Florida A&M University – Center for Biological Control

famu-cestaDue to the continual increase in interest in the environment and natural resources, there is a shift away from traditional pest control utilizing chemicals (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc.) with a strong movement towards biological control. The use of natural agents against pest species, plant or animal, is environmentally friendly, safe, relatively low cost, and generally produces permanent control.To pursue teaching, research and extension programs in biological control, a Florida A&M University Center for Biological Control has been established in the College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture. Two federal agencies (USDA-APHIS and USDA-ARS) are collaborators and have placed full time personnel on campus to work with the Center.Research in biological control has been ongoing at FAMU since 1976, with emphasis on taxonomic research of weevils, in support of biological control efforts against exotic weeds in Florida, the U.S. and various areas of the world. These studies have resulted in more than 45 scientific papers and two books published to date. The University is recognized nationally and internationally in this field of research and is called upon regularly to assist in biological control research projects worldwide. Important research on the biological control of mosquitoes and biting flies is carried out at the FAMU satellite center in Panama City, FL (Public Health Entomology Research and Education Center). Research in both fields will continue as core areas and other program areas and projects are being added. A new area recently added is the biological control of vegetable crop pests to be carried out by the USDA-ARS adjunct faculty member. USDA-APHIS has interest in the use of biological control abroad to reduce risk from invasive exotic pests.