Date of release: Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NRICan natural insect diseases replace chemical pesticides? This question will be addressed at a University of Greenwich free public lecture next week.

Dr David Grzywacz, of the Natural Resources Institute, will present his talk, “Killing insects without chemicals - can we use insect diseases to control pests without harming our environment?”, on Wednesday 3 December.

Currently the world relies overwhelmingly on chemical pesticides to control the insects that threaten our food, agricultural production and forests. EU countries use 200,000 tons of chemical pesticides a year.

In this lecture Dr Grzywacz will discuss his research to harness natural insect diseases as a safe, environmentally acceptable pest control and the factors that impede or promote the aim to switch from chemical pesticides to biological alternatives. The talk will discuss the scientific and technological challenges as well as societal issues involved.

Dr Grzywacz has worked in Asia, the Middle East, South America and Africa, studying the relationship between major pest insects and their diseases. He has worked on a number of projects that have developed successful commercial biological pesticides based on disease organisms, and also on genetic modification as a means to use the genes from insect disease organisms to protect crops.

The lecture begins at 6.30pm in the Ward Room, Pembroke, Medway Campus. Tea and coffee will be served afterwards, during which time Dr Grzywacz will be available to discuss his work.

To book a place, please email science-public-lectures@gre.ac.uk. For more information on the work of NRI, part of the Faculty of Engineering & Science: http://www.nri.org/

Story by Public Relations