University of California, Riverside

Applied Biological Control Research

Ivan Milosavljević 

Ivan MilosavljevićIvan Milosavljević, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar
Phone: (951) 827-4360

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.   

Curriculum vitae



  • Ph.D. Entomology, Department of Entomology, Washington State University (2015)
  • M.Sc. Phytomedicine, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, Serbia (2013)
  • B.Sc. Phtytomedicine, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, Serbia (2011)


Research Interests 

Dr. Milosavljević earned his Ph.D. from Washington State University where he conducted postdoctoral research in Dr. David Crowder’s lab. His work examined the biology, ecology, and management of wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae), a devastating pest of cereal crops throughout the Pacific Northwestern United States.

In August 2016, Dr. Milosavljević joined the Hoddle laboratory at University of California, Riverside, and has been involved in researching the biology and ecology of two imported parasitoids, Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis and Tamarixia radiata, associated with the biological control of the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorinia citri), a notorious pest of citrus in California. From August 2016 through January 2018, he was in charge of establishing a release and monitoring program for the parasitoid Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis (Hymenoptera: Encrytidae) in southern California, with the goal of determining its ability to establish populations and contribute to the mortality of Diaphorinia citri (Asian citrus psyllid [ACP]). As the field research phases of the classical biological control program are drawing to a close, analyses of collected data will provide insight as to how effective D. aligarhensis is likely to be and whether or not it is complementing population suppression provided by other species of ACP natural enemies in California, notably Tamarixia radiata (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae).

During this time Dr. Milosavljević also conducted research examining the impacts of environmental factors on D. citri development, longevity, and population dynamics in southern California. The results of his work showed that the cumulative temporal populations of D. citri life stages infesting urban lemon and orange trees in southern California can be predicted using deterministic Degree Day (DD) models. The goal of this work was the development of a tool for modeling D. citri population phenology for assisting decisions pertaining to ongoing parasitoid releases so as to maximize the likelihood of establishment in areas with D. citri infestations.

Ivan MilosavljevićDr. Milosavljević built on his previous D. aligarhensis work by investigating the effects of temperature on the development and the duration of adult lifespan of D. aligarhensis. The efficacy of inoculative and augmentative releases of mass produced parasitoids in urban California as part of the D. citri biological control program, could also enhanced through an improved understanding of the effects varying temperatures have on the developmental biology and life history D. aligarhensis. Urban and commercial citrus are grown across diverse climatic zones (e.g., hot desert interior regions [Coachella Valley] and cooler coastal areas [Ventura]) and investigating the effects of varying temperatures on life history parameters of D. aligarhensis may provide insight into how this parasitoid may perform in different geographic areas. Answers to questions pertaining to the efficacy, temperature-driven establishment likelihood and rates of spread of D. aligarhensis into major citrus production areas are being obtained.  

Furthermore, Dr. Milosavljević intends to examine the effects of host feeding behavior of T. radiata and attacks by native predators, such as syrphid fly larvae (Diptera: Syrphidae) and lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) on life history traits of D. citri. It is likely that Tamarixia-inflicted mortality on D. citri is under-estimated because mortality from host feeding and loss of parasitized D. citri nymphs through intraguild predation are very hard to quantify in the field.

Currently, Dr. Milosavljević is working with the South American Palm Weevil (SAPW), Rhynchophorus palmarum (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). This weevil is native to Central and South America where it causes significant mortality of native and introduced palm trees. This pest is currently expanding its range from northern Mexico (i.e., Tijuana) into Southern California (i.e., San Diego County). While it has been detected in San Diego, little has been done to control its advancement north. He has been working with the CDFA, palm management specialists and growers (ornamentals) to develop management protocols for this pest. This is a rapidly developing and high profile program.


Current Projects

Asian Citrus Psyllid

Asian Citrus Psyllid (Diaphorina citri)

Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) is an efficient vector of the bacterial citrus disease huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening disease, which is one of the most destructive insect-borne diseases of citrus worldwide.

 South American Palm Weevil  

South American Palm Weevil

The South American palm weevil, Rhynchophorus palmarum (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), has a known distribution that includes Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Like other species of Rhynchophorus, such as the red palm weevil, R. ferrugineus, and the palm weevil R. vulneratus

North American Bean Thips

North American Bean Thrips



Book Chapters

  • Milosavljević I, Hoddle MS (2018) Advances in classical biological control in IPM. In M Kogan and L Higley (Eds.) Integrated management of insect, mite and nematode pests in agriculture - Vol 2: Current and Future Developments in IPM. Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, Cambridge, UK. (in press).




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