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The Department of Entomology
The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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Obituary by D. Gerling and M. Wysoki

David Rosen (1936-1997)

David Rosen, The Vigevani Professor of Agriculture and Professor of Entomology at the Faculty of Agriculture of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and World leader in chalcidoid taxonomy and biological control of insect pests, died on 8 January 1997 after a brave struggle with cancer. David was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1936. He pursued his scientific studies at the Hebrew University where he obtained his M.Sc. degree summa cum laude in 1959 and his Ph.D. in agricultural entomology in 1965. David remained a permanent staff member of the Faculty of Agriculture, rising quickly from the rank of lecturer in 1967 to Full Professor in 1978. In 1990 he became the first appointee of the Vigevani Chair in Agriculture. He chaired the Department of Entomology, first as acting chairman (1974) and then as elected chairman, from 1977 to 1980 and from 1992 on, resigning from his second term after discovering his illness in 1995. In addition to his duties as chairman, David was very involved in University life. He was active on numerous committees as well as being Director of the Research Center for Integrated Pest Management from 1988 on. He was also deeply involved in teaching, both at the administrative level, where he contributed measurably to the shaping of future teaching curricula in plant protection, and at the personal level where he was known as an excellent teacher and lecturer at home and abroad. His death came only a few days before he would have been awarded the M. Millikan Prize for Distinction in Teaching in recognition of his excellence.

Throughout his career, David devoted a large part of his time to improving Israeli agriculture. He contributed measurably to the introduction and improvement of biological and integrated pest control methodology. His awareness of environmental problems culminated in his heading a committee appointed by the chief scientist for the Ministry of Agriculture, to examine the possibilities of reducing the use of poisonous pesticides in agriculture. For this purpose, he assembled a committee comprising leading scientists and extension service, plant protection and inspection service officers together with producers of plant protection products. The committee's report that was published in 1990 after almost two years of deliberations, reflected his leadership, excellent ideas and superb penmanship, and served as an important landmark in plant protection in Israel.

David was an active member of the Entomological Society of Israel since its establishment and served on its committees till the last day of his life. He was also a member of the editorial board of the Society Journal: The Israel Journal of Entomology.

On the international level, David was well known as one of the proponents and leaders in biological pest control. He was an active member of the IOBC and a member of the IOBC\WPRS Council, leaving his mark on many of its decisions. He also served as a member of the FAO\UNEP Inter-national Panel of Experts on Integrated Pest Control. His active participation in the International Plant Protection Congresses led the organizing com-mittee to elect him chairman for the next (14th) meeting in 1999, to be held in Israel. His international contributions included editorial duties in numerous professional publications including: Annual Review of Entomology, Biological Control, Entomophaga, Integrated Pest Management Reviews, and The Journal of Hymenoptera Research. David took also an important part in the International Congresses of Entomology, in which, for the last 20 years, he organized symposia and participated as an invited speaker in numerous forums. During the 20th Congress, held last summer in Firenze, Italy, he was elected to replace Professor R. Galun as a member of the organizing committee for the 21st Congress.

He traveled extensively in the Americas, Europe, the CIS, the Far East and Australia and fulfilled many international appointments. These included visiting Professorships of Entomology at the University of California in Berkeley and Riverside, the Universities of Ankara and Adana in Turkey, the University of Maryland in College Park, Texas A&M University in College Station, and the University of Florida in Gainesville.

David has published widely in Hebrew and English. His scientific contributions include 164 refereed articles, and seven books that are listed at the end of this article. The latter include two books that he co-authored with Paul DeBach, and five books that he edited.

David was a well known taxonomist of parasitic Hymenoptera, and was known both as a specialist of Encyrtidae and Aphelinidae, and as a strong proponent of recognizing the importance of taxonomy for biological sciences in general and biological control in particular. His taxonomic contributions culminated in 1979 in the publication of a revisionary book on the genus Aphytis co-authored with Professor Paul DeBach. This work gained the authors the prestigious Filippo Silvestri Foundation prize from the University of Naples.

David was a proud Israeli, believing in the right of all peoples to live freely in their homeland. He will also be remembered as speaking up, on many occasions, in favour of separating science from politics. He was a family man, a good husband and proud father to his three children. During the last few years he could often be seen in the company of his wife, Mazal, at many professional meetings. The many students and scientists, whom he supervised for both M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees, as well as his colleagues in Israel and abroad, will always remember David as an exemplary family man, a true friend and a brilliant colleague who was always ready to contribute and help with his wisdom, humour and scientific insight. Together with his family and the scientists' community we shall sorely miss him.

Books authored or edited by Professor D. Rosen:

  • Rosen, D.; DeBach, P. (1979) The species of Aphytis of the World, Hymenoptera, Aphelinidae. Jerusalem; Israel Universities Press andThe Hague, Netherlands; W. Junk, 801 pp.
  • DeBach, P.; Rosen, D. (1991) Biological control by natural enemies. Cambridge, UK; Cambridge University Press, 440 pp.
  • Rosen, D. (1990) (ed) Report of the steering committee of reducing use of pesticides in agriculture. Rehovot, Israel; Chief Scientist, Faculty of Agriculture, 148 pp. [in Hebrew]
  • Rosen, D. (ed) 1990 Armored scale insects their biology, natural enemies and control. World Crop Pests. Amsterdam, Oxford, New York, Tokyo; Elsevier, Volume A, 384 pp. and Volume B, 688 pp.
  • Rosen, D.; Bennet, F.D.; Capinera, J.L. (eds) (1994) Pest management in the subtropics: biological control - a Florida perspective. Andover, UK; Intercept Ltd, Volume I, 737 pp.
  • Rosen, D.; Bennet, F.D.; Capinera J.L. (eds) (1996) Pest management in the subtropics: integrated pest management - a Florida perspective. Andover, UK; Intercept Ltd, Volume II, 578 pp.
  • Rosen, D.; DeBach, P. (eds) (1994) Advances in the study of Aphytis (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae). Andover, UK; Intercept Ltd, 362 pp.

By Dan Gerling and Manes Wysoki

Appeared in: Biocontrol News and Information, June 1997, Volume 18 No. 2.