University of California, Riverside

Applied Biological Control Research

Applied Biological Control Research

The Hoddle Lab, 2015
Mark Hoddle

Mark S. Hoddle, Ph.D.

Biological Control Specialist and Principal Investigator 

Dr. Hoddle has headed the research in this laboratory since 1997 and is primarily involved in the identification of pest problems wf biological control could be a successful approach. The location, release and evaluation of natural enemy impacts on population growth features strongly in his research. The evaluation of biological control agents are conducted primarily in the field and, when necessary, aspects of both pest and natural enemy biology and behavior are studied in the laboratory.

Nic Irvin

Nicola A. Irvin, Ph.D.

Biological Control Specialist and Research Scholar

Dr. Irvin joined the Hoddle laboratory in 2001 as a postdoctoral scholar. She has a heavy focus on researching the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar), and its mymarid wasp biological control agents Gonatocerus ashmeadi, G. fasciatus, G. triguttatus and G. tuberculifemur. Dr. Irvin has since been promoted to Assistant Specialist and in 2007 was awarded a Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (Western SARE) grant to investigate the use of nectar cover crops for sustainable pest control in California vineyards. 

Christina Hoddle

Christina Hoddle

Assistant Specialist

Christina has collaborated with the Hoddle laboratory since 2004. Christina has dedicated her research efforts towards biological control and invasive species with an emphasis on crop pests. She has been involved in a variety of international projects sponsored by various granting agencies, private institutions, and commodity boards. An example of these finished and on-going projects include: hunting for bean thrips in Australia (Funded: Citrus Research Board-CRB), identification and production of pheromone for avocado seed moth (Stenoma catenifer) in Guatemala and Peru (Funded: CA Avocado Commission), searching for Asian citrus psyllid parasitoids in Pakistan (Funded: CDFA/CRB), monitoring Rodolia cardinalis populations on the Galapagos Islands and assessing the impact of this biocontrol agent on the cottony cushion scale, Icerya purchasi (Funded: Various Donors), red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus andR. vulneratus) flight activity in Saudi Arabia (Funded: King Faisal University) and genetic analyses throughout southeast Asia (Funded: CDFA). 

Ricky Lara

Ricky Lara, Ph.D

Postdoctoral Scholar

Ricky joined the Hoddle laboratory in 2008 as a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Entomology. His academic interests revolve around acarology, agroecology and integrated management of economically important pests in agriculture. This committed appreciation of acarology began with several undergraduate internships working in California vineyards.

Erica Kistner

Erica Kistner, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Kistner joined the Hoddle laboratory as a Postdoctoral Scholar in July 2014. She is currently evaluating ongoing biological control efforts concerning the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) in CA. Her current research examines the population dynamics of D. citri in southern CA. By conducting manipulative studies in the field, she hopes to evaluate the efficacy of the biocontrol agent, Tamarixia radiata (Waterston) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), in regulating D. citri populations.

Kelsey Schall

Kelsey Schall

Graduate Student Researcher

Kelsey completed a project that examined the effect of Argentine ant density in citrus trees on successful parasitism of D. citri by T. radiata. She also looked at the impact of a drop in Argentine ant density on host switching from tending ACP to tending more “attractive” citrus honeydew producers such as brown scale and mealybug. Her current research focuses on host competition between two D. citri parasitoids, the aforementioned T. radiata and Diaporencyrtus aligarhensis. She hopes to determine if this interaction is a contributing factor to the lack of establishment of D. aligarhensis in Florida.

Meghan Vankosky

Meghan Vankosky

Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Vankosky is working on establishing a release and monitoring program for the parasitoid Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis (Shafee, Alam and Agrawal) (Hymenoptera: Encrytidae) in southern California, with the goal of determining its ability to establish populations and contribute to the mortality of the Asian citrus psyllid. She also intends to evaluate the competitive relationship between D. aligarhensis and Tamarixia radiata (Waterston) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) and using a series of laboratory and microcosm experiments. 

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Applied Biological Control Research
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