University of California, Riverside

Applied Biological Control Research



Lab Staff


Ruth Amrich

Ruth Amrich
Lab Assistant II
Phone: 951-827-4360
ruth.amrich@ucr.edu

Ruth attained her degree in Biology from California State University, San Bernardino in 1996. There she worked with Dr. Alexander Sokoloff with genetically mutated Tribolium species as a lab assistant maintaining colonies. She joined the Hoddle lab in 2001.

Through the years, Ruth has been involved with multiple projects with Dr. Hoddle including avocado pests: the avocado thrips Scirtothrips perseae (and its biocontrol agent Franklinothrips orizabensis) and the persea mite, Oligonychus perseae (and predator mites that attack this pest). Ruth has helped with projects on Levuana iridescens, and the bean thrips Caliothrips fasciatus (interbreeding capabilities between different populations, and the effects of cold storage on survival and reproduction).

With Dr. Nic Irvin, she helped with research on transgenic Aedes aegypti, and various natural enemies, of Homalodisca vitripennis (e.g., Gonatocerus triguttatus, Gonatocerus fasciatus, and Gonatocerus ashmeadi). With the WSARE project in the Temecula wine country Ruth helped with ELISA work.

Ruth has assisted graduate students, post-docs, doctoral candidates, and collaborators with their research projects, too. These have included: the effects of Xylella fastidiosa on Australian native plants; day-degree and life table studies on G. ashmeadi and H. vitripennis; oviposition studies of Graphocephala atropunctata on wild grapes; mulch studies in avocados for pest control; and pollination studies on Hass avocados.

She has tackled microlepidoptera preservation, DNA extraction of Thysanoptera and slide mounting of the resulting specimens, assisting with Dr. Pandey’s quarantine studies on Asian citrus pysillid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama), Tamarixia radiata, and California native psyllids; assisting Vanessa Lopez with her gold-spotted oak borer (Agrilus auroguttatus) research; with Ricky Lara on continuing binomial sampling of avocado mites and time series analysis; and with various cooperative agencies for the ACP and emerald ash borer(Agrilus planipennis) projects. From her involvement in varied projects, Ruth has been listed as a second [link to Ricky's] and third [link to Paul's] author on two recent publications.

Currently, Ruth's time is split between monitoring D.citri and T.radiata life stages on mixed citrus and curry of residential properties around urban Los Angeles and Riverside counties, monitoring the effects of ant activities on parasitism rates, assisting Allison with rearing quarantined colonies of T.radiata, materials manager for the lab, as well as the resident seamstress. In addition, she is also the Department of Entomology Laboratory auditor, Ambassador to UCR Staff Assembly, an Affirmative Action and Compliance Liaison for the Hoddle Lab to Human Resources, and the Lab Khaleesi.

Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis
Lab Assistant III
Phone: 951-827-4360
michael.lewis@ucr.edu

Mike started with the Hoddle lab 2004, and helps with a number of support roles within the lab. In addition to managing the lab computer and tech network, he manages the Center for Invasive Species Research (CISR) website which has over 15,000 unique visitors each month. He also contributes blog posts and photographs of the invasive species listed on the CISR site, as well as other graphic materials.

Mike provides support for many of the research projects within the Hoddle lab. Some of the research he has been involved in includes glassy-winged sharpshooter (Homalodisca vitripennis), gold spotted oak borer (Agrilus auroguttatus), avocado thrips (Scirtothrips perseae), mealybugs (Pseudococcidae), Gonatocerus ashmeadi, Persea mites (Oligonychus perseae), Asian citrus psyllid, (Diaphorina citri) and Tamarixia radiata.

A gallery of some of Mike’s photography with the Center for Invasive Species can be found here.

Martin Castillo

Martin Castillo
Lab Assistant II
Phone: 951-827-4360
martin.castillo@ucr.edu

Martin Castillo received his Bachelor’s degree in 2012 from the University of California, Riverside. He first joined the Hoddle lab as an undergraduate assistant in 2010, providing field site support for Dr. Nic Irvin. His contributions included the collection of glassy-winged sharpshooter (Homalodisca vitripennis) from the UCR Agricultural Operations fields.

He subsequently transitioned to working with different species of mites under the guidance of graduate student researcher Ricky Lara, which he currently continues to provide support with. Martin has worked with various species of mites over the course of this study, including Oligonychus perseae, Euseius hibisci, Neoseiulus californicus, Stigmaeidae sp., and Tydeidae sp. His responsibilities include mite colony rearing and maintenance on ficus and avocado leaves (Ficus sp., Persea americana), extracting pollen from ice plants (Malephora crocea) and cattails (Typha sp.), and well as recording and analyzing predatory mite behaviors using microscope-mounted video equipment.  Martin has also assisted Dr. Mark Hoddle and Ricky Lara in coordinating grower seminars, where he contributed to the development of a sequential binomial sampling plan for Oligonychus perseae on avocado.

In the fall of 2012, Martin was promoted from an undergraduate appointment to lab staff, and joined the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri, project under the mentorship of Ruth Amrich. His duties include the field observation and sampling of ACP as well as identifying life stages of specimens collected from residential citrus trees.

Adam Olguin

Adam Olguin
Lab Assistant II
Phone: 951-827-2246
adam.olguin@ucr.edu

Adam received his Bachelor's degree in Cell Biology and Neuroscience from UCR in 2012, with a minor in Entomology. As an undergraduate, he worked in five different labs across the campus. His past projects have included work with the glassy winged sharpshooter (Homolodisca vitripennis) with Dr. Rick Redak; carob moth (Ectomyelois ceratoniae), Banks grass mite (Oligonychus pratensis), and bagrada bug (Bagrada hilaris) with Dr. Thomas Perring; red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) with Dr. Michael Rust; persea mites (Oligonychus perseae) and predatory mites (Neoseiulus californicus) with Dr. Mark Hoddle; and the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorena citri, with Dr. Matt Daugherty.

Adam's current work in the Daugherty lab includes assisting in monitoring and evaluating population dynamics of the invasive insect pest of citrus, the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). He is also investigating the effects of insecticide on the population of this pest species by means of conducting Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbant Assays (ELISA) to compare concentrations of Imidacloprid with population densities. Adam also regularly collaborates with the Hoddle lab for field surveys of ACP across Los Angeles County.

Taryn Cummings

Taryn Cummings
Lab Assistant I
Phone: 951-827-4360
taryn.cummings@ucr.edu

Taryn graduated from UCR in 2012 with her Bachelor's degree in Environmental Sciences. During her undergraduate years, she worked with Dr. Spindler in UCR's Biochemistry department researching kinase inhibitors. She also worked with Dr. Fan performing protein structure analysis.

Currently, Taryn's appointment is divided between the Hoddle and Stouthamer labs. She is responsible for maintaining a network of 17 greenhouses between the two labs, overseeing their sanitation, pest management, irrigation, and plant nursing. She also maintains native psyllid colonies for use in non-target impact studies in UCR's Insectary and Quarantine facility. Taryn assists the Hoddle lab in performing Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorena citri) fieldwork in Riverside county, as well as observations and data entry associated with the project in the Quarantine facility.

She is currently appointed as the lab's official cupcake critic.

Return to Top

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

UCR LibrariesCampus Status
Career OpportunitiesDiversity
Visit UCRMaps and Directions

Department Information

Applied Biological Control Research
Department of Entomology

Tel: (951) 827-4714
Fax: (951) 827-3086
E-mail: mark.hoddle@ucr.edu

Department of Entomology Website

Footer