Integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom, professor of entomology and former vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, is the 2011 recipient of the prestigious C. W. Woodworth Award from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America (PBSA).

Zalom will receive the award on Monday, March 28, during the branch’s 95th annual meeting, to be held in Waikoloa, Hawaii. Brian Holden of Monte Sereno, Calif., great-grandson of Woodworth and a 1981 graduate of UC Davis in electrical engineering, will present the plaque and a check for $1,000.

As the recipient of the Woodworth Award, Zalom will present a 45-minute plenary address at the opening session of the meeting.

Pacific branch president Roger Vargas of the U.S. Pacific Basic Agricultural Research Center, Hilo, Hawaii, described the award as the “most prestigious” given by the branch. “It is presented in recognition of outstanding work in the scientific discipline of entomology,” Vargas said.

The award memorializes Woodworth (1865-1940), a trailblazing entomologist credited for (1) being the first entomology faculty member at the University of California--and thought to be the first academic in the western United States who was an entomologist and (2) founding the UC Berkeley and UC Davis departments of entomology.  

Chemical ecologist Walter Leal, professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and the 2010 recipient of the Woodworth prize, nominated Zalom for the award. Leal described Zalom as “one of the world’s most prolific and respected IPM researchers, but  his influence in development of IPM policies and practices stretches globally.”

In addition to his professorial duties, Zalom is an extension agronomist, and an entomologist in the Agricultural Experiment Station.

Zalom  focuses his research on California specialty crops, including tree crops (almonds, olives, prunes, peaches), small fruits (grapes, strawberries, caneberries), and fruiting vegetables (tomatoes), as well as international IPM programs.

In his three decades with the UC Davis Department of Entomology, Zalom has published almost 300 refereed papers and book chapters, and 340 technical and extension articles.  The articles span a wide range of topics related to IPM, including introduction and management of newer, soft insecticides, development of economic thresholds and sampling methods, management of invasive species, biological control, insect population dynamics, pesticide runoff mitigation, and determination of host feeding and oviposition preferences of pests.

The Zalom lab has responded to six important pest invasions in the last decade, with research projects on glassy-winged sharpshooter, olive fruit fly, a new biotype of greenhouse whitefly, invasive saltcedar, light brown apple moth, and the spotted wing Drosophila.

Zalom serves as experiment station co-chair of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) National IPM Committee and is a member of APLU's Science and Technology Committee.  He directed the UC Statewide IPM Program for 16 years (1988-2001).

Zalom is a fellow of the Entomological Society of America,  American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the California Academy of Sciences. The Entomological Foundation presented him with its “Award for Excellence in IPM” at the ESA’s meeting last December in San Diego.

Zalom is the eighth scientist from the UC Davis Department of Entomology to receive the award. Other recipients:  William Harry Lange, 1978; Harry Laidlaw Jr. 1981; Robert Washino, 1987; Thomas Leigh, 1991; Harry Kaya, 1999; Charles Summers, 2009; and Walter Leal, 2010.

The Pacific Branch of ESA encompasses 11 U.S. states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming); several U.S. territories, including American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands; and  parts of Canada and Mexico.