A fascinating record of the life of a Dutch entomologist, who worked on plant protection in a range of countries including Angola, Turkey, Tunisia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Cape Verde Islands and Fifi. Later Van Harten was contracted to make an inventory of the arthropods of the United Arab Emirates.
Antonius van Harten was born in Gouda, the Netherlands, in 1946. He studied tropical agriculture with an emphasis on plant protection at the State College for Tropical Agriculture in Deventer, Netherlands. After graduating he was contracted by the Agronomical Research Institute of Angola in Nova Lisboa (now Huambo) in 1968, to work in the plant virology section. He stayed in Angola until shortly before the country’s independence in 1975. In 1976 he was contracted to work on the epidemiology of potato virus diseases at the Institute for Plant Protection Research in Wageningen, Netherlands. He performed short missions to and taught training courses at development projects in Turkey, Tunisia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. In 1982 he was contracted by the German Technical Cooperation Agency to work at a project on integrated pest management in the Cape Verde Islands. In 1990 he moved to a similar project in Yemen and in 1994 to a project on biological pest control in the South Pacific, stationed in Suva, Fiji. When this project finished in 1997, he was contracted by the Yemeni Ministry of Agriculture to work on biological pest control at the General Department of Plant Protection in Sana’a. In 2004 he was contracted by Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to make an inventory of the arthropods of the United Arab Emirates. Received the Sheikh Mubarak Award for 2010 for his contribution to the knowledge about the UAE’s natural history. In 2011 he retired and moved to Portugal.