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Kenneth Mellanby Books & Biography


(1908–1993). Entomologist, scientific administrator and writer. Author of Pesticides and Pollution (1967), The Mole (1971) and Farming and Wildlife (1981), and editor of the New Naturalist library 1971–86. Read natural sciences at London University and obtained doctorate at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (1933). Began career as a medical entomologist at the London School 1933–45, investigating causes and cure for scabies with the help of a band of volunteers in Sheffield. Spent latter part of war in Burma and New Guinea investigating transmission and control of scrub typhys. Resumed academic career as Reader in Medical Entomology at London University, then as first principal of University College, Ibadan in Nigeria 1947–53, for which he received a CBE (1954). Head of Entomology, Rothamsted 1955–61, then first director of Monks Wood experimental station, 1961–75, in both roles warning of unwanted side-effects of persistent pollutants, especially pesticides, and advocating biological methods of pest control. Mistrusted the doomsayers of the Green movement, but forcefully argued for more sustainable farming; in his view environmental problems stemmed from inefficiencies of livestock farming.

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