Prof N Papadopoulos (2020)

Nikos T. Papadopoulos - FF-IPM Project Manager

Dr Nikos T. Papadopoulos, PhD, Professor of Applied Entomology, leads the laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology at the University of Thessaly (director since 2006). He obtained his PhD in 1999 (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), did postdoctoral work (2001-2003) at the University of California Davis, and joined the University of Thessaly in 2004. Papadopoulos’ lab is active in the field of life-history evolution, insect ecology, behaviour and management with special emphasis on fruit flies of the family Tephritidae. A substantial part of his recent research regards the management of fruit flies, using environmental friendly tactics such as the Sterile Insect release.
Over the last few years he became interested in precision pest management and his group is intensively working on this field of research. The invasion biology of fruit flies and those factors that regulate them is also in the core interest of his lab. Nikos Papadopoulos has published more than 100 papers in high impact international peer-reviewed scientific journals (e.g. Aging Cell, PLoS ONE, Proceedings of the Royal Society London, Mechanisms of Aging and Development, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Scientific Reports, Journal of Insect Physiology etc.) and his papers have received more than 2300 citations an H-index=24, i10 index= 74. He has communicated more than 150 papers in national and international workshop and conferences. He has been coordinating and/or participating in more than 40 National, and International research projects funded among others by the National Institute on Aging (USA), and the FAO/IAEA, ENPI MED, LIFE. He served as the Chair of the scientific group TEAM (Tephritid workers of Europe, Africa and the Middle East) (2004 – 2012), member of the steering committee of TEAM (2004 – 2014), member of the International Fruit Fly of Economic Importance, Steering Committee (2012 – 2014).
Prof. Papadopoulos is a member of the Council of International Organization of Biological Control (IOBC-WPRS) since 2013. He was/is the supervisor of 7 PhD theses and 10 MSc theses. He is member of the Editorial Board of Entomologia Hellenica, associate editor of Plos One, associate editor of Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, and associate editor of the journal “Current Research Journal of Biological Sciences”, Guest Editor of the Journal of Applied Entomology and Psyche, and acts as a regular reviewer for more than 40 international peer-reviewed journals. He has been a reviewer of National and International research proposals (USDA, COST actions, ERA-Net, Bard, etc.). Nikos Papadopoulos has served in many committees for the promotion of research and academic staff in several national and international institutes (the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Agricultural University of Athens, Democritus University of Thrace, Macquarie University Australia, University of California Davis, South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF). He is a Member of 4 national and International Scientific Associations and member of the organizing and scientific committee of more than 5 international conferences, symposia and workshops. He acts as an expert consultant in international organizations such as Joint Division of FAO/IAEA (Food and Agriculture Organization and International Atomic Energy Agency) and NICCOD.

Georgia Pahlitzanakis - FF-IPM Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator

Georgia Pahlitzanakis is an experienced EU Project Monitoring Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research industry. Her current position is at the Institute for Bio-Economy and Agro-Technology (iBO) of the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) where she has been working since September 2006. She has worked at "DIMITRA" Educational Organization S.A. as a Business Consultant (2004-2006) and at Johnson & Johnson Hellas as Assistant Brand Manager Neutrogena, Band-Aid and J&J Nursing Pads (2001-2002). She is the author of three educational training manuals on business management, organization and planning. She holds an MBA degree from Syracuse University - Martin J. Whitman School of Management (NY, USA).
Her role in the FF-IPM project as Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator (SEC) will be to coordinate stakeholder involvement throughout the project so that stakeholders will be involved in co-creating and co-deciding the activities that serve the project needs and incorporating practices that forge common goals between project partners and involved end-users.

Christos Genitseftsis - FF-IPM Innovation & Exploitation Manager

Christos Genitseftsis was born in Larissa, Greece in 1969. He holds a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Thessaloniki (specialized in Quantum Chemistry) and an MSc in Marketing & Communication from the Athens University of Economics and Business (specialized in Green Marketing). He has worked for the period 1995-2008 as an Area manager as well as Sales and Marketing Manager in the Karelia Tobacco Industry.
Since 2009 to date he has implemented a number of national and European programs on behalf of Spirito Group company.

  • Dissemination services for the project "SIGMA FOR WATER- Sustainable Integral Management Approaches for Water areas.

  • Participation in the collaborative research project "TRISOME" (Smart Open Trade Center), providing support services for the celebration of the restoration of Lake Carla within the EU Delivers in the Regions campaign ("RESEARCH - CREATE – INNOVATE" - Agrojob Finder).

  • Responsible for the Research Support Office and Exploitation of Research Results of the University of Thessaly from 2013. Working on the dissemination, promotion, exploitation and interconnection of research outcomes of the Postgraduate Study Programme and other European (HORIZON 2020, LIFE, ERASMUS) and National Programmes. Amongst his professional activities are the Dissemination Services for Research Project such as "Green Your Move", development and implementation of strategies for results promotion, innovation and exploitation manager consisting of exploitation strategies in National Research Infrastructure in Synthetic Biology (Omic-Engine).

