Thierry Brévault


Insect Ecologist
CIRAD : 'French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development'
AIDA : Research Unit 'Agroecology and sustainable intensification of annual crops'


Current research programme

Loss of biodiversity and related ecosystem of services such as natural pest control or pollination, due to fragmentation of natural habitats, invasion of alien species, or excessive use of pesticides, increases the susceptibility of cultivated ecosystems to pests. My research activities focus on the ecological processes driving natural pest control. I am particularly interested in the effect of crop management and landscape on the structure of natural enemy communities and their biocontrol function. A better understanding of these interactions is a major challenge for designing ecologically-based strategies for sustainable pest management. Functional biodiversity (here natural enemies or landscape elements) is seen as a prerequisite for ecosystem resilience in response to environmental disruptions due to climate change, land use or agricultural practices.


Other research programme

Insect resistance to pesticides is a major concern in modern agriculture and human health worldwide. I study biological, ecological, genetic, and operational factors that influence resistance evolution, so as to develop innovative resistance management strategies for the sustainable control of insect pests, particularly in transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton. Transgenic insecticidal crops are a suitable model for studying micro-evolutionary adaptation of insects. I am particularly interested in how non-Bt host plants may provide efficient refuges for target pests, and how environmental factors such as toxin concentration in transgenic plants and seed mixtures, and feeding behavior of larvae can affect the evolution of resistance. Results will address novel and important issues related to the sustainability of transgenic crops in sub-Saharan Africa farming systems, where Bt cotton is expected to expand rapidly.

Key words

Integrated pest management * Conservation biological control * Landscape * Biodiversity * Cropping systems * Transgenic Bt crops * Insect resistance management * Life system * Behaviour * Host location * Pollination

Cotton bollworms * Millet head miner * Tomato leaf miner * Melon aphid * Fruit flies * Honey bees 

Contact info

Avenue Agropolis
34398 Montpellier cedex 5
Email :  






Photo: (top right) Helicoverpa armigera larva feeding on a cotton flower, (down right) agricultural landscape, tree-crop agroforestry system in Senegal, by T. Brévault


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