Joop van Lenteren
PhD 1976, Leiden University
My basic research is aimed
at understanding the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of natural
enemies, particularly parasitoids. These small insects, often less than 2mm
long, have to find their host insects in a very diverse environment in order to
be able to feed and reproduce. We study the search and parasitizition behaviour of parasitoids in
olfactomers, windtunnels and under natural conditions in the field. We try to
find out what kind of information parastitoids use to orient themselves and find
their hosts. After having arrived in an area with hosts, we determine in what
way and how quickly they localize their hosts. When the parasitoid has contacted
the host, we investigate how and when they decide to accept the host for
egglaying. If they do not oviposit we try to find out why they reject the host.
In addition, population fluctuations of parasitoids and hosts are studied in
artificial and natural situations, to see if and how parasitoids are able to
regulate numbers of their hosts. Side lines in my research are (1) the anatomy
and sensory physiology of parasitoid ovipositors and (2) the discovery of insect
research focuses on biological and integrated pest management. One research
question is how good natural enemies can quickly be distinguished from useless
species. We develop selection criteria which can be applied before field
evaluations are done. Part of this study is the design of an individual-based
simulation model, in which the effect of changes in the biology of the natural
enemy, the pest, the crop and the environment, on the biological control effect
can be evaluated. Based on the initial selection with these criteria and the
simulation model, natural enemies are then selected and tried out under
greenhouse or field conditions. Another research project deals with the risks of
importing exotic natural enemies and the design of a protocol for evaluation of
exotic species. Finally, we develop criteria for quality control of natural
Lenteren, J.C. van, S.
Ruschioni, R. Romani, J.J.A. van Loon, Y.T. Qiu, H. M. Smid, N. Isidoro & F.
Structure and electrophysiological responses of gustatory organs on the
ovipositor of the parasitoid
Leptopilina heterotoma. Arthropod Structure and
Development, 36: 271-276.
Lenteren, J.C. van, 2007. Biological
control of pests and diseases in greenhouses: an unexpected success. In:
Biological Control: a Global Perspective, Vincent,
C., Goettel, M.S. and Lazarovits, G. (eds.). CABI, Wallingford,
J.C. van, Bale, J., Bigler, F, Hokkanen, H.M.T., Loomans, A.J.M.,
risks of releasing
exotic biological control agents of arthropod
pests. Annual Review
of Entomology, 51: 609-634. +
Lenteren, J.C. van &
H.C.J. Godfray, 2005.
European science in the
Enlightenment and the discovery of the insect
parasitoid life cycle in The Netherlands and
Britain. Biological Control 32: 12-24.
Lenteren, J.C. van (ed.),
2003. Quality Control and Production of Biological Control Agents: Theory and
Procedures. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK: 327 pp.
2008: Royal Dutch Phytopathological Society Prize for
cutting edge research
and application in biological
control, Ede-Wageningen, The
2006: Rank Prize in recognition of fundamental and
applied studies on
herbivore natural enemy
relationships and biological control, London,
United Kingdom (with Dicke and Vet).
2005: Royal/Shell Sustainability Prize in recognition of
fundamental and applied
research resulting in
sustainable biological crop protection, The Hague,
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Joop van Lenteren.