The Global Locust Initiative Network

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Locust experts

Do you have a specific question about locust biology, identification, or management? Browse the experts in this list and join the Global Locust Initiative Network to contact them directly.


Chris Adriaansen oversees the mandate of APLC, focusing on monitoring and managing pest locust populations threatening agriculture across several Member States. As CEO, he's responsible for organizational governance, stakeholder management, research direction, and representing APLC to various stakeholders and the public.

Shoki Al-Dobai leads the team focused on monitoring and managing locusts and plant transboundary pests and diseases at FAO.

John Anderies focuses on the governance of outbreak dynamics, exploring ways to manage and control these dynamics effectively.

Amir Ayali's research interests encompass insect behavior, neural mechanisms for behavior, and bio-inspired technological innovations. Specifically, the focus lies on studying locust collective motion, its development, and dynamics.

Spencer Behmer is a member of the Insect Physiology & Behavior Research Group (IPBRG) and the Behavioral Plasticity Research Institute (BPRI). His research focuses on nutritional physiology, behavior, and ecology in insects, emphasizing their adaptation to changing environmental conditions.

Retired Chief of the Directorate of Plant Protection Nganda Phytosanitary Basis in Senegal.

Malcolm Burrows, a professor at the University of Cambridge, leads the Insect Neurobiology Group, delving into the neural circuitry and biomechanics of insects like locusts and cockroaches.

Edward Deveson explores the ecological history of locust and grasshopper infestations, focusing on locust forecasting.

Herman Dierick in an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics. His research interests include aggression in Drosophila and genome editing in insects. He is a member of the Behavioral Plasticity Research Institute.

Olga Dudchenko contributes to the Genome sequencing and assembly of locust genomes as part of the Behavioral Plasticity Research Institute initiative.

Frances Duncan focuses her research on the brown locust's adaptation to arid regions. Her studies encompass the respiratory physiology of gregarious and solitary locusts, examining egg metabolic rates. She investigates the laying patterns of diapause and non-diapause eggs, noting the embryos' ability to enter quiescence at any developmental stage.

Darron Cullen employs straightforward molecular and behavioral methodologies to decipher the sensory biology of Orthopteran insects. His current research concentrates on investigating the auditory mechanisms in bush crickets and understanding the phase changes in locusts. While his prior work centered around the Australian plague locust and desert locust, his curiosity extends to comprehending the biology of various locust species.

Arianne Cease is a sustainability scientist focusing on the ecology and physiology of organisms within social-ecological systems. She directs the Global Locust Initiative (GLI) and researches human-plant-insect interactions' impact on agricultural sustainability.

Anna Childers serves as the Project Lead for the Ag100Pest Initiative, focusing on sequencing the genomes of agricultural arthropod pest species. Her work spans cooperative efforts involving several locust and grasshopper species. Her contributions to projects, such as Schistocerca locust work under the Behavioral Plasticity Research Institute (BPRI) and research on desert and brown locusts funded by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), highlight her dedication to advancing understanding in this field. Additionally, her involvement in studying the migratory grasshopper (Melanoplus sanguinipes), supported by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), demonstrates her multifaceted research efforts.

Maria Marta Cigliano is a researcher at the Center for Parasitological and Vector Studies (CEPAVE) in Argentina. Her work revolves around the identification and resources of grasshoppers, systematics, phylogenetics, biodiversity, and biogeography of Neotropical Acridoidea, aiming to contribute to a better understanding of these insects and the development of effective management strategies for their control.

Bing Chen received his Ph.D. from the Chinese Academy of Science in 2003 before commencing a faculty position at the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing). He held roles as an assistant professor and later as an associate professor at the Institute until the end of 2018. During this period, he worked as a postdoc scholar at the University of Chicago, USA, for two years and served as a visiting scholar at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, for one and a half years. Following his tenure at the Institute, he transitioned to a professorial role at Hebei University in Baoding, China. Bing Chen specializes in researching the eco-physiology and evolutionary genetics of environmental stress adaptation in insects. His research delves into environmental stressors such as high-altitude hypoxia and thermal stress. Among his projects, one specifically investigates the genetic mechanisms underlying high-altitude adaptation of insects in the Tibetan plateau, focusing particularly on heat-shock proteins (HSPs). Bing Chen utilizes methods in the field of evolutionary and ecological function genomics to explore these areas of study.

