Rotary International Presidential Peace Conference 2018
Rotary International Presidential Peace Conference 2018

Professor Phil Lester

Professor Phil Lester

School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

Biography

Phil Lester is a Professor of Entomology and Ecology at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. He has a PhD Queen’s University from Canada, and an MSc from the University of Otago in New Zealand.  His research interests are in the population dynamics and ecology of social insects. Invasive ants and social wasps in the Pacific region are a particular focus. He is interested in the boom-and-bust dynamics of invasive species and the potential role of pathogens and the insect immune system in these population collapses. His group also work with the efficacy and effects of pesticides and are examining interactions between bacteria and viruses in honey bees as a method of mitigating the effects of parasitic Varroa mites.

Phil sits on the editorial boards of the journals Biological Invasions, Myrmecological News and Integrative Zoology. He has been previously awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship and  more recently a RSNZ James Cook Fellowship. He is currently the President of the Royal Society of NZ (Wellington Branch), I have been a previous Head of School for the School of Biological Sciences, and a prior President of the Entomological Society of New Zealand.