University of California, Riverside

Applied Biological Control Research

Applied Biological Control Research

The Hoddle Lab, 2017
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

Associate 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 and R. 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.

Kelsey Schall

Kelsey Schall

Graduate Student Researcher

Kelsey Schall is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in the Entomology Department at the University of California, Riverside. In 2009 she graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara as a Regent’s Scholar with a B.A. in Biology from the College of Creative Studies. Her interest in insects started with a high-school entomology course and matured throughout her undergraduate studies. As a student researcher at UCSB she became fascinated by parasitic interactions, first studying them in marine life, and later through an independent insect biodiversity survey at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve. Her vocational interest in parasitology and entomology made biological control a natural fit for a graduate-level program.


Ivan Milosavljević

Ivan Milosavljević, Ph.D

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Milosavljević joined the Hoddle laboratory as a Postdoctoral Researcher in August 2016. He has dedicated his research efforts towards biological control and invasive species management with an emphasis on pests of crops and ornamental trees. He has been involved in a variety of research projects sponsored by various granting agencies, private institutions, and commodity boards. An example of these finished and on-going projects include: establishing integrated control program for invasive South American palm weevil (Rhynchophorus palmarum), assessing impacts of two biocontrol agents, Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis and Tamarixia radiata, on Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorinia citri) populations in southern California, and breaking critical North American bean thrips (Caliothrips fasciatus) related trade barriers for California citrus exports.

Dr. Milosavljević considers himself an applied entomologist. His research integrates theoretical approaches (simulation, analytical, and statistical models) with empirical techniques (observational work, manipulative field experiments) to understand the factors that shape insect communities and predator-prey interactions in agroecosystems. These studies have important applied implications for the biocontrol of invasive pests where the goal is to manipulate natural enemies to reduce herbivory and enhance crop productivity. His research interests are broad, currently focusing on the following areas: biological control of invasive species, effects of predator diversity on pest control, integrated pest management, sustainable agriculture, effects of environmental variability and agricultural intensification on insect biodiversity and community structure.

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Applied Biological Control Research
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