Christos has extensive experience as an Innovation Broker/ Innovation management in the following projects: Precision Livestock Farming for early Disease Detection in Dairy Cattle, Early Detection of Lameness in Dairy Cattle, Pilot cultivation of organic feed under inoculation of mycorrhiza in Central Macedonia, Modernization of cannabis to maximize the extractable CBD substance( phase 1)
Particularly engaging in communication, dissemination and exploitation of results with stakeholders and producers in agricultural projects "FATIMA: Farming Tools for external nutrient inputs and Water Management", and "FruitFly - A Location-aware System for Monitoring and Pest Management Control”.

Christos T. Nakas - University of Thessaly - Professor in Biometry, Dept. of Agriculture, Crop Production & Rural Environment

Christos T. Nakas is Full Professor in Biometry at the Department of Agriculture, Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece. He has studied Mathematics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece then obtained the DEA Biostatistique at Université Montpellier II, France, where he worked at CIRAD for his MSc thesis requirements. He obtained his PhD in Statistics and OR at the Department of Mathematics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and pursued his post-doctoral research at the Department of Biostatistics, Indiana University School of Medicine (USA). He is the director of the Laboratory of Biometry at the Department of Agriculture, Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece, since 2012. Christos serves as an external consultant for Data Science at Inselspital, Bern University Hospital (Switzerland) since 2015. He has published more than 60 articles in high IF scientific journals and often serves as an assessor in scientific panels throughout Europe. He is an active member of the International Biometric Society, International Society for Clinical Biostatistics, and the Greek Statistical Institute. He has also worked as a Lecturer at the Department of Statistics and Actuarial-Financial Mathematics of the University of the Aegean, Samos, Greece and as a Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Mathematics of the University of Zurich (Switzerland).

Eleni Verykouki - Statistician, University of Thessaly

Eleni Verykouki is a statistician. She graduated from the Department of Mathematics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece in 2005 and received her MSc in Statistics and Operations Research from the same department in 2008. She was awarded her PhD on Bayesian stochastic epidemic modelling from the School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham, UK, in 2013. She worked as a postdoctoral scientist in the Biostatistics Unit of the Epidemiology and Public Health department of Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (SwissTPH), Basel, Switzerland and was involved in projects employing Bayesian models for geostatistical and temporal data for infectious diseases. She is also collaborating with the Laboratory of Hygiene, Social-Preventive Medicine and Medical Statistics, Department of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece as an external research associate and is involved in various projects and teaching. Her research interests include statistical and epidemic modelling and spatial statistics mainly for the transmission of infectious diseases. Eleni works as a postdoctoral statistician in the FF-IPM project. She will be involved in tasks regarding the statistical analysis and modelling of the work packages 2, 5 and 7 of the FF-IPM project.

Cleopatra A. Moraiti - Post-Doc Researcher, University of Thessaly

Cleopatra Moraiti graduated with honours from the Department of Agricultural Biotechnology of the Agricultural University of Athens and has obtained a postgraduate title in Plant Protection at the University of Thessaly. In 2013, she completed a PhD in Agricultural Entomology at the University of Thessaly where she focused on demography and diapause of Rhagoletis cerasi (Diptera: Tephritidae). She worked as a researcher in LIFE projects (JUNIPERCY, ADAPT2CLIMA, BIODELEAR) and got a post-doc scholarship for biological control of olive fruit fly. Her research interests focus on diapause, adaptation, phenotypic plasticity and biological control of fruit flies. Cleopatra will be involved in WP2 and WP6 of the FF-IPM Project.

Eleftheria-Maria (Elma) Bali - Agronomist, University of Thessaly

Eleftheria-Maria (Elma) Bali is an agronomist. She has a master degree in plant protection with a specialization in entomology. Her master thesis was about the toxicity of the components of orange essential oil on Mediterranean fruit fly (med fly) adults. Also, she has worked on a study regarding the categorization of the described Tephritidae fruit flies (pests or not). Eleftheria-Maria is actively involved in Work Packages 2, 4 and 5 of the FF-IPM project, mainly dealing with studies on dispersal ability and early detection of low-density populations of med fly in Northern Greece.

Christos Athanassiou - Professor of Entomology

Christos Athanassiou is a Professor of Entomology, at the University of Thessaly, Greece, since 2010. For several years, he has served as a Research Entomologist at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). He received his PhD from the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece (Entomology), in 1999. His research is focused on insect biology and detection, and implementation strategies of chemical and non-chemical control in pest management programs for field, stored-product and forest pests. Prof. Athanassiou has published over 300 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and has participated in the development of several products that are now commercially available. His editorial activities include the positions of the Editor in Chief (EiC) in Journal of Stored Products Research, interim EiC in Journal of Insect Science, Editor/Associate Editor of the Journal of Pest Science, Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection, Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, Insects, and International Journal of Pest Management. He is a coordinator, PI, co-PI, collaborator etc. in a large number of projects funded by different bodies/organizations (EU, NIFA, NSF, USAID, USDA-ARS, USDA-APHIS, ECPA etc.) and the industry (BASF, Syngenta, DOW/DAS, Bayer etc.). He has received awards from different organizations, such as the Fulbright Foundation, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Institute for International Education (IIE/OLF), the US Forest Service etc.

