Position: Curator of Sternorrhyncha within the New Zealand Arthropod Collection, Field: Entomology, Organisation: Landcare Research.
Rosa Henderson gained her BSc in Zoology from Canterbury University, and had an early career in the cytogenetics of leukaemia research. She later began an entomological career at DSIR, Mt Albert Research Centre, and worked on a biological control project for pest scale insects of kiwifruit. At the disestablishment of DSIR in 1992, Rosa became a science technician for Landcare Research.
Her deep interest in scale insects began with the collection of many undescribed species over the next 3 years, during the Entomology group's intensive Insect Survey of the East Cape Region. Fortunately, Dr Chris Hodgson in England was also interested in New Zealand's scale insects and so began a fulfilling collaboration with him, resulting in publication of the two-volume revision of the Coccidae or soft scale family in New Zealand.
Rosa has published descriptions of new species in a variety of habitats and worked on revisions of scale family groups with colleagues from other countries. She finds the biology and taxonomic relationships of these specialised scale insects fascinating and knows there are endless discoveries yet to be made.
Tragically, Rosa died on 13 December 2012 as a result of a fall. Rosa has an enviable publication record in her specialised area of research on scale insects, especially relevant to New Zealand’s biosecurity. As New Zealand's expert on these organisms, she collaborated with world specialists to prepare research papers and Fauna of NZ volumes, including her sole authorship of a 275 page volume on armoured scales in 2011. Rosa is remembered with much respect and fondness by her many colleagues in science.
This article was updated in 2017.
Meet another entomologist, Lisa Jamieson. Lisa's work at Plant & Food Research is around controlling insects pests on fruit crops.