Possible management strategies for Fall Armyworm, a threat to African maize farmers.

– Johnnie van den Berg –

Biography
Manager: Integrated Pest Management programme
Unit of Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom.
Tel: +27-18-299 2376, E-MAIL: johnnie.vandenberg@nwu.ac.za

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES AND EXPERIENCE
My research focus is on applied ecological research with regard to Arthropoda in agro-ecosystems. Principle research responsibilities include the study of the effects of GM maize on non-target organisms and the environment, and the study of resistance evolution of pests against Bt maize, Bt cotton and insecticides. I also do research on ecology and management of the Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) and Tomato fruit worm (Tuta absoluta) which invaded Africa during 2016.

I am closely involved in biosafety research on genetically modified soybean and maize in South Africa. This research involves biodiversity studies in agro-ecosystems, as well as studies on non-target organisms and the possible effects that reduction in biodiversity, caused by agriculture and cultivation of GM crops, could have.

Student supervision
Supervised 51 MSc students since 2004 and 25 PhDs since 1998. Most of these theses and dissertations dealt with GM crops, pest resistance to Bt maize and integrated pest management. Published 168 scientific peer reviewed papers and 4 chapters in books.