University of California, Riverside

Applied Biological Control Research



Leigh Pilkington


Leigh PilkingtonLeigh Pilkington, Ph.D.

Research Scientist in Plant Entomology, Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02-4348-1900
leigh.pilkington@industry.nsw.gov.au

Dr. Pilkington contributed to the Hoddle laboratory from April 2004 to November 2005 as a postdoctoral scholar. His research was centered on the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar), and its Mymarid wasp biological control agents Gonatocerus ashmeadi, G. fasciatus and G. triguttatus.

 

 

 

Degrees

Ph.D. Rural Management, University of Sydney, Australia, 2003

B.S. Resource and Environmental Science, University of Canberra, Australia,1997

Dr. Pilkington's past research includes:

  • General research on the glassy-winged sharpshooter
    • Pilkington L. J., Irvin, N. A., Boyd, E. A., Hoddle, M. S., Triapitsyn, S. V., Carey, B. G., Jones, W. A., and Morgan, D. J. W. (In Press). Biological control of glassy-winged sharpshooter in California. California Agriculture.
    • Irvin, N.A. and Hoddle, M.S. 2005. Determination of Homalodisca coagulata (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) egg ages suitable for oviposition by Gonatocerus ashmeadi, Gonatocerus triguttatus, and Gonatocerus fasciatus (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae). Biological Control 32: 391-400.
    • Hoddle, M. S. and Pilkington, L. J. (2004). Reproductive and developmental biology of Gonatocerus ashmeadi (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae), an egg parasitoid of Homalodisca coagulata (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Pierce's Disease Research Symposium, San Diego, USA, December 7 - 10, 2004. 336-338.
    • Pilkington, L. J., Irvin, N., Boyd, E. A., Hoddle, M. S., Triapitsyn, S., Carey, B. G. and Morgan, D. J. W. (2004). Biological control of glassy-winged sharpshooter in California. California Conference on Biological Control IV, Berkeley, California.
    • Vickerman, D.B., Hoddle, M.S., Triapitsyn, S. and Stouthamer R. 2004. Species identity of geographically distinct populations of the glassy-winged sharpshooter parasitoid Gonatocerus ashmeadi: morphology, DNA sequences, and reproductive compatibility. Biological Control 31: 338-345.
    • Hoddle, M.S. 2004. The potential adventive geographic range of glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca coagulata and the grape pathogen Xylella fastidiosa: implications for California and other grape growing regions of the world. Crop Protection 23: 691-699.
    • Triapitsyn, S. V., Morgan, D.J.W., Hoddle, M.S., Beresovkiy, V.V. 2003. Observations on the biology of Gonatocerus fasciatus Girault (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae), egg parasitoid of Homalodisca coagulata (Say) and Oncometopia orbona (Fabricius) (Hemiptera: Clypeorrhyncha: Cicadellidae). Pan Pacific Entomologist 79: 62-63.
    • Hoddle, M. S., S. V. Triapitsyn, and D. J. W. Morgan. 2003. Distribution and Plant Association Records for Homalodisca coagulata (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) in Florida. Florida Entomologist 86: 89-91.
    • Triapitsyn, S. V., M. S. Hoddle, and D. J. W. Morgan. 2002. A New Distribution and Host Record for Gonatocerus triguttatus in Florida, with Notes on Acmopolynema sema (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae). Florida Entomologist 85: 654-655.
    • CCBC IV Abstract
    • Californian Conference on Biological Control (CCBC) IV Poster
  • Biological control of the glassy-winged sharpshooter

Personal Profile

Leigh is a graduate of the University of Canberra and soon after joined the Agricultural Scientific Collections Unit, NSW Agriculture, in 1997 as part of the fruit fly monitoring team. In 1998, he was offered a short-term position at The University of Sydney undertaking a survey of lucerne (alfalfa) seed crops to assess the impact of Australian lucerne yellows (ALuY) phytoplasma disease. The results of this work (Pilkington, et al. 1999) showed that ALuY was a problem for lucerne seed growers in New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia.

Leigh spent 1999 traveling internationally, taking part in volunteer conservation activities. In Thailand he undertook an informal environmental impact statement on proposed tourist activities in a remote village on the border of Thailand and Burma. Mapping of clearing activities of Australian wattle in waterways took place in South Africa. In Germany, Leigh spent time with Landschaftsphlegervorbund, a government organization similar to many landholder groups with emphasis on environmental issues. Monitoring of endangered loggerhead sea turtles took place in Greece. Tracking condors with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service was a highlight of the year and finally several environmental impact statements were prepared for proposed tourism activities in Fiji. Each placement lasted six to eight weeks and was a highly valuable experience, personally and professionally.

The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) in Australia approved a funded project for a PhD student to study ALuY, its epidemiology and its vector(s) with the aim of producing a management plan for the disease. Leigh was appointed to this position in February 2000 and completed his PhD at the University of Sydney, Orange under joint supervision of Geoff Gurr (University of Sydney) and Murray Fletcher (Department of Primary Industries, NSW, Australia, formerly NSW Agriculture) and graduated in December 2003. Leigh went on to be involved in research projects with the University of Sydney such as the RIRDC funded shelterbelt program which examined the influence of botanical diversity on the abundance of beneficial insects and was also involved in many academic duties such as coordinating the external unit Plant Protection.

Leigh joined the Hoddle laboratory in April 2004 and has been involved in researching the developmental and reproductive biology of three Gonatocerus spp. that are associated with the biological control of Homalodisca coagulata, an important pest in southern California and in many parts of the world, such as Tahiti and Hawaii.

