Walter Leal
Walter Leal

Chair of Membership Committee

Year of Honorary Fellowship, 2015

Professor Walter Leal is Professor of Biochemistry at the University of California Davies. His research has significantly unravelled the molecular mechanisms that make the insect’s olfactory system so sensitive and selective. In collaborations with structural biologists, including UC Davis colleagues, Prof Leal studies the molecular mechanisms of odorant binding, release, and transport, including novel, pH-dependent conformational changes in moths and mosquitoes. He was elected to the Brazilian Academy of Sciences in 2012 and in that same year he was awarded a Selected-Silver Medal from the International Society of Chemical Ecology.

Walter Leal served as Councillor and President of the International Society of Chemical Ecology. Along with Alvin Simmons, Leal served as co-chair of the 2016 International Congress of Entomology. At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Leal organized a series of COVID symposia, which drew thousands of attendees. He recently invented and organized a symposium, “Insect Olfaction and Taste in 24 Hours Around the Globe,” to provide a platform for young scholars to highlight their recent work and interact with other well-established scholars in the field.

In 2016, Prof Leal was one of the chief convenors of the International Congress of Entomology in Orlando Florida, the largest gathering of entomologists in history. At the AGM of Ento23, Leal was voted in as Chair of Membership Committee.


  • Honorary Member, Entomological Society of America
  • Academic Senate’s 2022 Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award
  • Distinguished Teaching Award for Undergraduate Teaching, UC Davis Academic Senate (2020)
  • Award for Excellence in Teaching, Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America (2020)
  • Founders’ Memorial Award, Entomological Society of America (2019)
  • Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (2019)
  • Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences (2015)
  • Honorary Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society (2015)
  • Corresponding Member, Brazilian Academy of Sciences (2012)
  • Silver Medal, International Society of Chemical Ecology (2012)
  • Nan-Yao Su Award for Innovation and Creativity in Entomology (2011)
  • Fellow of the Entomological Society of America (2008)
  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2005)
  • Gakkai-show (Fellow-like award), Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology (1998)
  • Entomological Society of Brazil Award, Medal of Achievement (1995)
  • Gijitsusho (Technology Prize), Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology & Agrochemistry (1994)
portrait of Professor Walter Leal Hon.FRES