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Boyce Lecture to be given this year by William Murdoch

2003 Alfred M. Boyce Lecture to be Given by Ecologist William Murdoch

(May 9, 2003)

Ecologist William Murdoch of UC Santa Barbara will present the 2003 Boyce Lecture at 4 p.m. on May 12, 2003, at the University Theater, UC Riverside.

Ecologist William Murdoch of UC Santa Barbara will present the 2003 Boyce Lecture at 4 p.m. on May 12, 2003, at the University Theater, UC Riverside.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Eminent ecologist William Murdoch, whose interests include applying ecological insights to solving environmental problems, e.g., the control of pest insects using biological control agents, will give this year's Alfred M. Boyce lecture at UC Riverside. The lecture, entitled "Biological control: theory and experiments," is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the department of entomology, the lecture will take place at 4 p.m. on May 12, 2003, in the University Theater on campus. A reception will follow the lecture at 5:00 pm in the Entomology Courtyard.

The Boyce lectures were instituted in 1977 and honor Dr. Alfred M. Boyce (1901-1997), one of the world's leading authorities on insects and mites that attack citrus and walnuts. Dr. Boyce served as head of the Citrus Experiment Station, director of the Citrus Experiment Station, first dean of the College of Agriculture, and assistant director of the Statewide Agricultural Experiment Station.

William Murdoch is the Charles A. Storke II Professor of Ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his B. Sc. (Hons) in zoology from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and his D.Phil. in ecology from Oxford University. After a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Michigan, he joined the faculty at UC Santa Barbara. His research has been largely in population dynamics, especially the interaction between predators and prey, and insect parasites and their hosts, and has both theoretical and experimental components. In addition, he has done research in applied problems, including a 15-year study of the effects on the marine environment of the discharge of cooling water from a coastal power plant in California, a study he directed on behalf of the California Coastal Commission.

Murdoch has edited two editions of an environmental textbook, and wrote a book on the inter-relations among population growth, hunger, agriculture and economic development - The Poverty of Nations - which has been translated into French, Spanish and Catalan. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the President's Award of the American Society of Naturalists, the Robert H. MacArthur Award of the Ecological Society of America, and the Huffaker Medal in Population Ecology, from UC Berkeley. Murdoch established the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at UC Santa Barbara.

Control of California red scale, a pest of citrus, by the parasitoid Aphytis melinus is one of the most spectacular cases of successful biological control. Red scale populations in are sparse and have been remarkably constant in density for 40 years. The system thus also exemplifies a deep problem in population dynamics: simple theory predicts severe resource suppression should lead to instability. In the field, we have tested and rejected many hypotheses to account for this contradiction of the "paradox of enrichment." We have also developed mathematical models of parasitoid-host interactions that may explain it. A recent large-scale field experiment appears to show that the models can explain this system's dynamics. The models also connect to very general consumer-resource theory. Collectively the models form a hierarchical theory that is thus both general and testable.

Maps and directions to locations on the UC Riverside campus are available at UC Riverside information kiosks or on the campus Web site Campus parking costs $6 per day. Hourly permits are available: 30 min, 1 hour, 2 hour, and all day. Monday through Friday daytime hourly rate for parking is $1.00/per 30 minutes.

The University of California's entomological research in Southern California dates back to 1906. Over the years, the UC Riverside Department of Entomology has excelled in virtually all phases of entomological research and developed a scope of expertise unmatched by any other entomology department in the country. Today, the UC Riverside campus is on the cutting edge of advanced entomological research and features a unique new Insectary and Quarantine facility that permits the safe study of exotic organisms from around the world.

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.

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