October 22, 2014 | By: Katie Pratt
Lexington, Ky.

A University of Kentucky entomologist was selected as a United States representative to an international meeting of emerging young scientists, engineers and doctors.

James Harwood is one of 26 U.S. delegates chosen to attend the 2nd Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering and Medicine symposium in December in Muscat, Oman.

The symposium will bring together some of the brightest young minds from the United States and Arab countries to discuss their current research and build collaborations with each other to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues.

Delegates were selected based on their contributions and leadership potential in their fields of study.

Harwood, an associate professor in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is one of the few insect ecologists in the world using molecular techniques to study food webs and their importance in agriculture and nature. Much of his research focuses on identifying potential natural predators of common agricultural pests to use in biological control situations.

At the conference, he will speak about sustainable approaches to agriculture in a changing world by exploring the effects of global change and agricultural intensification on predator and prey relationships in agroecosystems.

“I draw on research from agricultural systems around the world and use ecological and molecular tools to identify the intensity of these interactions and provide a framework to guide biological control strategies for sustainable pest management in a changing world,” he said.

This opportunity builds on a major research grant Harwood received from The Research Council of Oman. The project seeks to identify key predators of the dubas bug, a major pest of date palm throughout the Middle East.

“Attending this symposium will not only allow for discussions pertaining to pest management throughout the world, but it will foster further collaboration on the management of the dubas bug with colleagues throughout the region,” Harwood said.

The conference is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development, The Research Council of Oman and the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.

Contact: 

James Harwood, 859-257-4264

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