Dr Ekesi is an entomologist and integrated pest management (IPM) specialist and is currently the Director of Research and Partnerships at icipe. Dr Ekesi has extensive knowledge and experience in sustainable agriculture and biodiversity management. He has served in various international advisory and consultancy panels, including for the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the World Bank.
Dr Ekesi has a special interest in the development and commercialization of biopesticides as alternatives to toxic chemical pesticides for the management of arthropod pests in agriculture. He has successfully developed three fungal-based biopesticides from Metarhizium anisopliae, which now bear the trade names Campaign® or Met 69® (targeted at thrips, fruit flies and mealybugs); Met 62® (for the control of aphids) and Achieve® (to manage mites). The biopesticides are currently commercially registered in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Mozambique. Met 69® is also undergoing registration in Canada and Europe for use in greenhouse horticulture and ornamental crops. Since 2005, Dr Ekesi has been leading a continental-wide initiative to manage fruit flies on horticultural crops, under the umbrella of the African Fruit Fly Programme (AFFP). Using regional and international collaborations, AFFP has established a range of practical IPM fruit fly control tools, which are now being used by more than 40,000 farmers in over 20 African countries. Dr Ekesi recently co-edited a book titled: Fruit Fly Research and Development in Africa – Towards a Sustainable Management Strategy to Improve Horticulture. He has more than 100 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals and has been a member of editorial boards of various journals. He previously worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Rothamsted Research, UK and as a Lecturer in Crop Protection with Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria. Dr Ekesi holds Ph.D in Crop Protection from Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria through icipe’s African Regional Postgraduate Programme in Insect Science (ARPPIS), and a Master of Science in Applied Entomology and Parasitology from the University of Jos, Nigeria.