Alex Ko spent four years of his life dedicated to the German cockroach – and largely has the insect to thank for his career-shift to pest management. Ko’s extensive research on cockroaches has offered significant insight to the industry on insecticide resistance.
Product Development Manager
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
Years in the industry:
What are your areas of expertise?
Commercial pest control, insecticide resistance, predictive analytics
Why did you get into pest management?
My introduction into pest management stemmed from my Ph.D dissertation on the biology of German cockroaches. Afterwards I worked for a large pest control company in the Midwest as a regional technical manager. It was there that I gained unique perspective into the world of the pest management professional.
What’s your favorite thing about working for Bayer?
I love working for a company that values innovation as greatly as I do.
Have you earned any awards or industry recognition of note?
During my graduate work at North Carolina State University, I earned several awards including two scholarships – a Pi Chi National Pest Management scholarship and a North Carolina Pest Management Association Urban Indoor Entomology scholarship.
What’s your favorite bug and why?
I’d have to say the German cockroach. I spent four years of my life studying their biology – after making that kind of commitment to these bugs, I can’t help but admire them.
What does “Science for a Better Life” mean to you?
Knowing that the products that I support at Bayer protect people every day gives me a great sense of purpose and drive. I use science to improve the lives of people – and that’s awesome.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I run a blog on data analysis where I provide R and Python tutorials on machine learning and predictive analytics. I also teach academically gifted children entomology basics through the Duke TIP program.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
Sporting clays, bow hunting, fly fishing, computer programming
What would you do if you weren’t in pest management?
I’d probably find some way to combine entomology and machine learning and turn it into a career.