Sory Cisse specializes in desert locust population dynamics, management of locust information, and the application of satellite images and remote sensing in locust control.

Keith Cressman has been operating FAO's global Desert Locust early warning system since 1987, providing analysis, forecasting, advice, and training. He authors bulletins and develops innovative tools for monitoring and forecasting in collaboration with partners.

Carlos Lange focuses on infectious diseases affecting grasshoppers and locusts within the realm of Insect Pathology and Microbial Biological Control.

Marion Le Gall conducts research aiming to comprehend how generalists, such as grasshoppers, manage the challenge of balancing multiple and changing nutrient needs, influencing their behavior and performance. She employs a physiological approach, utilizing the Geometric Framework for Nutrition as a lens into the mechanisms underpinning ecological patterns and processes. The overarching objective of her research is to leverage these insights in establishing sustainable management programs for herbivorous pests.

Michel Lecoq has conducted research primarily centered on the population dynamics and ecology of various pest locust and grasshopper species, such as Desert, Migratory, Red, Italian, and Mato Grosso locusts, along with the Senegalese grasshopper. His work spans 98 scientific publications and 59 books or book chapters. His contributions have been pivotal in developing preventive control strategies, notably against Desert locusts in Africa (in collaboration with FAO), Mato Grosso Locusts in Brazil (with EMBRAPA), and Migratory locusts in Madagascar (in partnership with FAO, FOFIFA, and the National Locust Center). He actively participated in FAO's EMPRES program for strengthening preventive control, aiding in program formulation, fundraising from international donors, and contributing to program activity planning as a Consultative Committee member. Additionally, he played a key role in studies and expert missions that led to significant institutional reforms governing preventive control of this species in West and North Africa, emphasizing ongoing interest in perceiving and addressing obstacles—sociological, financial, and legal—hindering effective control. His endeavors resulted in numerous consultation reports and many papers aimed at broader public understanding.

Erez Lieberman Aiden is an American research scientist active in multiple fields related to applied mathematics. He is an associate professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, and formerly a fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and visiting faculty member at Google. He is an adjunct assistant professor of computer science at Rice University. Using mathematical and computational approaches, he has studied evolution in a range of contexts, including that of networks through evolutionary graph theory and languages in the field of culturomics. He is a member of the Behavioral Plasticity Research Institute.

Jeffrey Lockwood delves into the intersections of environmental ethics and global justice as they relate to the conservation and control of grasshoppers and locusts. He also focuses on conveying knowledge about these insects through creative non-fiction.

I am not working directly with locusts and grasshoppers in terms of research, but I have been involved on government actions and matters related with locusts and grasshoppers outbreaks in my country.

Koutaro Maeno, a senior researcher at JIRCAS, specializes in natural history and integrated pest management, particularly focusing on the ecology and management of insect pests, including locusts.

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Lucile Marescot serves as a research scientist at CBGP-CIRAD of Montpellier since February. Her primary project objective is to introduce innovative methodologies for managing the grasshopper Oedaleus senegalensis in Senegal. Given the tendency of grasshoppers to form large swarms and migrate over long distances, proposed interventions need to encompass village and landscape-level approaches, not solely focusing on the farm level. Under the guidance of Cyril Piou from Cirad and Arianne Cease from Arizona State University, she aims to develop a model adaptable for regional leaders. This model aims to facilitate informed decisions on directing soil amendment interventions to suppress swarming grasshopper populations and mitigate crop damage.

Graham Matthews, an Emeritus Professor at Imperial College London, specializes in pest management, particularly in locust control, and advises the UK government on locust pesticide use.

Hector Medina, as the Coordinator of the National Grasshopper and Locust Program at the National Food Safety and Quality Service (SENASA) in Argentina, brings over 25 years of experience to the field. His expertise lies in locust and grasshopper monitoring, control strategies, and early warning systems. He actively develops policies to prevent and mitigate locust outbreaks and has contributed significantly to national and international meetings, workshops, and training programs associated with locust management. Hector has also played a crucial role in shaping guidelines and manuals for effective locust control.

Wim C. Mullié worked as a researcher in environmental toxicology for FAO from 1989 to 2007, studying the side-effects of chemical and biological acridid control in Western, Central, and Northern Africa. Since 2007, he has mainly worked on biological control with Metarhizium acridum as a private consultant. He recently completed a PhD thesis on the impact of chemical and biological locust and grasshopper control on birds.

