Willem Takken has played a key role in establishing the scientific field of medical and veterinary entomology at Wageningen University (WU). In 1987, he started his professorship at the Laboratory of Entomology of WU, after having had several positions at WHO, FAO/IAEA and USDA-ARS for which he worked and lived in Nigeria, Mozambique and the USA. Exploiting the behavioral and chemical ecology of African malaria vectors has been his main research interest, and he used this knowledge to implement Integrated Vector Management strategies for sustainable control of disease vectors. His expertise is highly valued worldwide as evidenced by his numerous awards and grants from, among others, the Gates Foundation, the Innovative Vector Control Consortium and the EU. He has authored >270 scientific publications and numerous books and book chapters. His major contribution has been the development of solar-powered, odour-baited mosquito traps, which demonstrated a 30% reduction in malaria in a randomized trial in Kenya. Willem currently has an emeritus professorship and enjoys time with his family.