K.L. Heong

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K.L. Heong, former scientist at IRRI

Dr. Kong Luen "K.L." Heong was a senior scientist at IRRI responsible for research on arthropod ecology and Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

K.L. is an insect ecologist with many years experience working in Asia. He is recognized internationally as an authority on science, technology and implementation of pest ecology, farmers’ decision making, and sustainable pest management. He has authored or co-authored over 250 scientific papers and three books on pest management in rice and has received numerous awards from various academic, government and international organizations. He is a Fellow of the Third World Academy of Science (TWAS), a Fellow of the Academy of Science, Malaysia (ASM) and a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS).

K.L. provided strategic leadership in pest management research and the implementation of IPM and ecological engineering methods for sustainable management of rice pests in Asia.


  • Environmental sustainability research
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
  • Ecological engineering and ecosystem services research
  • Sociology of farmers' decision making and communications
  • Insecticide toxicology 


  • DSc in Ecology and Sociology of Pest Management, University of London, UK (2000)
  • PhD in System Analysis, Pest Management, Imperial College, London, UK (1986)
  • MSc in Applied Entomology, Imperial College, London, UK (1979)


  • Insect ecologist, IRRI (1988-2013)
  • Entomologist, MARDI (1973-1987)


  • Merit Medal for the Cause of Science and Technology Development of Vietnam (2010)
  • Second prize Global Development Award for best research paper (2009)
  • Entertainment- education to communicate to farmers, Kuwait Development Fund (2009)
  • One World Broadcasting trust, Special commendation for communication innovation (2008)
  • Dubai International Award for “Best Practice”, Top 100 best practices for Campaign to motivate farmers reduce seeds, fertilizer and pesticides (2008)
  • COM+ Communications Award for communicating Science for the People and the Planet, Alliance for Communication for Sustainable Development, Radio soap opera for rural Vietnam (2007)
  • Third World Academy for Science (TWAS) Prize for Agriculture (2006)
  • World Bank Development Marketplace Award (2005)
  • Golden Rice Award – Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam (2003)
  • Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practices, UK (2003)
  • Excellence Award for Plant Protection - Malaysian Plant Protection Society (2003)
  • Charles Black Award for exemplary contributions to public understanding in food and agricultural sciences – US Council for Agricultural Sciences and Technology (2003)
  • St Andrews Prize for Environment, University of St Andrews, UK (2002)
  • Golden Rice Award - Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam (2002)
  • Gold Medal for Agriculture Development in Vietnam - Government of Vietnam (1996)


  1. Heong, K.L. , Escalada, M.M., Huan, N.H. Chien, H.V. and Quynh, P.V. 2010. Scaling out communication to rural farmers – Lessons from the “Three Reductions, Three Gains” campaign in Vietnam. In Palis, F, Singleton, G and Casimero, M (eds.) Research to Impact: Case Studies for Natural Resources Management of Irrigated Rice in Asia. International Rice Research Institute, Loa Banos, Philippines.
  2. Heong, K.L. and Hardy, B. (eds.) Planthoppers – New threats to the sustainability of intensive rice production systems in Asia. International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Philippines. 460pp.
  3. Heong, K.L., M.M. Escalada, N.H. Huan, V. H. Ky Ba, L.V. Thiet and H.V. Chien. 2008. Entertainment-Education and rice pest management: A radio soap opera in Vietnam. Crop Protection, 27, 1392-1397.
  4. Heong, K.L. and Escalada, M.M. 1999. Quantifying rice farmers' pest management decisions - Beliefs and subjective norms in stem borer control. Crop Protection, 18,315-322.
  5. Heong, K.L. and Schoenly, K.G. 1998. Impact of insecticides on herbivore-natural enemy communities in tropical rice ecosystems. Pp 381-403 ( P. T. Haskell and P. McEwen Eds.) Ecotoxicology: Pesticides and Beneficial Organisms. Chapman and Hall, London.
  6. Heong, K.L., Escalada, M.M., Huan, N.H. and Mai, V. 1998. Use of communication media in changing rice farmers' pest management in South Vietnam. Crop Protection, 17 (5), 413 - 425.
  7. Heong, K.L. and Escalada, M.M. (Eds). Pest Management of Rice Farmers in Asia. IRRI, Los Baños, Philippines. 245 pp.
  8. Heong, K.L. and Escalada, M.M. 1997. Perception change in rice pest management: A case study of farmers' evaluation of conflict information. Journal of Applied Communications 81, 3-17. (Awarded 1997 Article of the Year).
  9. Heong, K.L., Teng, P.S. and Moody, K. 1995. Managing rice pests with less chemicals. Geojournal, 35, 337-349.
  10. Way, M.J. and Heong, K.L. 1994. The role of biodiversity in the dynamics and management of insect pests of tropical irrigated rice - A review. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 84, 567-587.



Controlling rice planthoppers without insecticides

IRRI Pioneer interviews


IRRI references

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