Insect Pathology and Biological Control – University of Copenhagen

Contact research group leader

Jørgen Eilenberg
Ph: +45 35 33 26 92

Insects and mites are subject to infectious diseases which can seriously affect host fitness. We study fundamental and applied aspects of insect pathology.

The fundamental aspects range from studies on diversity and phylogenetics, evolution of infection processes and host defence mechanisms to the ecology and life cycles of insect pathogens.

The applied aspects of insect pathology are twofold: 1) developing insect pathogens as biological control agents of pest insects and mites to provide sustainable solutions for pest control, and 2) prevention of diseases in beneficial insects such as honey bees, other pollinators, predators and insects used for food and feed.

Our research is divided into six research topics.

Research themes

  • Evolutionary insect pathology
  • Interactions among insect pathogenic fungi, plants and insects
  • Honey bees and bee health
  • Biological control of pests
  • Edible insects and their diseases
  • Invasive species
    Invasive species that spread from their native range is a considerable threat to biodiversity because they may displace the local biodiversity. Invasive species may in addition also be pests in agricultural systems, and we study the recent Scandinavian invasion of the economically important Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii). This fly is a considerable threat to fruit and berry producers because it may lay eggs in ripening strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, grapes etc. causing maggot-filled berries to be harvested. We are also involved with joint European work to analyse risks of new invasive species in the European Union. The topic is a joint initiative with Applied Insect-Plant Ecology group. Our studies are supported by the European Union and the Villum Foundation.
    List of members:Henrik H. de Fine Licht (leader of research topic), Lene Sigsgaard, Jørgen Eilenberg, Helle Mathiasen

Group members

For students

Are you interested in doing a project, you can read more about your options in the project database

  • Project database for students

  • Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences have various bachelor and master programs.

  • Read more about the options here
  • Organisations and Societies