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Biological Control Subject of Riverside Conference July 11-12

Biological Control Subject of Riverside Conference July 11-12

(June 6, 2000)

NOTE TO EDITORS: Members of the news media are invited to cover the conference free of charge, meals not included. An agenda can be found online at News media contact is Kathy Barton, (909) 787-2495 or

Biological control - the science of managing agricultural pests with natural enemies rather than pesticides - will be the subject of a conference hosted July 11-12 by the University of California, Riverside, the birthplace of modern-day biocontrol research.

Scientists from across the U.S. and abroad, farmers, students, pest control advisors, commodity board officials and biocontrol industry representatives will gather at Riverside's historic Mission Inn for the two-day California Conference on Biological Control II. First held in 1998 at UC Berkeley, the biennial gathering is convened to share the latest thinking in biological control between researchers and field practitioners. Topics for the 2000 conference include the ecological benefits and risks of classical biological control, mass production of natural enemies, use of biocontrol in concert with other pest control strategies and the impact of plant biodiversity on biological control.

Biological control is not a new technology, but it has gained increasing importance as an alternative to chemical pesticides or as a component of an overall insect control strategy that includes limited use of pesticides. UCR, home of the world's first academic department devoted to the science of biological control, has developed dozens of successful biocontrol projects. They include management in the 1920s of the citrophilus mealybug, a major citrus pest, with a parasitic insect imported from Australia and control of the tree-blighting ash whitefly in the early 1990s.

A major expansion and modernization of UCR's biological control research facilities is currently underway. The new $15 million Insectary and Quarantine Facility, expected to be completed at the end of 2000, will be used by entomologists to investigate new, potentially beneficial insects and to develop new methods for managing pest insects. The state-of-the-art laboratory will replace the existing insectary, constructed in the 1930s and expanded in 1960.

Those with an interest in biological control as a tool for pest control and in support of conservation are invited to attend the California Conference on Biological Control II. The registration fee is $100 per person by June 23 and $150 after June 23. For more information, phone (909) 787-4799. Continuing education credits for pest control advisors will be available.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

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