Skip to main content
Harper Adams University logo

    All Harper

    Ten years of Entomology and IPM - David and Marco's stories

    17 October 2023

    Throughout 2023, we have been marking more than a decade of Entomology and IPM courses at Harper Adams University.

    Alumni of the courses have been sharing their stories, telling us where they are now, and setting out how their Harper studies helped shape their future.

    Each was responding to a request from one of the first entomologists to join Harper Adams when a suite of dedicated Masters courses launched in 2012 -  Reader in Entomology, Dr Tom Pope.

    When Tom asked his former students for their memories of their time at Harper, the replies came in from the four corners of the earth. Former students were delighted to participate – speaking fondly about their courses, the Harper Adams campus, and the University’s staff.

    Many cited the guidance of the late  Professor Emeritus – and leading entomologist -  Simon Leather.

    In the latest of our series of pieces, we catch up with David – now studying for a PhD in the United States – and Marco, who works for a major UK berry fruit grower as an Entomologist and Laboratory Manager.


    David Olabiyi – who began his studies in the 2018/19 academic year

    What was it like studying at Harper?

    I was an international student at Harper Adams University. I had mixed feelings throughout my travels to Harper as it was my first time travelling out of my home country. I was worried about getting settled in a country far away from home and anticipated the cultural differences. However, I felt warmly welcomed since I arrived at the Harper Adams University campus, especially by Heather Hogan. I settled in quickly and felt at home throughout my studies. I studied MSc Integrated Pest Management and enjoyed every class. I particularly liked the independence and hands-on experience I had conducting thesis research and the relevance of knowledge imparted during lectures by on-campus lectures and guest lecturers from industries. Asides from focusing on my academics, I enjoyed hanging out with other international students and learning about different cultures. I also enjoyed the extracurricular activities available like taking language (French) classes, travelling to different cities in the UK on weekends, and playing football with my friends. In sum, studying in the UK was more comfortable and rewarding than I expected when I started my travels from my home country to study in the UK. 

     What is it like doing what you’re doing now?

    I am presently a PhD Entomology candidate at the Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida. I am particularly excited as I will soon be completing my PhD. As a PhD student, I spend most of my time in the field and laboratory doing research work. My experiences living in and studying in the USA mirror my experience while studying at Harper Adams University.

    How did the first prepare you for the second?

    My bachelor's degree was in Plant Sciences. So, studying Integrated pest management for my master’s degree provided me an excellent academic background in entomology and pest management, and an opportunity to acquire relevant research expertise, all of which are important for me to be able to complete my PhD program.


    Marco Corradi – who began his studies in the 2019/20 academic year

    What was it like studying at Harper?

    Studying at Harper provided a great sense of accomplishment; I was finally studying entomology and I knew I was on the right track to becoming an entomologist. This was my dream ever since I was a child!

    What is it like doing what you’re doing now?

    I now work for of one of the major berry and stone fruit producers and retailers of the UK as an entomologist and laboratory manager. During my job, I have learned many technical skills for sample preparation and taxonomical diagnostics amongst important people skills; I also get to travel internationally and network with other entomologists, all for bugs and berries!

    How did the first prepare you for the second?

    The MSc Entomology programme at Harper provided essential theoretical and technical knowledge to effectively tackle my job duties. Harper graduates are additionally highly commended within the UK agricultural industry, and having a title from this University has certainly helped secure my position. In short, Harper helped to make my dreams come true!

    Cookies on the Harper Adams University website

    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time.