Daniel Ardisson-Araújo

Biology, Life Sciences

Biologist Daniel Ardisson-Araújo is a scientist concerned with the microscopic complexities that generate enormous macroscopic effects, as his research investigates the guts of insects in search of solutions for more sustainable agriculture. His project weaves a plot where viruses and bacteria play crucial roles, decreasing the lifespan and resistance of their insect hosts. In this way, unwanted insects for agriculture have a reduced life cycle and also reduce dependence on pesticides and transgenic plants.

Originally from Brasília, Ardisson-Araújo graduated in biological sciences at the University of Brasília (UnB), where he also achieved a master’s degree and doctorate in molecular biology. He had a sandwich period during his doctorate at Kansas State University, United States. Despite a stint as a professor at the Federal University of Santa Maria, the biologist returned home: UnB. Today, he teaches biology and veterinary courses and coordinates the institution’s Insect Virology Laboratory. Intervals from scientific research are devoted to crochet rugs and clothing, pilates and biodanza. An art lover, the biologist also makes analogue collages and loves reading, especially in the company of his three cats, Preta, Uqbar and pH.


Can we control populations of agricultural insect pests by affecting the gut microbiota with oral exposure to bacteria-killing viruses?
Science / Life Sciences

Insects play important roles in nature as pollinators, food and decomposers. When food is abundant, such as on a plantation, some insects can reproduce uncontrollably and become pests. Pests are generally controlled with pesticides that can contaminate food and the environment. Alternative control methods are essential for the development of sustainable agriculture. The guts of insect pests contain numerous bacteria that influence insect nutrition, development, and immunity. Therefore, is it possible to control agricultural pest populations by causing an imbalance in these insect bacteria through oral exposure to bacteria-killing viruses, the phages? This intestinal disturbance aims to affect the health of insects, reducing their lifespan and making them more sensitive to control and, thus, reducing or avoiding the use of pesticides and transgenic plants.

Amount invested

Grant Serrapilheira: R$ 700.000,00
Grant FAPDF: R$ 100.000,00

Open Calls

Science Call 6