Prof. José Carlos Franco Awarded the ISSIS Recognition in Scale Insect Science

Zvi Mendel, Manuela Branco


Prof. José Carlos Franco Santos Silva has been awarded the ISSIS recognition for his scientific achievements and significant contributions in the science of scale insects on July, 2016 in the city of Catania, Sicily. José was recognized for his important studies on mealybug and their natural enemies.

José was born in 1960 in Sacavém, Loures (northeast of Lisbon), Portugal. His entire career has been at the Instituto Superior de Agronomia. This famous institute, located in Tapada da Ajuda, in the heart of Lisbon, has roots since 1852, when the Instituto Agricola e Escola Regional de Lisboa was established. José began his studies in the Instituto Superior de Agronomia in 1982and received his undergraduate degree in 1985. In 1988 he completed his MSc in Plant Production. Jose spent his PhD years as an assistant in the Department of Plant Protection and later in Plant Ecology. His PhD research was devoted to study of mealybug ecology in citrus groves under the supervision Prof. Pedro Amaro.

Since 1999 José is Professor of Entomology and Plant Protection at the High Institute of Agronomy of the University of Lisbon, and serves also as researcher at Centro de Estudos Florestais. José ’s scope of interest is wide, covering several lines of studies, however, the center of his scientific activity is empirical research focusing on biology and behavior of scale insects, their natural enemies and associates. He is an expert and leader in both IPM and habitat management. Indeed, his research is the state of the art in these disciplines. Jose is involved in extensive international activity as well as being, the chief editor of the journal Phytoparasitica.

José’s favorite models are citrus orchards and vineyards. José is also a pioneer in the integration of semiochemicals and biological control tactics in scale insect management. Jose explores new sampling methods of insect populations, and performs basic research in reproductive biology of mealybugs, host- parasitoid interactions, and in the searching behavior of natural enemies of mealybugs. José has published some 40 reviewed papers, most of them contribute to the science of scale insects. José collaborates with scientist in many countries. This is reflected in his numerous research partners and by his vigorous activities as an organizer of scientific workshops and congresses. José’s research interests includevarious pests of fruit trees and vineyards. His great passion for mealybugs always leads him to discover something new about scale insects. Among his major achievements is the understanding of the role of mealybug sex pheromone in the sexual behavior of the male, the various kairomonal responses of their parasitoids, and the function of mealybug defense system against parasitoids.

José is a gifted teacher. He has supervised over 40 MSc and PhD students. He loves learning, teaching, and is beloved by his students, earning their appreciation as well as their affection. At the same time José continueshis collaboration with growers who feel the same about him and his contribution to pest management in general and scale insect in particular.

José is among the active members of ISSIS who are the lifeblood of these symposia.

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