Dr. Charles MacVean joined Saint Francis University in 2010 after spending 20 years in Guatemala devoted to undergraduate teaching, research and administration. His research interests revolve around two main areas -- a) tropical insect ecology applied to pest management and b) ethno-entomology, specifically the traditional use of insects by indigenous cultures in Mesoamerica. The publications exhibited here are samples of work MacVean has published over the years with students and colleagues at various universities.
Much of his work in pest management involves the study of insects in coffee plantations and in vegetable crops such as snowpea orchards. The common goal is to better understand factors limiting insect distribution which can help manage pest populations and reduce reliance on pesticides.
As for ethno-entomology, his research focuses on a type of “giant” scale insect which is harvested by indigenous Mayan populations as a source of a natural lacquer used in decorating and protecting wood, gourds and other objects. This offers the potential for “biological prospecting” where the lacquer can be utilized for economic gain while at the same time preserving native species and indigenous knowledge.
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