Professional Affiliation

Publications

19. Pilkington, L. J., Irvin, N. A., Boyd, E. A., Hoddle, M. S., Triapitsyn, S. V., Carey, B. G., Jones, W. A., and Morgan, D. J. W. 2005. Introduced parasitic wasps could control glassy-winged sharpshooter. California Agriculture. 59 (4): 223-228.

18. Pilkington, L. J. and Hoddle, M. S. 2005. Reproductive and developmental biology of Gonatocerus ashmeadi(Hymenoptera: Mymaridae), an egg parasitoid of Homalodisca coagulata (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods, Davos, Switzerland, September 12 - 16, 2005. 111.

17. Pilkington, L. J. and Hoddle, M. S. 2005. Gonatocerus ashmeadi (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae): effects of temperature on developmental and reproductive biology. IX European Workshop on Insect Parasitoids, Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom, September 5 - 9, 2005. 43.

16. Hoddle, M. S. and Pilkington, L. J. 2004. Reproductive and developmental biology of Gonatocerus ashmeadi(Hymenoptera: Mymaridae), an egg parasitoid of Homalodisca coagulata (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Pierce's Disease Research Symposium, San Diego, USA, December 7 - 10, 2004. 336-338.

15. Pilkington, L. J., Hoddle, M. S. 2004. Gonatocerus ashmeadi: the effects of temperature on developmental and reproductive biology. Integrated pest management of the glassy-winged sharpshooter and the diseases it vectors: workgroup meeting. November 2, 2004, Riverside, California.

14. Pilkington, L. J., Gurr, G. M., Fletcher, M. J., Nikandrow, A. and Elliott, E. 2004. Vector status of three leafhopper species for Australian lucerne yellows phytoplasma. Australian Journal of Entomology. 43: 366-373.

13. Pilkington, L. J.,  Gurr, G. M., Fletcher, M. J., Elliott, E., Nikandrow, A. and Nicol H. I. (2004).  Reducing the immigration of suspected leafhopper vectors and severity of Australian lucerne yellows disease.  Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture.  44: 983-992

12. Pilkington, L. J., Irvin, N., Boyd, E.A., Hoddle, M.S., Triapitsyn, S., Carey, B.G. and Morgan, D.J.W. 2004. Biological control of glassy-winged sharpshooter in California. California Conference on Biological Control IV, Berkeley, USA.

11. Pilkington, L. J. 2003. Australian lucerne yellows: pathogen vector and control, Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.

10. Pilkington, L. J., Gibb, K. S., Gurr, G. M., Fletcher, M. J., Nikandrow, A., Elliott, E. van de Ven, R. and Read, D. M. Y. 2003. Detection and identification of a phytoplasma from lucerne with 'Australian lucerne yellows' disease. Plant Pathology. 52 (6): 754-762.

9. Magarey, P. A., Fletcher, M. J., Pilkington, L. J. and Gurr, G. M. 2003Orosius argentatus and yanga bush: The missing links in Australian grapevine yellows? 8th International Congress of Plant Pathology, Christchurch, New Zealand.

8. Pilkington, L. J., Gurr, G. M., Fletcher, M. J., Elliott, E., Nikandrow, A. and Van de Ven, R. 2003. Limiting immigration of suspected vectors of Australian lucerne yellows disease. 8th International Congress of Plant Pathology, Christchurch, New Zealand.

7. Pilkington, L. J., Gurr, G. M., Fletcher, M. J., Elliott, E., Nikandrow, A., Van de Ven, R., Gibb, K. S., Gilmour, A. and Read, D. M. Y. 2003. Australian lucerne yellows: Spatial and temporal analysis of symptom severity and purported vector density. 8th International Congress of Plant Pathology, Christchurch, New Zealand.

6. Magarey, P. A., Fletcher, M. J., Pilkington, L. J. and Gurr, G. M. 2002. Orosius argentatus and yanga bush: The missing links in Australian grapevine yellows? Australian Entomological Society 33rd AGM and Scientific Conference, Fremantle, Australia.

5. Pilkington, L. J., Gibb, K. S., Gurr, G.M., Fletcher, M.J., Nikandrow, A., Elliott, E., van de Ven, R. and Read, D.M.Y. 2002. First report of a phytoplasma associated with Australian lucerne yellows disease. Plant Pathology. 51(3):390, June 2002. (published hardcopy of Pilkington et al., 2001).

4. Pilkington, L. J., Gibb, K. S., Gurr, G.M., Fletcher, M.J., Nikandrow, A., Elliott, E., van de Ven, R. and Read, D.M.Y. 2001. 'Lucerne yellows' disease - TEM and molecular studies. 13th Biennial Plant Pathology Conference, Cairns, Australia.

3. Pilkington, L. J., Gibb, K. S., Gurr, G.M., Fletcher, M.J., Nikandrow, A., Elliott, E., van de Ven, R. and Read, D.M.Y. 2001. First report of a phytoplasma associated with ‘Australian lucerne yellows’ disease. New Disease Reports. Volume 4: August 2001 - January 2002 (online publication).

2. Gurr, G.M., and Pilkington, L. 1999. Grower survey highlights disease impact. Farming Ahead. 94: 32.

1. Pilkington, L., Gurr, G. M., Fletcher, M. J., Nikandrow, A. and Elliott, E. 1999. Occurrence and severity of lucerne yellows disease in Australian lucerne seed crops. Australasian Plant Pathology 28: 235-239.

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