Keynote Speakers

James W. AMRINE, Jr.
West Virginia University
Keynote Title: Project for a world-wide interactive Eriophyoid Database

James AMRINE is an emeritus professor of entomology at West Virginia University. B.Sc. in Entomology, 1963, and M.Sc. in Medical Entomology, 1971, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Ph.D., Medical Entomology (Botany Minor), Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 1975. From 1975 to 2009, Post-doctoral Associate to Assistant Professor to Professor of Entomology, Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, West Virginia University. Conducted research on insects and mites; taught apiculture, forensic entomology, medical entomology, insect physiology, insect morphology, arachnology and 'Bugs and Humans'.  

Research Interests:

1) Taxonomy and biology of eriophyoid mites including research on multiflora rose, rose rosette disease (RRD) and Phyllocoptes fructiphilus;
2) Apiculture, especially control of Varroa mites, viruses and diseases of honey bees;
3) Forensic Entomology;
4) Medical Entomology. 'Retired' July 2009.

French Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA)
Keynote Title: Mites in a changing world

Maria NAVAJAS is a senior scientist at the French Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA). She obtained her PhD in 1986 at the University of Montpellier II, France, majoring in Population Biology and Evolution. Completed one year postdoctoral work at the National Institute of Genetics in Mishima, Japan and invited scientist at UC-Davis (1994) and UC-Berkeley (2004). Dr. Navajas’s research mainly focuses on the biodiversity and evolution of mite crop pests and their management. The emphasis is on emerging threats caused by invasive species. The team she leads at the CBGP lab in Montpellier is internationally recognized for expertise in systematics, phylogeny, ecology and evolution of spider mites. The group is currently studying plant-pest-predator interactions and adaptation in the context of Climate Smart Agriculture, funded by FACCE-ERA-NET+ ( Dr. Navajas is part of the editorial and/or management board of the four main journals devoted to acarology. She serves as an expert on numerous international scientific panels and committees and has been a member since 2009 and vice-chair of the Plant Health Panel of The European Food Safety Authority.

University of Vienna
Keynote Title: Behavioral plasticity of plant-inhabiting predatory mites shaped by early life experiences

Peter SCHAUSBERGER is a multi- and trans-disciplinarily working zoologist (PhD 1990, University of Vienna) with a focus on behavioral ecology and multi-trophic interactions. His research links elements of animal behavior, ecology, evolution and biological control. Plant-inhabiting mites, such as predatory mites and herbivorous spider mites, are his chief model organisms. Studied organizational and spatial levels range from individuals to populations and communities, and from micro-cages to plant groups. Major steps in his scientific career include government-contracted work to foster biological control (1991-1995), PI at the Federal Office and Research Centre for Agriculture, now AGES (1995-1998), postdoc (Schr√∂dinger fellow) at Oregon State University, USA (1998-1999), habilitation in applied zoology (2000) at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (Boku), university docent/extraordinary professor at Boku (1999-), contract professor at the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano, IT (2001-2009), APART research fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2001-2004), university docent at the University of Vienna (2016-) and guest professor (JSPS invited) at the University of Tsukuba, JP (2018/19). Dr Schausberger’s scientific output comprises >100 peer-reviewed publications and >120 presentations and he has supervised 24 MScs, 9 PhDs and 7 postdocs. He is (co-) editor of 7 journals in the areas of acarology, animal behavior, ecology and evolution. He is also past president of the European Association of Acarologists (EURAAC), chaired the 2012 EURAAC symposium in Vienna and is General Secretary of the Executive Committee of the International Congress of Acarology.