Bryony C Bonning, ESA Fellow (2013)

Dr. Bryony C. Bonning, a professor of entomology at Iowa State University (ISU) and Director of the National Science Foundation Center for Arthropod Management Technologies (CAMTech), was elected as Fellow in 2013. She is internationally known for her research on insect physiology and insect pathology with the goal of developing novel, environmentally benign alternatives to chemical insecticides for insect pest management.   

Bonning, a native of Derbyshire, UK, received her B.Sc. in zoology from the University of Durham, UK with specialization in entomology and neurobiology in 1985. She received funding from the Sumitomo Corporation to work on insecticide resistance in mosquitoes with Dr. Janet Hemingway at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, which included fieldwork in Italy and in Sri Lanka with the Anti-Malaria Campaign.  This research culminated in completion of her Ph.D. in 1989. She moved to Oxford to work as a Higher Scientific Officer at the Natural Environment Research Council Institute of Virology with Dr. Robert Possee (1989–1990), followed by a postdoctoral position with Dr. Bruce Hammock, University of California, Davis (1990–1994) with a research focus for both positions on recombinant baculovirus insecticides.  In 1994 she joined the faculty of ISU.

Bonning’s research has included the study of insect hormones and enzymes and insecticidal toxins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), insect small RNA, the genetic optimization of insect viruses for pest management, insect virus discovery and the use of viral proteins for development of insect resistant transgenic plants. Recent research has included modification of Bt toxins to target hemipteran pests that typically have low susceptibility to native Bt toxins, and the use of the coat protein of an aphid-transmitted plant virus for delivery of insect-specific neurotoxins to their target site within the aphid hemocoel.

At ISU, she is the Founding Director of CAMTech, a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center. CAMTech engages scientists at ISU and its sister institution, University of Kentucky, in collaborative efforts with the world’s largest agricultural pest control companies to better align research within academe with the need of industry for practical pest management solutions.

Bonning has served as mentor for more than 30 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers and teaches insect pathology and molecular entomology at the graduate level. Over the course of her career she has authored or co-authored more than 110 scientific papers, reviews and book chapters, and holds five patents. Her work has been funded by diverse research agencies including NSF and USDA. She has served as associate editor for the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, as council trustee, chair of the Virus Division and program chair for the Society for Invertebrate Pathology, and on the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, Baculovirus Study Group, and Dicistrovirus and Iflavirus Study Group. She was awarded the 2013 Nan-Yao Su Award for Innovation and Creativity in Entomology, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Updated Decemember, 2013