Andermatt PHP (Pty) Ltd is delighted to announce that Dr Justin Hatting has joined our Research team. Justin is a senior entomologist with over 30 years of experience working with entomopathogens. As part of a consortium project between the ARC and APHP, and several other partners, Justin originally isolated the strain of Beauveria bassiana fungus that is used in the Eco-Bb | Bb Protec product to this day.
Justin started his career at the ARC-Small Grain Institute, Bethlehem, in 1987 as a student assisting researchers working on cereal aphids, with special emphasis on the Russian wheat aphid (RWA), Diuraphis noxia. He became project leader in 1993 (project “Insect predators for biocontrol of the Russian wheat aphid in wheat”) during which time he imported the predatory silver fly, Leucopis ninae (Diptera: Chamaemyiidae), as part of a Classical Biological Control approach against this exotic pest.
The discovery, in 1995, of an entomopathogenic fungus (EPF) affecting the aphid colonies at ARC-SG, steered his research in the direction of Insect Pathology. Given limited local guidance in the discipline at the time, contact was made with researchers in the USA (EPF) and Turkey (EPN) and under their guidance, country-wide surveys were initiated to explore the species complex, prevalence and potential exploitation of entomopathogens as biocontrol agents (Eco-Bb active, Beauveria bassiana strain R444, emanating from Justin’s lab) against insect pests. Data from this research were subsequently submitted as Ph.D (obtained in 2003; UKZN), entitled “Fungal parasitism of cereal aphids in South Africa”. Justin was later appointed as Research Team Manager: Crop Protection at ARC-SG, but also continued with research for the wheat, Rooibos, sugarcane, wool, fig and pecan industries; mostly biocontrol related. He has authored 38 peer-reviewed papers, including 2 book chapters and 2 insect Field Guides.
Justin is married (1994) to Hesta and they have two kids, Dylan (pilot) and Melissa (M.Sc student, UFS, Microbiology/Food Science).