Integrated Pest Management


Sub-programme leader: Prof Johnnie van den Berg (


Strategic Aim and Mission

The vision of the group is to be a leader in integrated pest management (IPM) research in South Africa as well as to become a recognized regional centre of expertise in pest management in agricultural crops and “One Health”.   

Specific Focus

The sub-program focuses on research related to sustainable use of genetically modified (GM) crops and integrated pest and disease management in agro-ecosystems, with the aim to develop sustainable pest management strategies in food crops.  These strategies focus on sustainable cultivation of GM crops with pest and weed resistance traits, and management of nematodes, insect pests and diseases of crops.  The sub-program further conducts “One Health” related research projects which focusses on zoonosis and involves environmental, animal and human health. Research within this group is integrated with that of the microbiology, ecotoxicology, conservation biology groups and pharmaceutical chemistry.   

Research Objectives

  • To develop solutions to agricultural pest problems.
  • To ensure sustainable and safe use of GM crops through relevant research.
  • To develop knowledge that leads to integrated pest management.
  • To generate knowledge on zoonotic diseases as well as improving their diagnostics and control.

Research Groups

Nematology Research Group – ecology, biodiversity, ecosystem restoration, and management.

Led by Prof Driekie Fourie

Major projects in which personnel and students participate in are: i) Erasmus+ NEMEDUSSA (Nematology Education in Sub-Sahara Africa) EU Project focusing on training and capacity building and is organised and managed by University of Ghent, Belgium: ii) Soil-borne initiative being funded by GrainSA and DSI and aimed at “Improving root health of field crops in South Africa to significantly increase yield”.


Entomology Research Group – insect resistance management, pest ecology, biodiversity, Bt crops and their management

Led by Prof Johnnie van den Berg, Prof Hannalene du Plessis

Personnel and staff participate in research projects funded by seed companies, international funding bodies as well as the Maize Trust and Potato South Africa. The most important pests addressed by this research group are Tuta absoluta, Spodoptera frugiperda and maize stem borers. Biodiversity related research is also conducted, notably on the Mantodea and Cycad-associated arthropod species.


Veterinary Parasitology & Zoonoses Research Group – zoonoses, vectors, therapeutics and molecular diagnostics
Led by Prof Oriel Thekisoe  


UESM Staff:

  • Prof Johnnie van den Berg
  • Prof Oriel Thekisoe
  • Prof Hannalene du Plessis
  • Prof Driekie Fourie
  • Dr Gerhard du Preez


Extraordinary staff:

  • Prof Mieke Daneel
  • Prof Charles Midega
  • Prof Dirk De Waele
  • Prof Connal Eardly

Mantodea of Southern Africa Database

Click here to access our Mantodea of Southern Africa database.









Last updated: 31 August 2022