Knowledge for a sustainable world

The Royal Entomological Society (RES) has awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Society to Chris Haines, Emeritus Professor of Post-Harvest Technology at NRI. The award is for Chris's long-term contribution to applied entomology during his career at NRI and for his services to the RES, especially in relation to his ongoing inputs to the RES's National Insect Week from 2004.

Chris's R&D work at NRI (and its precursor institutions) from 1971 was focused on the ecology and management of stored-product insects and mites, including: the role of a predatory mite in biocontrol of the tropical warehouse moth; the mode of action of the sex pheromones of the tropical warehouse moth and their potential use for monitoring and control; the taxonomy and practical identification of storage pest insects and mites, including the description of three new species of mites; studies of the diversity and distribution of storage pests and their communities (including predators and parasites) in food stores in Indonesia; the ecology and management of liposcelid psocopterans in Indonesian rice stores; and the use of bait-bag trapping to provide population estimates for pest-control decision-making in milled-rice warehouses.

During his presidency of the RES in 2002-2004, he strongly supported a proposal for the Society to initiate a National Insect Week (NIW), in order to raise the profile of the RES and to enhance its outreach activities by bringing awareness and understanding of the importance and fascination of insects to the attention of the wider public, with the aim of counteracting the predominantly 'negative' media stories about insects and the general public ignorance of the biodiversity and ecological role of insects. After the success of NIW2004, the RES decided to make it a biennial event, and Chris has been the RES's NIW Coordinator for NIW2006, NIW2008 and NIW2010. A key element in the success of the ongoing NIW campaign has been the involvement of official partners — increasing from 3 in 2004 to 38 in 2010 (including major players such as Butterfly Conservation, Buglife, British BeeKeepers Association, and the National Trust, as well as specialist groups such as the British Dragonfly Society, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, and Dipterists Forum). NIW2010 was the RES's contribution to the UK's celebration of the International Year of Biodiversity.

Chris received his Certificate of Honorary Fellowship on 27 July 2010 at Swansea University during the RES's Annual National Science Meeting Ento'10. The RES's next annual meeting, Ento'11, including an international symposium on 'Insect Chemical Ecology: Reception, Detection and Deception', will be organised by a team led by NRI's Professor of Chemical Ecology, David Hall, and held at the University of Greenwich's Medway Campus on 7-9 September 2011.