Leading Insect-expert to Discuss Strategies for Inhibiting Evolution of Pest Resistance to Control Methods

Fred Gould of North Carolina State University will give the 2013 Alfred M. Boyce Lecture at UC Riverside, April 1

Photo shows Prof. Fred Gould of North Carolina State University.

Fred Gould is the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Entomology at North Carolina State University. Photo credit: NC State University.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Fred Gould, one of the world’s top insect researchers, will give the 2013 Alfred M. Boyce Lecture at the University of California, Riverside on April 1.

Titled “Two-locus models for applied entomologists,” the talk will begin at 4:10 p.m. in the auditorium of the Genomics Building.  A reception at 5 p.m. in the lobby of the Entomology Building will follow the talk. Both the talk and reception are free and open to the public. Parking costs $6.

Gould is the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Entomology at North Carolina State University.  He was elected into the National Academy of Sciences in 2011.  He studies the ecology and genetics of insect pests to improve food production and human and environmental health.

In his talk, he will describe how two-locus population genetics models have provided non-intuitive insights that have been useful to applied entomologists and could be useful to students in the future. Specifically, he will draw from some ancient and recent work done in his lab and labs of colleagues to discuss two-locus models used in developing strategies to inhibit pest adaptation to insecticides and transgenic crops, and models developed to assess the feasibility and efficiency of a number of approaches for using genetically-engineered pests to suppress vector-borne pathogens.

“The variation we see in most traits in humans, insects, and plants is controlled by the DNA sequences in many genomic locations (loci) but for simplicity we often discuss this variation as if it were controlled by DNA sequences at a single location (locus),” he said. “This simplification is useful in many cases. However, when dealing with phenomena like adaptation of pests to insecticides or resistant crop varieties such models can be misleading.”

In the talk, he will discuss, too, how applied entomologists have used somewhat more complex two-locus models to gain more accurate insights for developing pest control systems that inhibit the evolution of pest resistance to the control methods.

Gould has assisted in the development and deployment of insecticidal transgenic crops in ways that suppress the evolution of pest resistance. He is now focused on the potential for engineering insects and other pests to suppress disease and crop loss, and to protect endangered species.

He has served on National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council committees to study the environmental effects of the commercialization of genetically modified plants and develop recommendations on genetically modified pest protected crops.  He has also served on Environmental Protection Agency panels on genetically modified crops.

He is a fellow of the Entomological Society of America and a member of the Society for the Study of Evolution and Sigma Xi. He has received the Alexander von Humboldt award for most significant agricultural research over a five-year period. His other awards and honors include the Sigma Xi George Bugliarello Prize for written communication of science, the Holladay Medal in recognition of research achievements and contributions to North Carolina State University, and the O. Max Gardner Award for contributions to human welfare.

The Boyce lectures were instituted in 1977 and honor Alfred M. Boyce (1901-1997), one of the world’s leading authorities on insects and mites that attack citrus and walnuts. Boyce served as the director of the UCR Citrus Experiment Station, first dean of the College of Agriculture, and assistant director of the statewide Agricultural Experiment Station.

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Additional Contacts

Information about the lecture
Tel: (951) 827-5294
E-mail: cynthia.mena@ucr.edu

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