Integrated pest management (IPM) specialist Frank Zalom, professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis, is a team member that received an IPM Excellence Award at the 6th International IPM Symposium held in Portland, Ore.

Zalom is active in the Collaborative Research Support Program for IPM (IPM-CRSP), sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Zalom is part of a group developing IPM programs in Central Asia, including the countries of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. Zalom presented a poster at the symposium on “Laboratory and Field Studies of the Predaceous Mites, Amblyseius cucumeris and Amblyseius mckenziei in Central Asia.”

The IPM Excellence Award is awarded every three years to individuals or organizations showing a significant impact in realizing the economic benefits of IPM activities, reducing health risks for pest management practices, and minimizing adverse environmental impacts of pesticide usage.

“Our specific focus is to enhance the capacity and expand the product lines of the extensive network of biolaboratories in Central Asia,” Zalom said.

Zalom is a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America (ESA). He was part of a team that won the ESA’s IPM Team Award last year for work in developing the IPM program for almonds in California.

“IPM CRSP has brought $500 million in benefits to the countries where we have had programs,” said S.K. De Datta, administrative principal investigator for the program, based at Virginia Tech.

The IPM research program is one of eight Collaborative Research Support Programs (CRSPs) funded by USAID. Symposium officials cited IPM program for its work to raise living standards, reduce malnutrition, and ameliorate health and environmental problems through IPM methods in some of the poorest parts of the world.

Development projects include field schools that build farmers’ knowledge and strengthen connections within and beyond communities. The program also provides graduate-level education to foreign students who then reinvest knowledge and expertise in their home countries.

Some of the most successful projects include bio-control of insects and diseases in vegetables, eggplant and tomato grafting to resist soil pathogens, and the use of pheromone lures to monitor pest populations.

The program’s research now involves 22 U.S. universities, 57 foreign institutions, and several international agricultural research organizations and non-governmental organizations in 32 developing countries on four continents.