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Leading entomologist flies into royal fellowship

Rob Emery

A career devoted to the study of insects and managing pests has seen Associate Professor Robert Emery admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society.

This honour is only given to entomologists who have made a significant contribution to the field as evidenced by achievements, experience or publications. As a Fellow of the Society, Mr Emery joins the ranks of Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, Sir David Attenborough and Dame Miriam Rothschild.

The Royal Entomological Society was established during 1833 in London and is known as one of the oldest and most prestigious societies in the field of Entomology.

Mr Emery undertakes his research at the Harry Butler Institute’s Centre for Biosecurity and One Health, where he also enjoys mentoring the next generation of post-graduate entomologists.

Insects have long held a fascination for Mr Emery, who first studied ants under the supervision of Johnathan D Majer at Curtin University following his undergraduate degree in Applied Science Biology. 

“My earliest research explored how insect activity can be used to gauge the health of a forest, specifically using ants as bioindicators of whether mine-sites have been effectively rehabilitated to their original native environments.”

The following 42 years were spent at the Department of Agriculture (now, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development) accruing extensive knowledge and experience over the broad spectrum of biological control, pests and pesticide resistance management.

Mr Emery published many articles on his research and shared this knowledge through contributions to books and presentations at more than 24 international conferences in over a dozen countries.

Through his work, both locally and internationally, Mr Emery has highlighted the vulnerability of Western Australia’s agricultural sector to the abundance of insect pests yet to reach our borders.

This work has informed the preparedness, management and eradication of plant pests and biosecurity threats in the state. He can be credited with helping prevent insect pests from taking hold in Western Australia and devastating our agricultural sector.

Mr Emery’s admittance as a Fellow to the Royal Entomological Society is deserved recognition for the significant contribution he’s made to expanding our knowledge and management of insect pests and, globally, to the field of entomology.

"The study of insects has been a life-long passion and pleasure and I’m honoured by this recognition and look forward to developing more young entomologists through the Harry Butler Institute."

Murdoch University’s Harry Butler Institute congratulates Mr Emery on this outstanding career achievement.

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Posted on:

8 Dec 2022

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Research

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