Dr.-Eng. Serge Poitout was born in Charente, France in 1937.
He was Director of Research at INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research), where he worked from 1960 to 1998. From 1980 until his retirement, he was also director of the whole Zoology research Unit of INRA-Avignon, where he fostered much work on biological control.
His own field of study was focused on the biology of Noctuidae and the development of biocontrol methods against these pests. He was recognised at INRA as a pioneer in the use of analyses of phenotypic and genetic variability for population studies of Lepidoptera.
At a national level, he was implicated in numerous administrative commissions where he developed a reputation as an astute and proficient advocate of biological and integrated pest management.
He received national awards, including the prestigious (in France) “Gold Medal” and the “Vermeil Medal” of the French Academy of Agriculture. He was also honoured with their highest distinction as “Chevalier du Mérite Agricole”.
His long implication in the scientific activities of IOBC-wprs culminated with his election as Council Member in 1985. He later served as General Secretary for two successive mandates from 1989 to 1997.