University of California (UC) Integrated Pest Management Specialist Frank Zalom is the new president of the nearly 7,000-member Entomological Society of America (ESA).

Zalom was elected to the position at the Nov. 10-13 ESA conference in Austin, Texas.

Zalom is the second UC Davis entomologist to head the international organization, which is comprised of members in educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government.  

The first was Donald McLean, former professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, who was elected ESA president in 1984.

Get the  latest agricultural news each day to your Inbox. Click here for the free Western Farm Press Daily e-mail newsletter.

Zalom has been heavily involved in research and leadership in integrated pest management (IPM) activities at the state, national, and international levels. He directed the UC Statewide IPM Program for 16 years (1988-2001) and is currently experiment station co-chair of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities National IPM Committee.  

Zalom’s research focus is California specialty crops, including tree crops (almonds, olives, prunes, peaches), small fruits (grapes, strawberries, caneberries), and fruiting vegetables (tomatoes), plus international IPM programs. 

The IPM strategies and tactics Zalom developed include monitoring procedures, thresholds, pest development and population models, biological controls, and use of less toxic pesticides. These have become standard in practice and part of the UC IPM Guidelines for these crops.

In his three decades with the UC Davis entomology department, Zalom has published more than 300 refereed papers and book chapters, and more than 360 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 salt cedar, light brown apple moth, and the spotted wing Drosophila. 

Zalom received the Entomological Foundation’s 2010 “Award for Excellence in IPM,” an award sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection, for the most outstanding contributions to IPM.

In 2008, Zalom was part of a team receiving an International IPM “Excellence Award” at the sixth International IPM Symposium. Also that year, Zalom was part of the seven-member UC Almond Pest Management Alliance IPM Team that received the Entomological Foundation’s "Award for Excellence in IPM.”

Zalom was awarded the C. W. Woodworth Award from the Pacific Branch of the ESA in 2011.

Zalom, Michael Parrella, and Donald McLean are among 15 UC Davis entomologists elected as ESA fellows, an honor bestowed to a maximum of 10 persons per year.

More news and comments from Western Farm Press:

Apple’s revamped ‘Siri’ takes on agriculture’s questions

LGMA addresses food safety issues with regulators

California: Home of the food lawsuit