A University Distinguished Professor from the University of Idaho is collaborating with CABI scientists based in Switzerland as part of a five-month sabbatical to investigate the chemical ecology of host specificity by weed biological control agents.
Professor Sanford Eigenbrode, who is being hosted by CABI’s Switzerland Country Director Dr Hariet Hinz and the centre’s Head of Ecosystems Management Dr Urs Schaffner, will also strengthen his involvement with a Swiss National Science Foundation-funded Woody Weeds in East Africa project (WWEA) directed by Dr Schaffner.
Professor Eigenbrode has studied plant insect interactions, biological control, host plant resistance, the ecology of vector borne plant pathogens, climate change, and the science of team science during a 23-year career at the University of Idaho in the United States.
He works with his colleague Professor Mark Schwarzlander, also from the University of Idaho, on aspects of the chemical ecology of host specificity by weed biological control agents as part of ongoing collaborations with Dr Hinz and Dr Schaffner.
Since the inception of the WWEA project in 2015, Professor Eigenbrode has been helping to implement novel approaches to improve communication among its scientists, students, and stakeholders in Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
At CABI he is working closely with Dr Schaffner and with CABI scientist Dr René Eschen, also a leader in WWEA. In January, Professor Eigenbrode participated in the annual meeting of WWEA project in Moshi, Tanzania, and will use part of his time in Switzerland to visit colleagues at other European institutions.
The visit strengthens the long-standing formal relationship between the University of Idaho and CABI that includes Dr Hinz’s and Dr Schaffner’s appointments as adjunct faculty members at the university.
Professor Eigenbrode said, “When the opportunity for a sabbatical arose, CABI Switzerland was a natural choice based on previous enjoyable visits here and the stimulating scientific and collaborative atmosphere that exists at the center. I am thoroughly enjoying working more closely with my valued colleagues here.”
He has been joined at CABI’s Swiss centre in Delélmont by his wife, Sara Pepper, who will be working remotely in her position at Washington State University.