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Former student of Bergen Museum wins award for new knowledge of flies

A former student of Bergen Museum, Dr Maxwell Billah, who discovered the fruit fly Bactrocera invadens and saved millions of fruit trees in Africa, was recently recognised for his contribution to taxonomy.

Dr Maxwell Billah identified the fruit fly that destroys millions of fruit trees in more than 30 African countries.  His discovery led scientists to come with pesticides to control the fly. Taxonomy is the practice of identifying insects by putting them in groups based on their features and characteristics.

His edcuation in taxonomy Dr Maxwell Billah partly as a result  of studies at Bergen Museum and his participation in the project "Freshwater Entomology in Ghana", financed by  The Norwegian Programme for Development, Research and Education (NUFU)

For that and other achievements, he was awarded the prestigious African Regional Postgraduate Programme in Insect Science (ARPPIS) prize by International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) last month in Nairobi.

In Kenya, the fruit fly destroyed several hectares of avocado, mangoes, oranges, citrus and guava before his finding enabled a response that contained the invasion. Dr Maxwell Billah  has today a position at the University of Ghana.