Vasilis Rodovitis - Agronomist - Lab of Entomology & Agricultural Zoology, UTH

Vasilis Rodovitis is an agronomist and member of the scientific team of the Laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, University of Thessaly, since January 2016. His scientific interests include the control of insect pests in fruit-producing crops. He is currently working on his MSc thesis, regarding the daily activity patterns of adult Mediterranean fruit flies (Ceratitis capitata) in relation to age and nutritional stress. As an undergraduate student, he studied the population dynamics of the cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis cerasi in sweet cherry orchards of northern Greece. At the same time, he started working on adult phenology and overwintering of different populations of the spotted wing Drosophila, Drosophila suzukii both in laboratory and field conditions. He also participated in "Life-Biodelear" research program dealing with monitoring and control of C. capitata in citrus orchards using an environmental friendly attractant. Born in 1994 in Naousa Imathias, a key fruit producing area of northern Greece, he is also the owner of sweet cherry orchards in his hometown.

Georgia Papadogiorgou - University of Thessaly, Doctoral student, Department of Entomology

Georgia Papadogiorgou completed her MSc thesis on the sexual behavior of the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitate. She is now studying towards a PHD at the University of Thessaly, focusing on the ecology of medfly under different stress conditions, especially on the plasticity of different populations. She has worked as a researcher in applied entomology since 2013 exploring the effect of a- pinene on the longevity of Bactocera oleae. Also during the years 2017-2019 she participated in a research program (Life – Biodelear) dealing with the management of fruit flies with the implementation of precision agriculture practices, as well as the mass trapping method with the use of innovative and environmental friendly attractants.

Kostas Zarpas - Entomologist

Kostas Zarpas is an Entomologist (PhD, 2006) and belongs to the teaching-scientific personnel of the Laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology of the University of Thessaly, Greece. He serves the Department of Agriculture, Crop Protection and Rural Environment since 1995 (administrative staff, technician, researcher, adjunct lecturer, lab teaching staff).
His research involves insect biology, ecology, demography, behaviour, population dynamics, the effect of natural enemies and pest management. His PhD involved aphid ecology and population dynamics and he currently works with the research team of Prof. N. Papadopoulos in the field of fruit flies (Tephritidae). Other fields of insect ecology currently within his expertise interests include cold tolerance and dormancy, as well as monitoring of quarantine pests and their management in Greece.

Contact Info: / (+30) 24210 93284

David Nestel - ARO (Israel)

Two main subjects have been at the center of my research throughout my scientific carrier: The spatio-temporal dynamics of tephritid fruit flies and its applications into pest control, and the nutritional physiology of fruit flies aimed for the Sterile Insect Technique. These two broad areas have been the framework of my research on Tephritidae, especially in the exploration of spatial and temporal patterns of the medfly, the Ethiopian fruit fly and the olive fly, and the nutritional physiology of developing larvae and adults of the above species, and the Mexican fruit fly. My interest regarding spatial and temporal patterns center around the exploration of the factors and mechanism determining patterns, and the application of these knowledge in the “precision targeting” of flies in space and time. Recently my group at ARO (Israel) focused also on the development of electronic monitoring traps to be applied in the control of fruit flies in precision agriculture projects against these pests. In addition, I have explored alternative methods of control against fruit flies such as the Sterile Insect Technique and mass-trapping.

Zivan Yoash - ARO (Israel)

My background is in computer science and business management. During the past few years I have been responsible in Israel for European projects and led them to success, such as Edugain, Eduroam, VI-SEEM and more. During the past 15 years I lead computer departments and implemented complex systems in the areas of Networking, Security, System and cloud computing.

Yafit Cohen - ARO (Israel)

Two main subjects have been at the center of my research throughout my scientific carrier: 1) The spatio-temporal dynamics of pests (like Medfly, Egyptian broomrape, leaf-roll virus) in agricultural eco-systems and the development of spatial decision support systems for pest control, and 2) precision agriculture using thermal and hyperspectral remote sensing for variable rate irrigation and fertilization management. The study on spatio-temporal dynamics of pests utilizes the ecoinformatics and spatial analysis approach and looks for significant factors driving the dynamics. Recently my group worked also on the development of automatic monitoring trap of the Medfly.

Medad Hoze - ARO (Israel)

Served in the IDF intelligence as GIS spatial analyst for 3 years; afterwards completed my B.Sc at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in geo-informatics. Currently, I am doing my M.A. at Bar Ilan University in geo-informatics and working for the "Israel Center of Mapping" as a GIS programmer. As part of my work I am developing programs to deal with “Change” detection from Orto photo, Machine learning and complex geometry problems.

Ben Shaked - ARO (Israel)

After obtaining my B.Sc. in Electronic Engineering, I worked in the R&D of FLIR-DVTel (Israel), moving afterwards to ARO, where I have been part of the Institute of Agricultural Engineering for the last 5 years. In ARO I am engaged in the development of electronic traps; especially in their electronic designs, in the creation of their software drives, image processing and signal processing, and in the development of their communication systems using IOT concepts. Currently I am also developing electronic systems for the “smart” management of irrigation systems, which combines precision agriculture and IOT systems, and in projects monitoring animal health and wellbeing using “ smart” sensors.

