Vera Ros was awarded the Early Career Award from the Society of Invertebrate Pathology at the conference of this society in San Diego (USA) last month. This award recognizes outstanding contributions from invertebrate pathologists who are in the early stage of their scientific career. Vera Ros is Assistant Professor at the Laboratory of Virology, Wageningen University and Research (The Netherlands). She is interested in the evolution of host-parasite interactions, with a strong focus on interactions between arthropods and micro-organisms. She studies virus – insect interactions, focusing on virus-induced manipulation of insect host behaviour. Her work is aimed at clarifying which viral genes modify host behaviour, and which pathways in the host transduce the virus-induced signal into a change in behaviour. In addition, she studies viral invasion of insect brains to manipulate host behaviour. This work will aid the design of effective biocontrol strategies for insect pests, since insect behaviour is of crucial importance in agricultural settings. Furthermore, her research includes the study of covert virus infections in insects (having a huge impact on mass rearing of insects) and of ecological implications of baculovirus infections.

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