Donald Weber (1990)
Fellowship Year: 1990
Academic Background: UMASS - Ph.D.
Current Position: Research Entomologist , USDA Agricultural Research Service
After obtaining his MS in Entomology at UC Berkeley with research on cole crop pests, Don pursued his interest in fruit and vegetable integrated pest management. Don's PhD work researched the biology and dispersal of the Colorado potato beetle, a notorious pest in North America and Europe. This research investigated crop rotation and trap crops which show promise to work with biological controls as the basis of a new nontoxic management system. After a stint in Zurich at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Don joined Ocean Spray Cranberries, a cooperative with cranberry and citrus grower-owners in six US states and British Columbia. The thrust of his research there was to develop environmentally-friendly strategies for the diverse pest complex of cranberries in all growing regions. IN 2002, he joined the Insect Biocontrol Laboratory of USDA's Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland as Research Entomologist. His lab researches non-pesticidal alternatives for major beetle pests, including corn rootworms (responsible for the most acres treated by insecticide in the USA) and Colorado potato beetle (old favorite, and still a challenge). Key research interests are natural enemies and pheromones for management of vegetable pests, nocturnal sampling, and effects of cover crops and organic practices on pest complexes. His is Lead Scientist for an upcoming 5-year project on insect pests of small farms and urban gardens, to provide environmentally-sound answers in the context of local and organic agriculture for a broad array of growers and gardeners.
Expertise: Sustainable Ag / Food Policy