Kailash Narain Saxena earned his MSc (Agricultural Zoology) (1947) and DPhil (Zoology: Entomology) in 1951 from Allahabad University. He was Lecturer (1952), Reader (1958), Professor (1968) and Head (1976-79), Department of Zoology, all at University of Delhi. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University, USA (1956) and Department of Entomology, University of Illinois (1957). He also held Visiting appointments for 3-12 months in institutions such as CSIRO, Australia (1963); University of Manitoba, Canada (1967-68), State Agricultural University, Netherlands (1964, 1969, 1976), California Institute of Technology, USA (1970), University of Wuerzburg, Germany (1979), and Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Germany (1982-83). He then joined the International Center of Insect Physiology & Ecology (ICIPE) in 1983 as Programme Leader of Crop Pests Research, where he later held the positions of Deputy Director/Deputy Director General (1992-95) when he retired and moved to the USA. In USA (1997-2003), he served as Senior Editor/Editor-in-Chief of the publication Arthropod Management Tests (Entomological Society of America).
Academic and Research Achievements: Saxena initiated, developed and taught courses in entomology and animal behaviour at the University of Delhi. He elucidated the processes by which various nutritional, physiological and behavioural factors interact to determine the host plant preference and selection in plant-infesting insects. He also elucidated the role of interaction among sensory signals, physiological state and environmental factors in controlling orientation, and feeding and reproductive behavior of insects. He developed approaches to manipulate these factors and thereby the behavior of insect pests to assist in their management programmes. He proposed "insect resistant plants" as a principal component of insect pest management systems for selected agricultural pests. He has published 110 research and review papers in peer reviewed, internationally reputed journals and proceedings of conferences/symposia. He contributed to the writing and editing of two environment-related books: (i) Integrated Pest Management in the Tropics: Current Status and Future Prospects (John Wiley & Sons, 1995), and (ii) Beyond Silent Spring (Chapman & Hall, 1996).
Other Contributions: At ICIPE (1983-95), Saxena contributed to the development and propagation of environment-friendly bio-intensive insect pest management programmes for resource limited farmers in Africa. He served as Editor/Editor-in-Chief of INSA publications on Biological Sciences (1976-79) and publications on Insect Science and Its Applications (ICIPE Science Press, Nairobi) (1990-94).
Awards and Honours: Professor Saxena received the Hooker Award by Indian Agricultural Research Institute for contributions to our knowledge of Insect-Plant Relationships (1974-75). He was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi (1995).