A unique opportunity to share scientific, technical and regulatory information with the objective to promote knowledge exchange among scientists, companies, farmers, advisors, policy makers and stakeholders, to identify approaches, tools and techniques to meet the future needs of European crop protection. 


FiereCongressi Spa - Parco Lido, Riva del Garda - Italy

Felix Wäckers

Director R&D - Biobest, Belgium / Lancaster University, UK

Felix Wäckers

Felix Wäckers

Curriculum Vitae and research interest in short 

Felix Wäckers holds a Professorship at Lancaster University in insect-plant interactions, and for eight years has been director R&D for Biobest. His academic research focuses on plant-herbivore-carnivore interactions with a particular interest in the evolution and functioning of food-mediated mutualisms. His applied research addresses the impact of both non-crop landscape elements and food supplementation on ecosystem service provision (pollination and conservation biological control).
Together with the R&D team at Biobest he launched a number of key innovations to support beneficial arthropods and the ecosystem services they provide.

Presentation title

Biocontrol with beneficials arthropods and new perspectives in biocontrol

The concept and practice of biological pest control goes back almost two millenia. The largescale release of mass reared biocontrol agents to control agricultural pests was developed almost a century ago. As an effective alternative to chemical control it has increased steadily. Increasing demands from consumers, supermarkets and the food industry for healthy and safe food; decreasing availability of pesticides; and pesticide resistance issues are important drivers underpinning the strong growth of biological pest control.
The research focus has long been on the development of new organisms for the control of existing and novel pests. This has resulted in an ever increasing portfolio of natural enemies being available on the market.
Recently, research has started to also focus on developing new concepts and strategies to make existing biocontrol agents act more effectively. In my presentation, I will cover examples of these new strategies, including the use of food supplements to allow preventative establishment of biocontrol agents before the pest arrives; the use of fibers to provide oviposition substrates for predatory mites and “Flying Doctors”, a system to utilize bumblebees to disperse antagonists for efficient biological control of flower associated pathogens and pests.