Doctor Alihan Katlav

Alihan KatlavDr Alihan Katlav is an entomologist with a broad range of research experience in invertebrate taxonomy and biodiversity, microbiology and biological control of pests for over 8 years. Since August 2022 Alihan is a postdoctoral research fellow in entomology at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE). He currently is member of a team led by Prof. Markus Riegler working on a Hort Innovation funded project entitled, “Entomopathogenic nematodes as biological control agents of important honey bee pests in Australia”. This project investigates the virulence of different Australian entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) strains on small hive beetle (Aethina tumida), greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella) and lesser wax moth (Achroia grisella) to identify and select the EPNs strains and their symbiotic bacteria with the largest efficacy against these pests while safe for honey bee. Alihan is particularly interested to investigate EPN effects on honey bees so that any potential lethal/sublethal effects can be avoided with the selection and adequate application of appropriate strains.

Alihan obtained his PhD from HIE at Western Sydney University in 2022, under the supervision of Prof. Markus Riegler and Prof. James Cook. Alihan’s PhD project investigated the mechanisms and constraints of sex and resource allocation in Kelly’s citrus thrips, as well as the role of bacterial endosymbionts Cardinium and Wolbachia in the evolution of sex ratio adjustment. The outcome of his PhD project delivered new, fundamentally important knowledge about the biology, ecology and evolution of haplodiploid arthropods and their endosymbionts, and informs the development of biosecurity and pest management strategies. As part of his PhD project, Alihan also studied population structure of Kelly’s citrus thrips across its native and invasive range using population genomic and mitochondrial DNA sequence analyses. After the completion of his PhD project, Alihan was awarded an Australian Government supported APR-internship and completed an industry-based research project with Agriculture Victoria Research as part of a team investigating the potential role of native sup-sucking insects as vectors of the exotic bacterial pathogen Xylella fastidiosa in Australian horticulture, with the aim to assist biosecurity protocols for early detection and suppression of potential future incursions of this destructive pathogen in Australia. In this role Alihan investigated the bacterial and fungal communities of citrus-feeding bug species using tissue localisation and high-throughput amplicon sequencing analyses.

Areas of research/teaching expertise

Entomology, Bacterial endosymbionts; Insect-Microbe interactions; Invertebrate taxonomy and biodiversity, Biological control of pests

Awards and recognition

  • World Microbiome Day Student Grant, Western Sydney University (2021) ($10,000)
  • John Henry Comstock Award (2020) - Entomological Society of America (International Branch)
  • Australian Entomological Society Student Travel Award, Brisbane, Australia (2019)
  • F.G Swain Award (2018) of Hawkesbury Foundation (Western Sydney University) ($11,220)
  • Western Sydney University Postgraduate Research Award (2016)
  • Farahbakhsh Award - the outstanding national MSc thesis in Entomology - 1st Iranian International Congress of Entomology (2015)

Selected Publications

Katlav A, Cook JM, Riegler M, (2023) 'Effect of oviposition delay on early reproductive effort and offspring fitness in a thrips species', Animal Behaviour, vol.200, pp 199-207

Katlav A, Cook JM, Riegler M, (2022) 'Common endosymbionts affect host fitness and sex allocation via egg size provisioning', Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol.289, no.1971, Article no.20212582

Katlav A, Nguyen DT, Morrow JL, Spooner-Hart RN, Riegler M, (2022) 'Endosymbionts moderate constrained sex allocation in a haplodiploid thrips species in a temperature-sensitive way', Heredity, vol.128, no.3, pp 169 - 177

Khadem-Safdarkhani H, Hajiqanbar H, Riegler M, Seeman O, Katlav A, (2022) 'Two new phoretic species of heterostigmatic mites (Acari: Prostigmata: Neopygmephoridae and Scutacaridae) on Australian hydrophilid beetles (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae)', Insects, vol.13, no.5, Article no.483

Katlav A, Nguyen DT, Cook JM, Riegler M, (2021) 'Constrained sex allocation after mating in a haplodiploid thrips species depends on maternal condition', Evolution, vol.75, no.6, pp 1525-1536

Katlav A, Cook JM, Riegler M, (2021) 'Egg size-mediated sex allocation and mating-regulated reproductive investment in a haplodiploid thrips species', Functional Ecology, vol.35, no.2, pp 485-498

Katlav A, Hajiqanbar H, Riegler M, Seeman OD, (2021) 'Sheltered life beneath elytra: three new species of Eutarsopolipus (Acari, Heterostigmatina, Podapolipidae) parasitizing Australian ground beetles', Parasite, vol.28, Article no.75

Katlav A, Riegler M, Seeman OD, (2020) 'Tiny hitchhikers and parasites: a review of Australian heterostigmatic mites (Acari: Prostigmata) associated with insects, with description of three new species', Austral Entomology, vol.59, no.3, pp 401-421

Katlav A, Hajiqanbar H, (2018) 'First description of male and larval female of parasitic mite Eutarsopolipus abdominis (Acari: Podapolipidae) with redescription of the adult female', Journal of Parasitology, vol.104, no.1, pp 1-9

Katlav A, Hajiqanbar H, Talebi AA, (2016) 'Two remarkable new species of the superfamily Pygmephoroidea (Acari: Heterostigmata) associated with beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae, Staphylinidae)', Annals of the Entomological Society of America, vol.109, pp 136-144

Katlav A, Hajiqanbar H, Talebi AA, (2015) 'First record of the genus Aethiophenax (Acari: Acarophenacidae) from Asia, redefinition of the genus and description of a new species', Asia-Pacific Entomology, vol.18, pp 389-395

Katlav A, Hajiqanbar H, Talebi AA, (2015) 'A new genus and species of mites of the family Caraboacaridae (Acari: Heterostigmata) associated with Clivina ypsilon (Coleoptera: Carabidae) with notes on distribution and host range of the family', Canadian Entomologist, vol.147, pp 370-38

Katlav A, Hajiqanbar H, Talebi AA, (2015) 'Pseudopygmephorellus mazandaranicus sp. nov. (Acari: Heterostigmata: Pygmephoridae), phoretic on scarabaeid dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) from Iran', Zootaxa, vol.3919, pp 100-110

Katlav A, Hajiqanbar H, Talebi AA, (2015) 'A contribution to the knowledge of heterostigmatic mites (Acari: Prostigmata) in western Mazandaran Province, Northern Iran', Acarologia, vol.55, pp 311-320

Katlav A, Hajiqanbar H, Talebi AA, (2014) 'Dorsipes caspius n. sp. (Acari: Podapolipidae), a subelytral parasite of Pterostichus caspius (Menetries) (Coleoptera: Carabidae) with notes on host range of the genus and the distribution of the platysmae group', Systematic Parasitology, vol.89, pp 117-132

Katlav A, Hajiqanbar H, Talebi AA, (2014) 'First record of the genus Acanthomastix Mahunka, 1972 (Acari: Dolichocybidae) from Asia, with the description of a new species', International Journal of Acarology, vol.40, no.1, pp 7-14