Prof Brett Hurley

Prof Brett Hurley

South Africa

University of Pretoria

Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute

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Work and Research

I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Zoology and Entomology in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Pretoria, and one of the research leaders of the Tree Protection Cooperative Programme (TPCP) and the DST Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) at the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI). My current research interests include various biological control systems and other areas relevant to tree health, such as genetic diversity of pest populations, microbial-insect associations and pathway management of invasive species. My aim is to provide insight into the factors influencing the global spread and management of forest insect pests.

Fields Of Expertise

Biological Control
Forest Entomology
Invasion biology

Research Profiles

My vision for the future of research at UP and how I will contribute to this development

The future of science in South Africa should be something that excites us as South Africans. Africa is far below par with regards to its scientific output, but has huge potential when you consider the wealth of biological diversity and environments (from dessert to tropical forest), desperate need for innovative solutions and millions of inquiring minds waiting for the opportunity to apply themselves. South Africa, and the University of Pretoria in particular, have the facilities, staff and expertise that allows us to be uniquely positioned to engage with research institutions, governments and private business across the continent to build collaborative projects that can produce good science to develop sustainable solutions for regional and international problems. Within my area of research I aim to contribute towards a regional strategy on the management of insect pests of plantation trees in Africa. This will involve the application of modern genetic tools, combined with basic biology and ecology, and an understanding of the perception and awareness of affected stakeholders.