- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom (right), professor of entomology at UC Davis, is the 2010 recipient of the "Award for Excellence in Integrated Pest Management” from the Entomological Society of America (ESA), a 6000-member worldwide organization.
This is a highly esteemed award and well deserved. Zalom will receive the award at the ESA’s 58th annual meeting, set Dec. 12-15 in San Diego.
Colleague Jocelyn Millar, an entomology professor at UC Riverside who nominated Zalom for the award, described him as “one of the most influential scientists in the development and implementation of IPM policy and practices in the United States and the world, through his numerous and continuing contributions as a leader, director, and organizer.”
Millar applauded Zalom for “truly extraordinary record of achievement and service to IPM extending over several decades.”
In addition to his professorial duties, Zalom is an extension agronomist, and an entomologist in the Agricultural Experiment Station. He is a former vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology.
His current research focuses primarily on California specialty crops, including tree crops (almonds, olives, prunes, peaches), small fruits (grapes, strawberries, caneberries), and fruiting vegetables (tomatoes), as well as international IPM programs.
The IPM strategies and tactics Zalom has developed include monitoring procedures, thresholds, pest development and population models, biological controls and use of less toxic pesticides, which have become standard in practice and part of the UC IPM Guidelines for these crops.His lab has responded to six important pest invasions in the last decade, with research projects on glassy-winged sharpshooter, olive fruit fly, a new biotype of greenhouse whitefly, invasive saltcedar (at left), light brown apple moth, and the spotted wing Drosophila.
Zalom has been heavily involved in research and leadership in IPM activities at the state, national and international levels. He is experiment station co-chair of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) National IPM Committee and directed the UC IPM Statewide IPM Program for 16 years.
A fellow of ESA and the California Academy of Sciences, Zalom has received numerous other honors for his work. Earlier this year, the Pacific Branch of ESA presented him with its “Excellence in IPM Award.” In 2008, Zalom was part of a team receiving an International IPM Excellence Award at the sixth International IPM Symposium, held in Portland, Ore. Also in 2008, he was part of the seven-member University of California Almond Pest Management Alliance IPM Team that received the Entomological Foundation’s "Award for Excellence in IPM" at the ESA's meeting in Reno.
In nearly three decades with the UC Davis Department of Entomology, Zalom has published almost 300 refereed papers and book chapters, and 340 technical and extension articles. These articles span a wide range of topics related to IPM, including introduction and management of newer, soft insecticides, development of economic thresholds and sampling methods, management of invasive species, biological control, insect population dynamics, and determination of host feeding and oviposition preferences of pests.
During his 16-year tenure as director of the statewide UC IPM Program, Zalom supported transitioning the program from a paper-based source of publications and information to one that has universally accessible Web-based information.
“The position and influence of the UC IPM and its publications and resources that are used by growers, IPM professionals, regulatory personnel, and homeowners worldwide, cannot be underestimated,” Millar said, “and this is in large part due to Dr. Zalom’s excellent stewardship of the program through rapidly changing times.”
While director of the program, Zalom also obtained the USDA grant that provided the first funding base for the new UC Exotic Pests and Diseases Research Program, and another multimillion dollar USDA grant (with Rick Melnicoe and Michael Stimmann) to fund the Western Pest Management Center.