If you’ve ever dived into the research fields of evolutionary biology, ecological genetics, or invertebrate pest management, chances are you’ve come across research by Melbourne Laureate Professor Ary Hoffmann.
Ary is a leader at applying research to help solve complex environmental problems. As a long-time collaborator with Cesar, it’s with great pleasure that we congratulate him on his recent appointment as a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2022 Honours List.
This exciting announcement recognises his ‘eminent service to science’, particularly evolutionary biology and ecological genetics, through research, mentoring and education, and to professional scientific organisations.
Ary’s work has been instrumental in understanding how stressful periods influence evolutionary rates and how insects adapt to stressful conditions. Notably, he has contributed to novel approaches for suppressing dengue transmission by mosquitoes amongst human populations.
Having undertaken extensive research on invertebrates and agricultural pests throughout his career, it’s no surprise that he’s worked closely with Cesar Directors Dr Paul Umina and Dr Andrew Weeks since the company’s inception. Ary supervised both Paul’s PhD in 2004 (Zoology & Genetics) and Andrew’s in 2000 (Ecological Genetics).
Before emerging independently, Cesar operated as an Australian Research Council Special Research Centre spread across three universities: La Trobe University, Monash University and The University of Melbourne. Referred to as The Centre for Environmental Stress and Adaptation Research (CESAR), the centre was directed by Ary.
Over the years, joint ventures have led to several large research projects and important discoveries together, including developing and implementing genetic strategies in conservation for improving threatened species outcomes such as the highly successful genetic rescue of the Mt Buller Mountain Pygmy-possum.
Agricultural research collaborations include the development of national insecticide resistance management strategies for key agricultural pests, and more recently, the innovative research being undertaken as part of the Australian Grains Pest Innovation Program.
Presently Ary leads the Pest and Environmental Adaptation Research Group at Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute at the University of Melbourne. The team includes over 30 scientists and postgraduate students conducting advanced research on climatic stress, applied research on control of agricultural pest species and transmission of human diseases by insect vectors.
From all of us at Cesar, congratulations to Ary and your outstanding contributions to science and mentoring the next generation of scientists.