Dr Mesfin Gossa

Postdoctoral Fellow


Zoology and Entomology
Full CV
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Research Profiles

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I obtained B.Sc. in Agriculture (Plant Sciences) from Alemaya University, Ethiopia and worked as a junior and assistant researcher for the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization (EARO). I did my M.Sc. in Insect Sciences at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. My thesis research was focused on evaluating the insecticidal activity of crude extracts from seeds and leaves of neem tree against African bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera. I then worked for Arba Minch University and Haramaya University as a lecturer where I taught entomology and crop protection courses to undergraduate cohorts. I also obtained M.Sc. in Nematology from Ghent University, Belgium. In my thesis research, I investigated the interaction between root-feeding plant-parasitic nematodes and shoot feeding aphids in a black mustard plant. I obtained Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Pretoria where I studied the species identity, genetic diversity, natural enemies and host utilization patterns of an invasive pine weevil in South Africa.


Current research

My postdoctoral research focuses on eucalypt insect pests and their natural enemies. Despite its significant socio-economic role, Eucalyptus production is heavily challenged by non-native and locally adapted insect pests throughout its introduced range. This includes many eucalypt-feeding insects that have been recently introduced in sub-Saharan Africa and pose a serious threat to the sustainability of Eucalyptus forestry in the region. To mitigate this, we developed Eucalyptus Insect Pest Project in Africa (EIPPA). In this project, we aim at understanding the presence, distribution, prevalence, genetic diversity and host utilization patterns of eucalypt insect pests and their natural enemies in sub-Saharan Africa. This is a collaborative project which involves various stakeholders across sub-Saharan Africa. Results from this project will be useful to inform management strategies of eucalypt insect pest in the region. 


Eucalypt insect pest survey in Ghana and Sierra Leone

FABI postdoctoral research Fellow Dr Mesfin Gossa recently visited MIRO Forestry Company in Ghana and Sierra Leone, as part of the Eucalyptus Insect Pest Project in Africa (EIPPA). This project is led by Proff Brett Hurley, Bernard Slippers and Dr Gossa, and currently covers over 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

FABIans attend an insect mass-rearing workshop

Dr Gerda Fourie, research leader of the Macadamia Protection Programme (MPP) and Dr Mesfin Gossa, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) attended an Insect Mass-Rearing Workshop held from 23-27 October at Stellenbosch University.

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Nicole M. Van Dam, Mesfin Wondafrash, Vartika Mathur , Tom O. Tytgat. (2018) Differences in Hormonal Signaling Triggered by Two Root-feeding Nematode Species Result in Contrasting Effects on Aphid Population Growth. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 10.3389/fevo.2018.00088
Wondafrash M, Slippers B, Garnas J, Hurley BP. (2018) Parasitoid assemblage associated with a North American pine weevil in South Africa. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 10.1111/afe.12246
Wondafrash M, Slippers B, Garnas J, Roux G, Foit J, Langor DW, Hurley BP. (2016) Identification and genetic diversity of two invasive Pissodes spp. Germar (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in their introduced range in the southern hemisphere. Biological Invasions 18:2283. 10.1007/s10530-016-1159-5
Abebe E, Mekete T, Seid A, Meressa BH, Wondafrash M, Addis T, Getaneh G, Abate BA. (2015) Research on plant-parasitic and entomopathogenic nematodes in Ethiopia: a review of current state and future direction. Nematology 17(7):741-759. 10.1163/15685411-00002919
Wondafrash M, Van Dam NM, Tytgat TOG. (2013) Plant systemic induced responses mediate interactions between root parasitic nematodes and aboveground herbivorous insects.. Frontiers in Plant Sciences 4:87. 10.3389/fpls.2013.00087
Wondafrash M, Getu E, Terefe G. (2012) Survival and Feeding of African bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) affected by Neem, Azadirachta indica (A. Juss) Extracts. World Journal of Agricultural Sciences 8(3):280-285.
Wondafrash M, Getu E, Terefe G. (2012) Neem, Azadirachta indica (A. Juss) Extracts Negatively Influenced Growth and Development of African Bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Academic Journal of Entomology 5(1):22-27.
Wondafrash M, Getu E, Terefe G. (2012) Life-cycle Parameters of African bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) affected by Neem, Azadirachta indica (A. Juss) Extracts. Agricultural Science Research Journal 2(6):335-345.