Entomologist Pittendrigh Named MSU Foundation Professor
Barry Pittendrigh, an entomologist whose work focuses on pest problems in crops in developing countries, has been named an MSU Foundation Professor.
The MSU Foundation Professor title is designated for individuals who combine externally recognized, exemplary scholarly accomplishment and/or potential, with clear professional relevance to specific areas of MSU scholarly need, disciplinary development, or research or creative emphasis. Consideration is also given to teaching innovation and excellence.
Pittendrigh has worked in the area of international development, specifically in West Africa, over the past decade. He, his laboratory team, and his collaborators spread across five countries in West Africa, are developing environmentally benign pest control solutions to minimize the populations of pest insects that attack cowpea, an important protein source for tens of millions of people.
He is also the co-founder of Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) and the Sustainable Development Virtual Knowledge Interface (SusDeViKI), which are programs that convey scientific and extension information through two-and three-dimensional animations that are accessible in several languages and are available free of charge.
Prior to joining MSU in 2016, Pittendrigh was the C.W. Kearns, C.L. Metcalf and W.P. Flint Endowed Chair in Insect Toxicology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There, he used fruit flies to study how insects evolve resistance to pesticides and he worked on sequencing the body louse genome, a key advance in finding ways to stop body louse from spreading disease in humans.
Pittendrigh, who has published extensively over the last 25 years, received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.