founded on a clear understanding of their natural histories. Over the years, this research has been published in more than 300 refereed papers, books, book chapters, and conference proceedings. In addition to investigating the fundamental aspects of oviposition behavior of adult Lepidoptera and foraging behavior of caterpillars, his work examines the migration, population dynamics, modeling distribution and abundance, and the application of these concepts to the understanding of the management of some of the world’s key pests, including Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) and diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella(L.). In 1996, he was awarded the Ian MacKerras Medal by the Australian Entomological Society for outstanding contributions to entomology.

Zalucki has made significant contributions to the promotion and advancement of entomology in Australia, and internationally, through research collaborations with students and colleagues from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, China, Fiji, France, Gambia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Myanmar, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Spain, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Uganda, the USA, and Vietnam. He has served as vice president and president of the Australian Entomological Society, and chaired several conference organizing committees, including the widely acclaimed XXII International Congress of Entomology (ICE) in Brisbane. He is active on a number of editorial boards, including the Annual Review of Entomology, the Journal of Economic Entomology, Insect Science, the International Journal of Pest Management, and, until recently, the Journal of Pest Science. He is on the ICE council and was the inaugural International Branch Representative on the ESA Governing Board.

These endeavors would not be possible without the support of Jacinta, the lady who has put up with him since 1979, and four great offspring: Yaramah, Nadia, Katrusha, and Oressia. These folk, and a passion for cooking, have kept his feet on the ground.

(updated, February 2015)