The MSc. in Entomology, Pest and Vector biology is to provide a foundation from which graduates can immediately enter the workforce in vector-borne disease surveillance, vector and pest surveillance and control, and related fields. This will be done in environmental, veterinary, agricultural and health fields. The factors involved in the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases, host, parasite, vector and reservoir and integrated pest management, will be stressed, as this is the recurrent theme in entomology. Economic and public health importance of insect pests in human habitations and habitats, biology, damage and control of mosquitoes, houseflies, bed bugs, ants, termites, cockroaches, flies, silverfish, head and body lice, carpet beetles, cloth moths, crickets, wasps, house dust mites, insect pests of cattle, poultry, pet animals and their management. It also introduces the students to commercial entomology like apiary, silk production.
Principles and methods of pest management in residential places, public buildings and agriculture, insecticides for domestic use and their safety will be done. Field placement training will be conducted after the first semester of the coursework year and practicum report written. Students are expected to complete a written, publication-quality dissertation based in part in the second year in the program.
2.2 Program Rationale
Entomology is the study of insects and their relationship to humans, the environment, and other organisms. Entomology Pest and vector biology make great contributions to such diverse fields as agriculture, chemistry, biology, human/animal health, molecular science, criminology, and forensics. The study of insects serves as the basis for developments in biological and chemical pest control, food and fiber production and storage, biological diversity, and a variety of other fields of science. Professional entomologists contribute to the betterment of humankind by detecting the role of insects in the spread of disease and discovering ways of protecting food and fiber crops, and livestock from being damaged. The course also enables students to study the way beneficial insects contribute to the wellbeing of humans, animals, and plants. Other benefits of the Entomology, Pest and vector biology programme are various. Farmers’ crops and food products are consumed or spoiled by insects and entomologists work to sustain optimal agricultural production throughout the world. Entomologists’ research is essential in solving insect-related food shortages and diseases throughout the world. At least one-sixth of the human race currently suffers from insect-carried diseases. Entomologists provide vital information on the surveillance and prevention of the vectors of these diseases. They also study environmental indicators to better understand the relationships between humans and nature. For example, insects’ behavior and ecology are changing with environmental degradation and climate change resulting into invasions and inhabitation/destruction trends that need continuous monitoring. Malaria transmitting mosquitoes continue to invade new areas due to global warming or wetland encroachment and locust invasions have become more widespread affecting human livelihoods. By identifying endangered species and studying their ecosystems, entomologists work to protect the environment and restore threatened habitats. Some insects are indicators of the status of the environment while others have been used in environmentally sound biological control programs have become standard features in a wide array of solutions, which protect animals from harmful chemicals. Urban pest control is a $3 billion industry to which this programme would contribute in that it provides knowledge to possible product opportunities in areas such as biological and chemical pest control. Insects are one of the greatest destroyers of timber resources hence important to foresters. Entomologists work with foresters to develop effective programs to battle these pests in order to protect forests and their biological wealth. In the artists and ornamental industry, they help to preserve the diversity and extraordinary beauty of insects which artists utilize for designs and patterns. This programme imparts knowledge and skill used by teachers to teach entomology related biological principles and concepts at all levels, make a contribution to disease vector and pest control, and enables entrepreneurship in this area.
Careers Employment Opportunities
Career prospects include but not limited to Lecturing in Biological Science at tertiary level, Research Scientist at various Research institutes/organisations, vector Control and Prevention (CDC), Industry in Foods, storage and food security, Agricultural production and Environmental health, and water quality determination using indicator insects/macro-zoobenthos. The course provides a good base for further research studies such as a PhD. Employment opportunities for the graduates of this course include agricultural production and advisory services, horticulture, forestry and medical research institutions. Others may include but not limited to conservation bodies dealing with environmental research and monitoring, commercial organizations within agrochemical sector, NGOs and environmental groups dealing in pest and weed control, and local governments. The industrial sector such as apiary and silk industries, pesticide industry, pharmaceutical companies, and forensic departments also benefit from services rendered by graduates in Entomology.
To build a critical mass of scientists, entomologists, vector biologists and disease control agents
- To provide graduates with knowledge and skills pertaining to entomology, pest and vector biology.
- To build in the graduates the spirit of professionalism that will form the basis for integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to advancing field entomology, pest control and vector biology
- To prepare students to conduct innovative research in the fields of entomology pest and vector biology
- To valorize students’ research capacities to come up with new methods and predictor models to understand the vector and pest trends with the changing environment
To be eligible for admission to this programme, the candidate must fulfil the general University requirements for admission to a Master’s Programme. In addition, the candidate must have a Bachelor of Science degree of at least second-class lower division in Botany/Zoology, Forestry, Agriculture, Science with education, Veterinary science/medicine and any other relevant field.
The minimum duration of the MSc. in Master of Science in Entomology, Pest and Vector Biology programme will be two Academic Years consisting of 4 semesters and a maximum of three academic years consisting of 6 semesters.