Naama Rosenberg - ARO Spokeperson (Israel)

As the spokesperson of ARO, I develop the public relations and communication strategies of the organization for the delivery of messages to the general public. I collect scientific information on innovation and original research generated within the ARO, and popularize the information via social media and conventional media networks. In addition, the public relations office that I direct collects requests from the public and media, and prepares and adapts information for the promotion of ARO. Additionally, the public relations office functions include hosting visitors from foreign states and scientific organizations, and serving as the platform to pursue new relationships with research institutions throughout the world. The public relations office of ARO is part of the national efforts in the dissemination of Israel’s scientific developments and their potential contribution to the world.

Victor Alchanatis - ARO (Israel)

The focus of my research throughout my scientific career has been the development of sensing techniques and pattern recognition. This includes optical techniques using digital image acquisition in the visible and near-infrared region as well as point and imaging spectroscopy. Furthermore, I have developed machine vision and pattern recognition methods to analyze and interpret images and spectral data.

Esther Nemny-Lavi - ARO (Israel)

I have been working as a laboratory assistant in the department of Entomology, and specifically in the laboratory of fruit flies, since more than 20 years. During this period, I conducted research on the nutritional physiology of fruit flies (i.e., Medfly and the Ethiopian fruit fly), and supported field work related to fruit fly monitoring. Previously I worked on the chemistry and toxicology of pesticides. Currently, I am performing research on the environmental physiology of the peach fruit fly, especially in relation to extreme humidity and temperature, and supporting the laboratory administratively.

Gal Chechik (Bar-Ilan University)

I am an Associate Professor in the Gonda Brain Research center at Bar-Ilan University, and director of A.I. at NVIDIA. I am interested in learning biological and artificial systems (brains and machines). My work focuses on developing large scale machine learning algorithms and data-driven models to analyze the structure and function of complex adaptive and biological systems. I am supporting FF-IPM in the image analysis of fruit flies to be applied in the e-traps.

Yam Altman

I am a biologist, and working towards finishing my M.Sc. at Bar-Illan University on environmental studies and sustainability. My research subject concentrated on the barroa mite sensorial mechanisms. I am currently involved in the FF-IPM project studying aspects related to the environmental physiology of the peach fruit fly.

Itamar Lensky (Bar-Ilan University)

I am an Associate Professor in the Geography and Environment Department at Bar-Ilan University. I am interested in environmental issues in atmospheric sciences. Specifically, I am interested in clouds and aerosols and in surface properties (land and sea surface temperature, evaporation and evapotranspiration), the effect of atmospheric circulation in different scales on these surface properties and their implications for natural, agricultural, and urban environments, and epidemiology. I am supporting FF-IPM in the retrieval of tree canopy temperature from satellite data to be applied in the FF population models.

Marc De Meyer - WP3 Lead, Project Technical Manager

Marc De Meyer is an entomologist at the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA, Tervuren, Belgium). He has a PhD in zoology. He joined the RMCA in 1998, after working in Africa for 10 years. He is head of the invertebrates unit, acting head of the department of African Biology, and member of the directive and scientific committees at the RMCA. He is also the RMCA co-ordinator of the Join Experimental Molecular Unit (JEMU) and the BopCo (Barcoding Facility of tissues and organisms of policy concern) unit.

His field of expertise is taxonomy, systematics and phylogeny of Diptera with emphasis on particular African groups including tephritid fruit flies. He published more than 250 articles and book chapters on different aspects of Diptera. In recent years he has coordinated and participated in national and international research programmes on fruit flies in Europe and Africa. He is currently the chairman of the TEAM (tephritid workers of Europe, African and the Middle East) steering committee, member of the scientific committee of the CORAF/WECARD support project of the regional plan for control and monitoring of fruit flies in West Africa (SPRMF) and member of the technical advisory committee of the Integrated Biological Control Applied Research Programme (EU IBCARP).

He has acted as organizer or convener of international conferences and sessions on fruit flies and Diptera. He is subject editor for Journal of Insect Science, ZooKeys and member of the editorial panel of the Manual of Afrotropical Diptera. He was recently editor-in-chief on a special issue on the resolution of cryptic species complexes in Tephritidae and co-editor of the book ‘Fruit Fly Research and Development in Africa – Towards a Sustainable Management Strategy to Improve Horticulture. He acts as an expert consultant for the Joint Division of FAO/IAEA (Food and Agriculture Organization and International Atomic Energy Agency.

He is the Technical Manager of the FF-IPM project, as well as Work Package leader for tasks related to the development and enhancement of tools and methods for fruit fly prevention (WP3).

Pablo Deschepper - Biologist, Africa Museum

Pablo Deschepper is a biologist with an interest in population genetics and ecological adaptation. He has studied patterns of gene exchange in lake Tanganyika cichlids and the flowering plant Primula veris, the focus species of his doctoral thesis. Pooled whole-genome sequencing of P. veris ecotypes has rendered him insights on the genomic basis of adaptation to contrasting forest and grassland environments. Pablo has a keen interest in our natural world and often ventures out to observe wildlife. Pablo will be involved in Work Packages 2 and 3 of the FF-IPM project, mainly dealing with the genomic analysis of population structure of the target fruit fly species.

