Nov. 6-7, 2018 presentations
The Fundamentals of Biological Control
Sandpoint Organic Agriculture Center, Sandpoint
Discussion on biological control followed by a series of short films featuring natural enemies in action. Featuring Urs Wyss and CALS Dean Michael Parrella.
Highlights from the Hidden Insect World
Ag Science Room 106, Moscow
At least 80 percent of all known animal species belong to the class Arthropoda. However, although members of this class are able to colonize all parts of our planet, only a relatively small proportion of insects and mites is clearly visible to the naked eye. Urs Wyss has produced a series of films that provide an insight into the behavior and development of these arthropods in their natural habitat.
Urs Wyss is an entomology videographer and the former director of the Institute of Phytopathology at Kiel University in Germany. He conducted research on the biology and behavior of plant parasitic nematodes with emphasis on virus vectors and sedentary endoparasites during his career. Since retirement, Wyss has devoted himself to the production of digital video films on the behavior and development of insects, first as natural enemies of greenhouse pests and later of the economically important pests of agricultural and horticultural crops.
Urs Wyss was born 1939 in Solothurn, Switzerland. He studied horticulture at Reading University, England and received his doctorate in 1969 at Hannover University, Germany. After his habilitation in the year 1975, he was promoted associate professor in 1977 and professor in 1978, still at Hannover University.
In the year 1982 Wyss was appointed director of the Institute of Phytopathology at Kiel University, Germany, where, apart from teaching and having been involved in administrative duties, such as dean and vice-dean, he conducted research on the biology and behavior of plant parasitic nematodes with emphasis on virus vectors and sedentary endoparasites. In collaboration with the Institute of the Scientific Films in Göttingen, Germany, many ciné films were produced to illustrate the parasitic behavior of these pathogens. In 1990 he resisted a call to become head of a prominent Phytopathology Institute in Germany and since then he established together with his coworkers a prolific research area on biotechnology and biological pest control in plant protection. Another research field promoted by him was the chemical communication between plants, aphids and their parasitoids and hyperparasitoids.
Four years before retirement in the year 2004, Wyss decided to abandon research on plant parasitic nematodes in order to devote himself entirely to the production of digital video films on the behaviour and development of insects, first of natural enemies of greenhouse pests and later also of economically important pests of agricultural and horticultural crops. Since his retirement, Wyss continues filming insect behaviour in the Institute of Phytopathology. The films (currently more than 80) are listed on his homepage . They are available as DVDs and are widely used within Europe, predominantly in University teaching courses. Parts of the films have also appeared in TV productions on insects. Wyss has published nearly 100 peer-reviewed articles, contributed many chapters in books and supervised 34 doctorates and five habilitation theses. Due to his contributions to nematology, he was recognized as Fellow of the Society of Nematologists, U.S.A., in 1988, and 10 years later he was awarded the Anton-de-Bary medal by the German Phytomedical Society for his innovative research on plant parasitic nematodes. In the year 2011 he received, mainly for his insect films, the Karl-Escherich medal by the German Society of General and Applied Entomology.
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