Department of Entomology
288 Farm Lane Room 245
Natural Science Building
Phone: (517) 355-4665
Fax: (517) 432-7061
Dr. Ernest S. ("Del") Delfosse is an internationally recognized authority on biological control and integrated pest management (IPM) of weeds. He received his Ph.D. in entomology/biological control from the University of Florida, a M.Sc. in Entomology from South Dakota Sate University, and a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Louisville. He has worked primarily with weeds of agriculture and conservation areas. He has extensive experience in foreign exploration for natural enemies of weeds in Australia, southern Africa, the United States, and parts of Mediterranean Europe. His other areas of professional interest include risk analysis, decision analysis, host-specificity of phytophagous and entomophagous natural enemies, conflict-of-interest in biological control, philosophy and ethics of science, and development of risk-and science-based biological control and plant protection regulations.
From 1979-91 Delfosse was a Research Scientist and Research Leader for Biological Control of Weeds with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Canberra, Australia. With CSIRO, he concentrated on developing teams of international, federal, state and local collaborators to plan, implement and transfer programs using biological control as the base strategy for IPM. While with CSIRO Delfosse developed the relatedness testing procedure for determining host-specificity of biological control agents (the first risk analysis model for biological control of weeds), and the phenology-event system for agent evaluation.
He was the first Director of the USDA National Biological Control Institute (NBCI) from 1991-1997. With NBCI, Delfosse developed an entrepreneurial, customer-based process to promote, facilitate and provide leadership for biological control. The innovations he guided with NBCI include the world's first World Wide Web Home Page for biological control, a peer review system for competitive grants, conceptual models for biological control regulation, two-year postdoctoral fellowships for systematics, development and implementation of a program logic model, developing educational tools for middle- and high school students, customer satisfaction surveys, and customer service brochures.
From 1997-2008 Delfosse was a National Program leader with USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, MD, with responsibilities for weed science, entomology and invasive species. A priority of his program was to develop biologically based IPM and area-wide PM programs.
Delfosse was Chair of MSU's Department of Entomology from May 2008 - April 2013.
Delfosse has published over 100 scientific papers, edited seven books, and has been on the editorial board of seven journals. He has presented >300 scientific and popular talks. His popular talks concentrate on entomology, ecology, biological control, risk analysis, ethics of science, host-specificity of natural enemies, IPM and area-wide PM to non-scientific audiences. He has mentored students in Australia, Africa and the United States, and teaches ecology, risk analysis, decision anlaysis, biological control, IPM, and international plant protection courses. His services to science includes Global President of the International Organization for Biological Control (1992-96), Secretary, Vice-Chair and Chair of Subsection Ca on Biological Control of the Entomologicial Society of America (1996-1999), and Secretary, Vice-Chair and Chair of Section C on Ecology of the ESA (1997-2000). He has received over a dozen awards and honors for his contributions to science, including the 2007 Distinguished Scientist award from the International Organization for Biological Control-Nearctic Regional Section.