Slawomir A. Lux - WP6 Lead
Slawomir A. Lux is the founder, sole owner and principal investigator of the micro-enterprise inSilico-IPM ( He has the formal multidisciplinary background: MSc in organic chemistry, MSc in animal ecology, PhD in agricultural sciences (entomology). Before founding the inSilico-IPM SME, he was employed at the Warsaw Life Sciences University (2007-2015) as a WULS-SGGW professor, and earlier at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Kenya (1991-2007) as the Principal Scientist and Programme Leader of the African Fruit Fly Initiative. He specialises in the behaviour, ecology and modelling of European and African fruit flies of economic concern, such as R. cerasi, C. capitata, C. cosyra, C. rosa, C. fasciventris, C. anona, B. dorsalis.

He has a documented track record in fundraising for R&D projects, development of novel IPM methods and packages, and their implementation on a regional scale. He was the leader and author/co-author of many regional and international fruit fly projects with a total value of over 14mln Euro, awarded by international donors such as EC FP7 & H2020, IFAD, FAO, IAEA, BMZ, GTZ, RELMA, SAREC.

He also served as a member of Management Committee at ICIPE and also other organisations, e.g. International Tropical Fruit Network, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, TEAM, Polish Ethological Society, being the founding member for several of them. During 16 years of work at ICIPE, he founded and trained an initial group of fruit fly experts and practitioners in Africa, doctors and post-docs, who are currently leading fruit fly R&D in various African countries. Some of them are now full partners of the FF-IPM project.

Since 1993, he regularly serves as an international expert/consultant to a number of organisations such as EC, FAO, IAEA, ICRAF, IITA, etc., as well as a manuscript reviewer in Nature Communications, Frontiers, PLOS One, Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, Bulletin of Entomological Research, Physiological Entomology, Journal of Chemical Ecology, Journal of Applied Horticulture, Florida Entomologist, International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, Insect Science and its Application, etc.

Prof. Josep A. Jaques - WP4 Lead
Prof. Josep A. Jaques, PhD (formerly, Josep A. Jacas) is a full professor at Universitat Jaume I de Castelló (UJI) and has almost 30 years’ experience in agricultural entomology (Researcher ID: B-8352-2009;; h-index: 22). He is the leader of the UJI research group “Integrated Pest Management” and responsible for the Associate Unit with the Agricultural Entomology Group of the Valencian Institute of Agricultural Research (IVIA; His areas of expertise include insect and mite biology, population ecology, development of sampling techniques, quarantine treatments, biological control, pest management systems, and pest risk analysis. He has been involved in research activities dealing with sustainable pest management starting with his PhD in 1988 and especially focused on citrus since 1996.
He is an expert of EFSA’s Plant Health Panel since 2015, a member of the Executive Committee of the International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC-Global, elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2016) and associate editor of BioControl (IF2017 = 1.924; Q1;

Arne Peters - Research & Development Team Leader
Arne Peters is leading the research and development team at e-nema. He has been working with entomopathogenic nematode since 1990 and was a co-founder of the company e-nema in 1997. Besides supervising activities in various research projects, Arne is also leading the process development team. He has been collaborating with Apostolos Kapranas from Benaki institute in a previous EU project on controlling the large pine weevil Hylobius abietis with nematodes.
In FF-IPM, together with Kirsten Beilstein and Temesgen Addis Desta, he will take part in work package 4.1: Develop a nematode based tool of biocontrol.

Dr Hélène Delatte - WP7 Lead
Dr Hélène Delatte, PhD, Entomologist and population geneticist, she leads one of the three teams of the PVBMT unit (Réunion, France) dedicated to Ecological dynamics in island environments. She obtained her PhD at the University of Wageningen (the Netherlands) in 2005, then, she obtained her HDR diploma in 2013. After her PhD, she was an assistant professor in 2005-2006 (University of Réunion, France), then, she did a postdoctoral work from 2006 to 2008 at IRD (Montpellier and Réunion, France). Since 2008, she has a lifetime researcher position at CIRAD in the unit PVBMT based in La Réunion.
Her researches involve insect bio-ecology, population genetics, virus interactions, and behaviour. She has worked on several insect-vector systems.


Sylvia Blümel - Head of the Dept. for Plant Health, AGES - NRL Plant Health - Insects and Mites

Sylvia Blümel is the Head of the Dept. for Plant Health in fruit crops, viticulture & special crops and of the NRL Plant Health - Insects and Mites at AGES ( Her key qualifications are IPM in protected crops, fruit crops and viticulture and side-effect testing of pesticides and phytosanitary pests. She was/is involved in several EU research projects („FATEALLCHEM QLRT-2000-01967“, EUPHRESCO 1&2- ERA-NET projects, FP7 Q-Collect, FP7 ERA-NET C-IPM, H2020 ERA-NET SusCrop) and is Network Management Group-Chair of the Euphresco-Network ( She is also active in pertinent EFSA and EPPO Gremia. Since 1994/95 she is a university lecturer at BOKU, Vienna, Institute of Plant Protection for “Integrated and biological pest control in horticultural crops”. Besides, she was a member of the Governing Council of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Insect Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi, Kenia from 2002 to 2007. Since 2018 she is Vice President of IOBC-WPRS and Liaison Officer for the Commission on Harmonisation of Invertebrate Biological Control Agents (CHIBCA). She is the AGES FF-IPM team leader and mainly involved in WP7 (development of a generic exploitation plan) and WP8 (Communication approaches to policy and stakeholders).

