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Details and previous winners of the RES Award for Early Career Entomologist.

Award topicDescription
Award criteriaFor an early career contribution to insect science that is judged to be outstanding or exemplary with single or ongoing impact on the science. The award is ‘open’ and not restricted to any particular discipline or specialised area of entomological science.
Prize£400 and Certificate.
EligibilityAny person who is within ten years of completing their undergraduate degree or with less than ten years working in entomology whose work, or contribution, meets the criteria. There are no geographic restrictions.
CycleAnnual; nominations accepted until 31st December in any year, winner announced in the following year
AdjudicationBy RES Membership Committee
EntryBy letter of nomination including/or CV
Additional letters of support welcome. The nomination should give a profile of the nominee as is possible with special emphasis on relevance to the Award Criteria. All entries to

2022 Winners

Dr. Franz Löffler – Osnabrück University, Germany

Franz is a landscape ecologist who is interested in the effects of global change on biodiversity. His research covers various indicator groups with a particular focus on insects and birds. He started his career at the University of Münster, where he studied landscape ecology and began teaching animal and community ecology. In 2016, Franz received a PhD scholarship from the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) and moved to Osnabrück University.
Franz completed his PhD in 2021, highlighting key challenges for biodiversity conservation in semi-natural grasslands. In his thesis, Franz especially studied the response of butterflies, grasshoppers and plants to habitat fragmentation. Moreover, particular attention was paid to long-term shifts in grasshopper distribution in Central Europe and their effects at the community level. The findings of the thesis were published in eight papers which make an important contribution to entomological research.
Franz currently works as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Biodiversity and Landscape Ecology, Osnabrück University. To date, he has authored 28 peer-reviewed publications, 18 of which in international journals. He is currently involved in various research projects which are aimed at advancing conservation actions and promoting sustainable land use. A large part of his latest work is dedicated to butterfly and grasshopper monitoring. In his future research, Franz would like to investigate, what measures help species cope in a rapidly changing environment to maintain biodiversity in the long run.

2021 Winners

Dr Juliano Morimoto – School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, UK
Dr Bheemanna Somanna Gotyal – ICAR Central Research Institute for Jute and Allied Fibres, Kolkata, India
Dr Maryam Yazdani – Applied BioSciences, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia

2020 Winners

Dr Sarah Facey

Sarah’s research is focused on the responses of invertebrates to global change and agricultural management practices. Sarah completed her PhD in 2017 at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, looking at the effects of predicted climatic and atmospheric change on invertebrate communities in forest and grassland habitats in south east Australia. The findings from this work made a significant contribution to the literature addressing the effects of global change on ecosystems at the community level, with one article receiving the RES Best Publication Prize for work published in Agricultural and Forest Entomology. More recently, this work contributed to a large-scale collaborative project looking at carbon balances in Eucalypt forests which was published in Nature.

In 2018, Sarah took on a postdoctoral researcher role at Colorado State University working as part of a multidisciplinary team to understand and better manage the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) – the vector of the economically devastating citrus greening disease – in commercial citrus groves.

As she moves forward in her career, Sarah would like to continue to contribute to the field of entomology in research furthering our understanding of how invertebrates will respond to the dual forces of agricultural management and global climate change. With this work, she hopes to enhance our understanding of the world around us, and facilitate positive and sustainable interactions between humans and our environment.

Dr Babasaheb B. Fand , ICAR-Central Institute for Cotton Research, India

Dr Fand is a researcher with a deep affinity for the farming community and a broad interest in the agricultural sciences and environmental protection. After completing his PhD in Entomology from ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi in 2010, Dr Fand joined as a Scientist in Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research. Initially he worked at ICAR-National Institute for Abiotic Stress Management, Baramati, Maharashtra, India where his research was focused on development of temperature-based phenology modelling and habitat suitability mapping for economically important agricultural insect in the context of climate change.

Later, he moved to ICAR-National Research Center for Grapes, Pune, Maharashtra, India where he worked on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) important to natural enemy calling for promoting biological control of insect pests in grape vineyards. Dr Fand is currently working at ICAR-Central Institute for Cotton Research, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India on modelling climate change impacts on cotton insect pests and yield loss aggravation using phenology modelling and GIS based risk mapping approach, insecticide resistance in sucking pests, development and dissemination to farmers fields of IRM strategies for cotton insect pests. His major contribution to the fields of agricultural and environmental sciences in the development of biointensive pest management strategies that discourage the indiscriminate and intensive use of environmentally hazardous chemical pesticides, and equally allows safe integration of biological control agents with other pest control methods without reducing the efficacy of bioagents.

