Skip to main content
Think and Do The Extraordinary
Support the Unit

Max Scott

Professor of Entomology

Genetic Pest Management

1542B Thomas Hall


My interests are the control of gene expression and application of this knowledge to develop engineered strains for genetic control programs. Recent projects include developing male-only strains of the livestock pests, Lucilia cuprina (the Australian sheep blowfly) and Cochliomyia hominivorax (the New World screwworm) and also for spotted wing Drosophila, an invasive pest of soft- skinned fruit. We are also working on developing gene drive systems for suppression of these pests and for replacement of Aedes aegypti populations with mosquitoes that cannot transmit disease. A new project for 2018 is on engineering insects that vector viruses that infect maize.


Our main interest is in developing transgenic “male-only” strains of insect pests for genetic control programs.  For example, we have developed strains of flies that are pests of livestock (e.g. New World screwworm), which carry genetic systems that cause female lethality unless tetracycline is added to the diet.  We are also interested in developing genetic systems for replacing mosquito populations with strains that have a reduced capacity to transmit diseases such as dengue fever.  Our applied work is underpinned by fundamental research on the regulation of gene expression in the model insect Drosophila melanogaster.  For example, we have investigated how the MSL chromatin-modifying complex regulates X-linked gene expression and the importance of histone modifying enzymes in long-term memory.

Visit my Lab –


ENT 506/591/791, GN 895, GES 506: “Genetic Pest Management”
GGS 770 Genetics & Genomics Survey Course, module on gene drive

Selected Publications:

  • Li, F., Yamamoto, A., Belikoff, E.J., Berger, A., Griffith, E.H. and Scott, M.J. (2021) A conditional female lethal system for genetic suppression of the global fruit crop pest, Drosophila suzukii. Pest Management Science. doi: 10.1002/ps.6530
  • Scott, M.J., Benoit, J.B., Davis, R.J., Bailey, S., Varga, V., Martinson, E.O, Hickner, P.V., Syed, Z., Cardoso, G.A., Torres, T.T., Weirauch, M.T., Scholl, E.H., Phillippy, A.M., Sagel, A., Vasquez, M., Quintero, G. and Skoda, S.R. (2020) Genomic analyses of a livestock pest, the New World screwworm, find potential targets for genetic control programs. Communications Biology, 3: 424.
  • Webster S.H., Vella, M.R. and Scott, M.J. (2020) Development and testing of a novel Killer-Rescue self-limiting gene drive system in Drosophila melanogaster. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 287: 20192994.
  • Concha, C., Yan, Y, Arp, A., Quilarque, E., Sagel, A., Pérez de León, A., McMillan, W.O., Skoda, S.R. and Scott, M.J. (2020) An early female lethal system of the New World screwworm, Cochliomyia hominivorax, for biotechnology-enhanced SIT in area-wide pest management. BMC Genetics, 21: 143.
  • Davis, R.J., Belikoff, E.B., Scholl, E.H., Li, F. and Scott, M.J. (2018) no blokes is essential for male viability and X chromosome gene expression in the Australian sheep blow fly. Current Biology, 28: 1987-1992.

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography:



Ph.D, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston
Postdoctoral, University of North Carolina at Chapel kill and Heralion, Greece