Matthias Wernicke - Agronomist, AGES

Matthias Wernicke is an agronomist with a keen interest for plant health issues and entomology. During his bachelor for horticultural sciences at the Humboldt-University in Berlin he studied biotechnology methods for plant propagation. He worked on a student project for somatic embryogenesis at Actaea racemosa and on polyploidisation of Lobelia spp. for his bachelor thesis. He did his master thesis at the University of Natural Resources & Applied Life Sciences (BOKU, Vienna) on essential oils as repellent/oviposition deterrent substances against Drosophila suzukii. Besides that, he was co-worker for AGES in the INTERREG V-Project for developing practicable measures against Spotted Wing Drosophila. Matthias is involved in Work Packages 2 and 3 of the FF-IPM project. His work is mainly focused on the Austrian population of C. capitata (overwintering studies, field collections, trap testing).

Richard Gottsberger - Biologist, AGES

Richard Gottsberger is a biologist with an interest in molecular plant pathogen and pest detection and population genetics. He has studied plant physiology and ecology at the University of Vienna with focus on neotropical ecosystems. The background of his doctoral thesis was the productivity of a tropical montane forest in Panama compared to lowland forests.
Currently he is involved in the molecular identification of insects at the AGES in Vienna also in the frame of the EURL for plant pathogenic insects and mites. His second passion in this area is the detection and identification of plant pathogenic bacteria.
Richard has an interest in the visiting and observing nature, mainly of animal plant interactions.
He is involved in Work Packages 2 and 3 of the FF-IPM project, mainly dealing with the molecular identification and analysis of population structure of the target fruit fly species."

Alois Egartner - NRL Plant Health - Insects and Mites, AGES - Member, EPPO Panel on Diagnostics in Entomology

Alois Egartner is an agronomist with interest in entomology and plant health issues. For his master thesis at the University of Natural Resources & Applied Life Sciences (BOKU, Vienna) he studied the potential occurrence of different non-native fruit fly species (Rhagoletis spp.) in Austria. This was followed by participation in different projects on the biology and management of Diabrotica virgifera v., Trogoderama granarium and Drosophila suzukii. Apart of this he participated in the administration of different network activities in the area of plant health (EUPHRESCO). In recent years, with the organisation of the nationwide survey for Ceratitis spp., Bactrocera spp. and further fruit fly species he gained experience in the taxonomy of the family Tephritidae, which also supports his tasks as member of the EPPO Panel on Diagnostics in Entomology and of his activities in the NRL Plant Health - Insects and Mites. Alois is involved in Work Packages 2 and 3 of the FF-IPM project, mainly dealing with the Austrian population of C. capitata (overwintering studies, field collections, trap testing).

Andrea Sciarretta - University of Molise - Associate Professor in General and Applied Entomology

Andrea Sciarretta is Associate Professor in General and Applied Entomology at the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Sciences, University of Molise, Italy. He is/has been coordinator of research projects founded by WHO, UE, CREA and is a member of several national and international Scientific Associations.
Main research interests are in spatial ecology, spatio-temporal dynamics and distributional models of insect in complex agro-ecosystems; integrated plant protection in fruit crops with the use of methods alternative to chemicals (mating disruption, mass trapping, attract & kill); pest monitoring and trapping tools. Other research activity includes faunistic and systematic studies on Lepidoptera in the Palearctic and Afrotropical region.
Andrea is the coordinator of the Unimol Research Unit in the project FF_IPM, and assistant leader in WP6. He is also involved in WP3, where he deals with the set up of an e-trap system for invasive FF and in WP4 to test control tools against Medfly.

Marco Colacci - Post-Doc Researcher

Marco Colacci is a post-doc researcher at the University of Molise, with an interest on Integrate Pest Management and on biology and systematic studies of Lepidoptera. His activities are focused on the development of innovative technologies for pest management of Pine Processionary Moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) in urban and recreational places and the management of Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata) and Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii). Other research activity is the study of biodiversity and taxonomy of Lepidoptera Tortricidae. Marco will be involved in Work Packages 4 and 6 of the FF-IPM project, mainly on improving methods and strategies for OFF- and ON-Season management of C. capitata.

Maria B. Forleo - Agricultural Economist

Maria B. Forleo is an agricultural economist at the University of Molise, with extensive research experience in the following fields: economic and environmental assessment of agro-food chain; rural economics and agricultural territorial systems; organic agriculture and food production systems and consumption behaviour. Currently, she is working on the eco-efficiency analysis of the primary sector dealing with the environmental impacts -by means of Life Cycle methodologies- and the related economic performances of several agri-food chains and products. Maria B. will be involved in the Work Package 6 of the FF-IPM project, mainly dealing with the economic analysis of different pest management practices.

Trematerra Pasquale - Full Professor in General and Applied Entomology

Trematerra Pasquale is Full Professor in General and Applied Entomology disciplines at the Department of Agriculture, Environmental and Food Sciences, University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy.