With a great affinity to agriculture and farmers, Dr Fand has been proactive in transfer of advanced crop protection technologies to the farmers’ fields through implementation of front line demonstrations, varietal trials, frequent diagnostic field visits, organization of farmers’ training programs and agricultural exhibitions, delivering lectures in farmers’ group discussions and providing agro-advisories and guidance through television and radio talks.

Besides core research and extension activities, Dr Fand is equally engaged in guiding the Post Graduate students. Dr Fand has authored 21 peer-reviewed publications in international journals of high impact factor, 12 in national (Indian) peer-reviewed journals, 16 in local journals and magazines, two books and two book chapters. He served as ‘Consulting Editor’ of the Journal of Environmental Biology (impact factor 0.73) during 2014-15, and presently he is a ‘Subject Editor’ (Biological Control Section) of Indian Journal of Entomology. For his contribution to the field of Agricultural Entomology, Dr Fand received various national and state level prestigious awards, medals and honors. To find out more about Dr Fand’s work visit his profiles at Google scholar and ResearchGate

2019 Winner

Dr Jessica Gillung, Cornell University

Jessica P. Gillung, who received her Ph.D. in entomology in December 2018, is a postdoctoral associate at the Danforth Lab at Cornell University, where she studies the evolution and conservation of bees and wasps. A native of Brazil, she is fluent in four languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish and German. Jessica joined the UC Davis graduate school program in fall 2013, pursuing research on the evolution, biology, and taxonomy of spider flies, a group of spider natural enemies.

Dr. Gillung is interested in biodiversity discovery and cataloging, and the processes that originate and maintain biodiversity. Her research strives to determine the evolutionary origins and patterns of phenotypic and biological diversity among insects through phylogenetic reconstructions, comparative analyses, taxonomy, and genomics. Additionally, she is interested in how to best use genomic sequences to infer evolutionary history and to understand how evolution has shaped biodiversity. She received the 2018 Student Leadership Award and the 2019 Excellence in Early Career Award from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America.

Jessica finds outreach a most fulfilling aspect of academia; throughout her career, she has devoted more than 3,000 hours across 28 venues, reaching an audience of more than 25,000 people, and she hopes to inspire women and other underrepresented groups in academia to pursue their scientific aspirations. To find out more about Jessica’s work visit her webpage.

2018 Winner

Dr Dara Stanley, National University of Ireland

Dara has always been interested in nature and wildlife, and her research focuses on the biodiversity, ecology and conservation of insects. After a degree in Botany at Trinity College Dublin, she realised that her interests lay in insects and their interactions with plants. After completing a PhD on pollinators and pollination in agricultural landscapes, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher in both London and South Africa.

Dara is currently a Lecturer in Plant Ecology at the National University of Ireland Galway some ongoing projects include questions around rare bumblebee conservation, crop pollination, and pesticide effects on bees. She will be moving her lab to University College Dublin in September 2018 to take up a position as Lecturer in Applied Entomology. She has authored over 15 peer-reviewed scientific publications in journals such as Nature, Current Biology and PNAS, and is also actively committed to science communication and outreach. She regularly runs training workshops in the identification of pollinating insects, provides walks and talks on insects and plants to the general public, and her work is regularly covered by national and international media. To find out more about Dara’s work visit her lab pages

2017 Winner

John Simaika, UN-IHE, the Netherlands

With an already deep affinity for the protection of the environment, and a broad interest in the biological sciences, John studied at the University of Victoria, Canada, graduating with a B.Sc. in Biology (Honours) and Anthropology (Major). He continued his studies at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, with his M.Sc. (Entomology) focused on dragonflies as model organisms for developing and testing methods in freshwater conservation. For his MSc, he worked on developing and testing the Dragonfly Biotic Index (DBI) a rapid assessment index for South African streams, work which he continued for his PhD research. The remainder of John’s Ph.D. focused on conservation planning. The spatial planning work concerned reserve selection using South African aquatic macroinvertebrates and habitat suitability modeling under projected future climate change scenarios in South Africa, and analysis of the representativeness of the continental African network of protected areas of aquatic biodiversity.

John is currently a research fellow at the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. He and his students are working on diverse projects such as disentangling the impacts invasive alien plants have on water quality and aquatic macroinvertebrates in mountain streams of South Africa, and on the development and comparative assessment of wetland assessment tools using dragonflies, for use by citizen scientists in the Lake Victoria region of East Africa.

As a result of his expertise, John is a member of the IUCN Freshwater Conservation Sub-Committee, the IUCN Species Monitoring Specialist Group and the IUCN Dragonfly Specialist Group. John has authored 27 peer-reviewed publications in international journals, two in local journals, four book chapters, and one book. He serves as Associate Editor of the African Journal of Aquatic Science. To find out more about John’s work, please visit the Simaika Lab.

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