Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dr. Grant Singleton receives lifetime recognition for his work on rodent management in Southeast Asia

By Trina Leah Mendoza

Grant Singleton, IRRI principal scientist, was awarded with the Lifetime Recognition of Excellence during the 5th International Conference for Rodent Biology and Management (ICRBM) on 25-29 August in Henan, China. This special honor was given to Dr. Singleton in recognition of his international scientific leadership in rodent biology and his untiring efforts in promoting the ICRBM around the world.

According to ICRBM, Dr. Singleton “has made major advances in the management of rat damage to rice crops in Southeast Asia, and has championed the need for ecologically based management of pest problems based on good ecological science.”

Dr. Singleton presented two papers at the event, reviewing 15 years of ecologically based rodent management and rodent impacts on food security in Southeast Asia. Together with world-renowned ecologist Prof. Charles Krebs, he also delivered the closing remarks where he cited the important issues in rodent biology and management under global change.

"The conference highlight was the exceptional quality of the seven plenary talks from world leaders in their respective fields. Emerging topics are the importance of rodent borne diseases in agricultural and peri-urban communities, the use of tools from behavioral ecology to assist in developing more effective management of rodent pests, and that food security demands a resilient agricultural system, which can be facilitated by ‘re-wilding’ crop margins and better preservation of biodiversity in patches of forest in an agricultural landscape," he concluded in his speech.

As the current coordinator of the Closing Rice Yield Gaps in Asia with Reduced Environmental Footprint (CORIGAP) Project, Dr. Singleton continues advancing ecologically based pest management through his work at IRRI.

Other CORIGAP scientists and national partners also presented papers and posters in the conference. They were Dr. Alex Stuart (CORIGAP postdoctoral fellow), Dr. Nyo Me Htwe (postdoctoral fellow, Myanmar), Dr. Sudarmaji and Arlyna Budi Pustika (Indonesian collaborators), and Dr. Nguyen Thi My Phung (CORIGAP consultant, Vietnam).

Around 165 delegates from 25 countries attended the event that convenes every 4 years. This provides the international community the opportunity to exchange information, discuss interdisciplinary studies and promote international collaboration in scientific research on rodent biology and management. The conference was hosted by the International Society of Zoological Sciences.

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