He is member of permanent committee of International Working Conference on Stored Product Protection (IWCSPP); member of Italian advisor committee for biocide registration; board of Italian NetWork for the Research in Organic Farming (RIRAB); board of Ministerial committee on biological agriculture; board of Italian Association of the Agricultural Science Societies (AISSA).

He is member of the Editorial Board of several journals and is currently involved in national and international research projects.

Research interest: biology and ecology of insect pests; application of new methods in the control of insect pests; integrated pest management of insect pests in orchards; researches about stored product pests and stored product protection; researches on urban pests; faunistic and systematic studies of Lepidoptera Tortricidae.

Marina Papadima (RNDO Project Manager)

Marina is a Msc Mining engineer and has been working since 2017 as an independent Innovation writer for SME instrument and H2020 projects in cooperation with Product Development companies, composing proposal and feasibility studies (technical and economic feasibility study, market research, FTO-IPR study, business plan, communication and dissemination plan, risk and emergency plan). The projects carried out ranged but focused on the following sectors: Energy, Nanotechnology, Advanced Materials and IoT. She has also worked as a Site Engineer (Underground Works), at the project Highway Eleusina- Korinthos- Patra- Pyrgos- Tsakona, for J&P AVAX and has obtained “ISO 9001:2015: Inspector/ Chief Inspector Quality Management Systems” from TUV Nord Hellas.

Darren Kriticos - WP5 Lead

Dr Darren J. Kriticos, PhD, Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO and honorary Professor of Applied Ecology at The University of Queensland. Darren obtained his PhD in 2001 (University of Queensland), developing models to explore the effects of climate change on Acacia nilotica. He undertook a postdoctoral fellowship with CSIRO and the Cooperative Research Centre for Weed Management Systems, working on modelling weed dynamics, including the effects of biological control agents. At this time he also contributed to the development of the ground-breaking DYMEX model for Bactrocera tryoni (Yonow et al, 2004). He joined the Forest Research Institute (latterly Scion Research) in New Zealand in 2003, leading a large-scale project to develop practical management options for an invasive moth, Uraba lugens. He developed a novel method for parameterising CLIMEX models, which resulted in a much-refined assessment of the risks posed by U. lugens to New Zealand forestry. Kriticos’ lab identified a range of suitable management options, including stem injection and a biological control agent. Following a joint venture between Scion and CSIRO, Darren returned to Australia and re-joined CSIRO in the Ecosystem Sciences Division, undertaking research to improve pest risk assessment methods. His current research focus is on developing real-time pest alert systems to improve agricultural and horticultural pest management. Darren Kriticos has published more than 200 papers, predominantly in high-impact journals (e.g., Science, Nature Plants, PLOS One, Journal of Applied Ecology, Bulletin of Entomological Research). His research has been cited more than 4000 times, and he has an h-index of 34 and an i10 index of 89. He has served on the organising committee for the International Pest Risk Research Group for more than 10 years and sits on the current Executive Committee. He has contributed to supervising 3 PhD theses and 2 Honours theses. He is a member of the editorial boards of Methods in Ecology and Evolution, PLoS One, Bulletin of Entomological Research, Invasive Plant Science and Management and Neobiota. He has served on the organising and scientific committees for more than 13 international conferences.

Prof. Dr. Zhihong Li - China Agricultural University - Department of Entomology, College of Plant Protection

Dr. Zhihong Li is a professor at Department of Entomology, College of Plant Protection, China Agricultural University (CAU). She has been the leading professor of plant quarantine and invasion biology at CAU from 2007. Her researches include Pest Risk Analysis, species identification, invasion tracing and mechanism on Tephritids. She has been appointed as the member of the Steering Committee in Tephritid Workers of Asia, Australia and Oceania (TAAO) from 2016. Dr. Zhihong Li and her team are working for FF-IPM project on the following two studies with related international collaborations and funds from China:

(1) T3.2 Develop molecular and morphological ID tools and protocols for intercepted FF: developing a multiplex LAMP (Loop-mediated isothermal Amplification) assays for the identification of Ceratitis capitata, C. cosyra, C. quinaria, the FARQ complex (C. fasciventris, C. anonae, C. rosa, and C. quilicii) and C. rubivora based on DNA Barcodes.

(2) T3.4 Develop molecular ID tools to trace origin of intercepted and detected FF: developing species-specific mitochondrial SNPs and mitochondrial database for intercepted specimens origin tracing of economically important Ceratitis species (C. cosyra, C. pallidula, C. quinaria, C. capitata, C. bremii, C. ditissima, C. punctata, C. fasciventris, C. anonae, C. rosa, C. quilicii, C. rubivora, and C. querita) based on complete mitochondrial genomes assembly and annotation.

Dr Panagiotis Milonas

Dr Panagiotis Milonas , (Head of Department) is specializing in insect behavioral ecology, chemical ecology of herbivores and their associated natural enemies, integrated pest management and biological control. He has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Entomology (2002) and an MSc degree in Crop Protection (1996) from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece He has conducted postdoctoral research in chemical ecology in the Laboratory of Chemical Ecology and Natural Products at the National Scientific Research Center “DEMOCRITUS” and in behavioral ecology at the University of Minnesota, USA with a fellowship from OECD and Fulbright foundation in 2007 and 2012 respectively. He is/was the Project Manager or participates in several National or European Projects (H2020, FP7, LIFE, Hellenic-Aid, Bilateral Cooperations, Excellence II etc).