Esther Ngumbi's research revolves around comprehending the influence of plant nutritional quality on insect growth and performance.

Rick Overson's current research aims to understand variations in locust behavioral and nutritional ecology. As Co-director of the Global Locust Initiative, he collaborates with global stakeholders to manage grasshopper and locust outbreaks sustainably, striving to enhance stakeholder representation, transparency, information sharing, and community-built resources for locust management.

Brittany Peterson investigates locust-microbe associations, exploring their various implications—ranging from beneficial aspects to their role in biocontrol strategies.

Cyril Piou leads the Cirad locust team dedicated to addressing problems caused by locusts, primarily in the African tropics, Near East, Asia, and Latin America. Since September 2013, their research, based at CBGP (Centre de Biologie pour la Gestion des Populations) in Montpellier, France, is aimed at aiding developing countries in better controlling economically significant locust species. Their focus includes understanding outbreak determinism, implementing monitoring and early warning systems, and adopting new control methods that are more effective, economical, and ecologically sustainable compared to existing practices.

Barani Raman's laboratory studies the sensory systems of invertebrates like locusts and fruit flies, aiming to understand their design and computing principles.

Chris Reuter works at the USDA-APHIS-PPQ-Science & Technology-Insect Management and Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory (Phoenix Station)

Stephen Richards specializes in genomics and comparative genomics, focusing on these areas within his research endeavors.

Brian Robinson specializes in livelihoods, environment, and development.

Hojun Song heads the Song Laboratory of Insect Systematics and Evolution, focusing on Orthoptera's behavioral, ecological, physiological, and molecular evolution within a phylogenetic framework, particularly studying density-dependent phenotypic plasticity in grasshoppers and locusts.

Gregory Sword, a Regents Professor and Charles R. Parencia Endowed Chair in Entomology at Texas A&M University, conducts interdisciplinary research spanning ecology, evolution, genomics, nutrition, microbiology, and pest management.

Clara Therville, a social geographer, focuses on environmental governance, including issues related to biodiversity conservation, adaptation to global change, and locust management using interdisciplinary approaches.

Mamour Touré, a researcher at Gaston Berger University, specializes in studying the distribution and dynamics of locusts and grasshoppers, exploring biological control measures to manage their populations.

Eduardo Trumper, an agricultural engineer and researcher in Argentina, specializes in integrated pest management and biological control of crop pests.

Cathy Waters specializes in rangelands, focusing on grazing management and policy development.

Derek Woller was a part of the USDA-APHIS-PPQ-Science & Technology Phoenix Lab Rangeland Grasshopper and Mormon Cricket Management Team. He focused on safeguarding the health of rangelands across the 17 contiguous western states of the U.S.A. against cyclic outbreaks of native grasshoppers and Mormon crickets. His contributions involved testing and developing improved, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly management methods, benefitting stakeholders of the APHIS Grasshopper and Mormon Cricket Suppression Program.

As project coordinator for the Global Locust Initiative, Mira's role is to collaborate with stakeholders and Network Members to develop and activate projects, events, and research. Mira is an alumnus of GLI Labs and did her graduate work in Senegal where she studied plant-soil-insect-farmer interactions. Mira's interests are rooted in understanding how soil care and land-use practices can create sustainable alternatives to locust/grasshopper management, and more recently, how humanities and art can lead to new perspectives on human and other-than-human relationships.

Stephen Young, formerly an Orthoptera Specialist for USDA, focused on identifying and researching grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids at US Ports of Entry.

Zong joined Baylor in 2013, bringing with him expertise in single cell analyses for tumorigenesis and stem cell differentiation as well as a background in the interface between novel single cell technologies and quantitative biology. His lab focuses on pancreatic cancer in particular but his work has wide application to tumor-related research. His lab examines the genome at single cell resolution, in contrast to the genome averaged from an ensemble of cells. He and his colleagues will study genomic variations between individual cancer cells, working to detect early events that drive tumorigenesis as well as the early stage of tumor heterogeneity that will influence later tumor development. In addition to the genome, his research interests also include developing novel methods for single cell transcriptional and epigenetic profiling to capture the development in action, particularly adult stem cell differentiation. He will also actively pursue clinical applications of single cell technologies, including prenatal genetic testing as well as early cancer diagnosis.