David Catling has a Diploma of Agriculture and BSc from Stellenbosch University, and MSc and Ph.D degrees from Potchefstroom University, South Africa. He started out as a farmer, then became a field assistant before qualifying as an entomologist. His first research was on citrus pests in South Africa and Swaziland, where he introduced an integrated pest management system for citrus farmers. In 1972, he was appointed by FAO to introduce the concept of integrated pest management (IPM) into South Korea’s Department of Agriculture. In 1974, he became the IRRI Team Leader/Entomologist working closely with BRRI, and went on to lead BRRI’s research project on deepwater rice, thus staying in Bangladesh for seven years. During this period his main interest was the study of insect pest ecology, IPM, and assessing crop losses in the field. Returning to South Africa in 1991, he founded and led the Land Development Unit at the University of the Western Cape, which supported previously marginalized small-scale farmers. The work of this NGO was described in his book An Elusive Harvest published in 2008. He also authored a textbook titled Rice in Deep Water.