In an illustrious academic career that has spanned almost five decades, garnered many awards, including Fellowships of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Entomological Society of America, and produced eight books and over 400 refereed publications, Professor Steve Wratten has notched up another remarkable milestone.
When Lincoln University PhD students Emiliano Veronesi and Joel Faulkner achieve their PhD qualifications, they will be the 89th and 90th PhD students to have been supervised by Professor Wratten during their doctorates.
In achieving the milestone, Professor Wratten has guided those 90 PhD students through at least an accumulated 270 years of doctoral study.
Beginning his academic career as a lecturer in Zoology at London University in 1971, Professor Wratten moved to Cambridge University in 1972, lecturing in Applied Entomology. In 1975 he joined Southampton University as a lecturer in Biology, where he first supervised PhD students.
Professor Wratten moved to New Zealand and Lincoln University in 1993, where he is a Distinguished Professor of Ecology in the Bio-Protection Research Centre, hosted at Lincoln University.
He also holds three doctorates and an Honorary Professorship in the Chu Kochen Honors College at Zhejiang University, China.
He was awarded Lincoln University’s most prestigious title of Distinguished Professor in 2019.
Professor Wratten’s areas of expertise include ecology, biological control of pests and enhancing ecosystems on farmlands. He is a proponent of using non-crop plants to provide SNAP (shelter, nectar, alternative food and pollen) to help natural enemies of pests.
Most of the 90 PhD students supervised by Professor Wratten have worked in the field of agro-ecology, specifically discovering ways to increase the use and effectiveness of biological control agents, thereby decreasing the reliance on broad-spectrum pesticides.