Prof Brett Hurley

University of Pretoria
Department of Zoology and Entomology

Associate Professor
Programme Leader: Tree Protection Co-operative Programme


My broad research focus is the study of insect pests of forest trees with the goal of developing knowledge-based management strategies. Much of my research examines the use of biological control as a management strategy. Here, various approaches are used to understand factors affecting biocontrol, as well as the suitability of potential new biocontrol agents. These include bioassays, field trials, and molecular and microbial analysis.

I have worked extensively on the Sirex-Amylostereum-Deladenus interaction, and more recently I have become involved with biological control projects on various insect pests of eucalyptusas well as the use of entomopathogenic nematodes for the management of soil pests. My research also incorporates various other fields that are relevant to the understanding and management of forest insect pests, such as host resistance, insect-microbial interactions, genetic diversity and introduction history, risk assessment and pathway management. Most of my projects are within the Tree Protection Cooperative Programme (TPCP) and the Centre of Excellence in Plant Health Biotechnology (CPHB), where I focus on insect pests of forest trees, but I am also involved in projects on insect pests of crops such as macadamia and maize.