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Annual Reports

2002Rick Roush Named New UC IPM Director

Letter from the New Director

The UC IPM program has an enviable record of accomplishment and an excellent reputation around the worldóan outstanding testament to its staff and participating researchers. My goal will be to build on this success and expand the program, while maintaining its current strengths. Photo of Rick Roush

It would be risky to change such a successful Program without a careful review, and such an evaluation will be a top priority during my first year in Davis. The two previous Directors, Jim Lyons and Frank Zalom, have generously provided advice and information; I intend to continue to learn from them.

As examples of my current ideas, the last 7 years of working closely with Australiaís leading weed experts have increased my understanding of the potential for reduced chemical (and reduced tillage) control tactics for weeds in crops and natural ecosystems. Because herbicides remain the most widely used pesticides, we need to consider the potential for novel weed management systems in California. Further, I have learned a great deal about the value and effective use of economic analysis to guide research investment and to inform funders about successes.

Iíll look for such opportunities in California as well. The analyses in Australia particularly emphasized the importance of early intervention against introductions of new pest species. For pest management more generally, both organic agriculture and biotechnology have demonstrated new possibilities for reducing pesticide use. We need to pick the best from both approaches to develop optimal strategies for the future.

A focus of my research over the last 25 years has been on making sure that my work could be practically adopted by growers. For me, a key to this has been maintaining close personal contact with extension staff and growers. I look forward to rekindling this contact in California, and welcome any suggestions you may have for the IPM Program.

New Director of UC IPM Has a Diverse Background

Rick Roush received both of his degrees from the University of California in entomology, with a B. S. from Davis in 1976 and a Ph.D. from Berkeley in 1979.

Rick worked in Shafter for Tom Leigh on cotton in 1975 and on alfalfa in 1976 at Kearney for Andy Gutierrez and Charlie Summers. His Ph.D. research, under the supervision of Marjorie Hoy, developed insecticide resistant predatory mites for grapes, apples, peaches, and almonds in California from 1976 to 1979. From 1981 to 1986, Rick worked on insecticide resistance management and cotton at Mississippi State University. In 1987, he joined Cornell University, with a particular focus on potatoes and insect-tolerant (Bt) transgenic crops.

Rick was one of the chief architects of the refuge and pyramiding resistance management plans for insect-tolerant Bt cotton, corn, and potatoes. With his Australian wife, Anne Frodsham, and their two children, Peter and Alison, Rick moved to the University of Adelaide in 1995. After working initially on diamondback moth, biological control of weeds (using insects and fungi), and herbicide resistance, Rick was appointed Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Weed Management in 1997.

This federally funded consortium coordinates weed management research on crops and natural ecosystems at 19 state, federal, industry, and university organizations across Australia. Rick has also served for 5 years on the Australian federal regulatory committees for genetically modified organisms, with particular responsibilities for insect, virus, and herbicide resistant crops.

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