Dr Dimitrios Papachristos

Dr Dimitrios Papachristos is an Associate Research Scientist, Entomologist at the Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology of BPI. He has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Entomology (2002) and an MSc degree in Crop Protection (1988) from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He has research experience on the bioactivities of secondary plant compounds to insect plant pests, the adverse effects of insecticides on biology, ecology and behavior of predatory Coccinellidae, the biology, ecology and behaviour of true fruit flies and the mechanisms of plant resistance to fruit flies infestations. His research interests also include the study of biology, ecology and methods to prevent entry and spread of invasive insect species (quarantine pests). He participates in several European (e.g. LIFE, FP7- CO-FREE, FP7- PALM PROTECT, Horizon 2020-XF-ACTORS, Bilateral Cooperations), national projects (e.g. NanoBioEnviro, national survey programme for the quarantine pests in Greece). He has published around 40 research papers in refereed journals and his papers have more than 1,000 citations.

Dr Apostolos Kapranas

Dr Apostolos Kapranas studied Agriculture at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (2000) and holds a Doctorate in Entomology from University of California, Riverside (2006). He specializes in Agricultural entomology, Integrated Pest Management and Biological pest control. He conducts both fundamental and applied research in the laboratory and in the field using interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches. His research organisms are mainly insect natural enemies, such as insect parasitoids and entomopathogenic nematodes. He has held numerous academic research and teaching positions including a ‘Marie Curie Fellowship’ in the University of Nottingham, UK, and postdoc appointments in University of California, Riverside, National University of Ireland, Maynooth and the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He is on the editorial board of ‘Bulletin of Entomological Research’, ‘Frontiers in Microbiology and Plant Science’ and ‘Frontiers in Forests and Global Change’ and he also Participates as expert in the Joint EPPO/IOBC Panel on Biological Control Agents. He has published more than 40 papers and review papers, some of them in Journals such as Annual Review of Entomology, Nature Communications, Scientific Reports, Animal Ecology, Animal Behaviour and has an h-index =12.

Dr Antonios Michaelakis

Dr Antonios Michaelakis is an agriculturalist- entomologist, Research Director at the Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology of BPI, specializing in chemical ecology of insects. As a student of Agricultural Sciences (Agricultural University of Athens, Laboratory of General Chemistry Department) also had a scholarship from the NCSR ''Demokritos'' and worked in research programs at the Institute of Physical Chemistry Laboratory of Bioorganic and Natural Products Chemistry. He has also conducted postdoctoral research in chemical ecology at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering (BASE) with a scholarship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Involved or participates in several research projects (eg LIFE, FP7-REGPOT, PENED, EPET II, COST862 etc) and he is the Project Manager for the projects LIFE CONOPS (, PEST PRACTICE ( and an assistant scientific officer of the National program for the quarantine pests and protected zones in Greece. He coordinates projects for the mosquito surveillance and management in several Municipalities/Regional Units in Greece. Currently, under the framework of the project ECDC/2016/034 (acronym: AedesRisk), he is collaborating with European Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control (ECDC). Finally, he is collaborating with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and he is coordinating the Technical cooperation programme in Europe for the pilot application of SIT in Aedes albopictus control.

Aruna Manrakhan

Aruna Manrakhan Aruna Manrakhan is an entomologist and coordinator of the Fruit Fly programme at Citrus Research International (CRI), South Africa, since 2008. She obtained an MSc in Environmental Technology (Imperial College, University of London) in 1996 and a PhD (University of Mauritius, Mauritius) in 2005. Her PhD project was on the feeding behaviour of three African fruit flies. This study was conducted at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Kenya. She did her postdoctoral study at Stellenbosch University (2006-2008). She has been working on tephritid fruit flies since 1997. Her main research areas at CRI are the biology, ecology, monitoring and control of fruit fly pests. In the FF-IPM project, she is involved in Work Packages (WPs) 5 and 3.

Leani Serfontein

Leani Serfontein graduated in 2018 from North-West University with an MSc in Integrated Pest Management focusing on entomology. For her masters project she worked on determining the feeding and oviposition preference of Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) so that a push-pull management system could be better understood. She previously worked as a freelance entomologist and was involved in the monitoring of insect pest populations on citrus farms. She joined the fruit fly programme team at Citrus Research International (CRI) in February 2020. She is currently working as a research assistant in the FF-IPM project, under WP 5 and WP 3.

Mattia Crivelli

Mattia Crivelli holds a degree in “Sciences and Technologies for the Environment and Territory” from the “University of Milano-Bicocca”. Since 2013 he’s been covering the role of product manager at “PCA Technologies Srl”, one of the Italian leading companies delivering cutting edge technology for air pollution monitoring, quality control and military/civil security.
He has worked as research assistant at the “Department of Agricultural Sciences” on projects aimed at developing new technologies for monitoring industrial emissions, and at “CESI S.p.a – Department of Engineering & Environment”, where he has supervised sampling procedures of micro-pollutants, elaborated models for impact assessment and test methods for determining toxic chemical agents in working environments.