Phil Lester is the author of The Vulgar Wasp (2018), Healthy Bee, Sick Bee (2020), and Pests and Pestilence (2022).
A professor in ecology and entomology at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, Phil Lester has published around 150 papers on invasive species and their management. He has specialised in the management of invasive ants and wasps and the parasites and diseases affecting bees. Phil has won Fulbright and Royal Society Te Apārangi James Cook Research Fellowships. He is an appointed member of the Environmental Protection Authority’s Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Committee, which considers the use of hazardous substances and new organisms for pest control in New Zealand.
Praise for The Vulgar Wasp
‘A riveting account of an extraordinary animal. Lester engages readers in the biological complexities and wide-ranging impacts of a “scary” wasp as an excellent example of controversies swirling around biological invasions.’ —Daniel Simberloff, Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Tennessee and author of Invasive Species: What Everyone Needs to Know
‘Lester cleverly weaves facts and figures on the astonishing science of this little-loved insect into a text that’s tickled with memorable anecdotes and personable insights. If you thought wasps were pointless, boring and unimportant, think again.’ —Dr Seirian Sumner, Reader in Behavioural Ecology at University College London
‘The Vulgar Wasp is more than just interesting and instructive; it’s a delight to read. It’s packed full of up-to-date information on invasive wasps in New Zealand and elsewhere, as well as in their native range – all presented in an engaging, humorous and informative manner. Everything you might want to know about the life cycle of wasps, methods of control, and the environmental, social and economic costs of these pesky invertebrates can be found in this enormously readable book.’ —Dr Andrea Byrom, Director of New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge