Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of California
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Dr. Surendra K. Dara

Photo of Dr Surendra K. Dara
Cooperative Extension Advisor-Entomology and Biologicals
UC Cooperative Extension
2156 Sierra Way, Ste C
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
skdara@ucdavis.edu Create VCard

Also in:
San Luis Obispo County
Ventura County



Dara, an Extension entomologist since January 2009, serves San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.

In his role as the Entomology and Biologicals Advisor, Dara primarily looks after pest management along with different aspects of research with biostimulants, biopesticides, and other biological materials.  As an IPM expert, he contributes to the IPM solutions of various crops grown in California. With his expertise in entomopathology, he serves as a resource person for microbial control of various pests in different parts of the state.

Dara has authored more than 340 scientific and extension publications that include 10 book chapters, three co-edited manuals, several peer-reviewed, trade journal, newsletter, and eJournal articles.  He has delivered several presentations worldwide.  He has trained strawberry and vegetable growers in Bangladesh, Haiti, India, Kosovo, Moldova, Myanmar, and Transnistria, about crop production, pesticide safety, and IPM.  He also lends his expertise to strawberry industries in a number of countries.

As a principal investigator, co-principal investigator and a collaborator of various projects, Dara has received more than $3 million in grant funding.

Dara earned both his bachelor's degree and Master's degree at the Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University, India, obtaining his Bachelor's degree in agricultural sciences, and his master's degree in entomology. He went on to receive his doctorate in entomology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va. in 1995.  He also has a post-graduate diploma in Applied Information Technology from Canada.

After receiving his doctorate, Dara served as an entomopathologist from 1996-1999 for the Plant Health Management Division, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture under the United Nations Development Program, Cotonou, Republic of Benin in West Africa. He was a post-doctoral research associate from 2003-2004 with the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, and an independent software consultant, 2001-2003.  

His other work experience includes assistant project scientist, 2005-2006, with the UC Davis Department of Nematology (now the Department of Entomology and Nematology) through USDA-ARS, and quality control manager from 2006 to 2009 for Certis USA, Wasco.


DAIT Applied Information Technology, Information Technology Institute, Calgary, Canada. 2002
Entomology, Virginia Poly Inst/State U, Blacksburg, VA. 1995


Small fruits, vegetables, and other major crops - Entomology, integrated pest management, microbial control, biostimulants, biopesticides, and biocontrol.

Areas of Expertise (click to see all ANR academics with this expertise)


Peer Reviewed

  • Shennan, C.; Muramoto, J.; Koike, S.; Baird, G.; Fennimore, S.; Samtani, J.; Bolda, M.; Dara, S. K.; al., et (2018). "Anaerobic soil disinfestation is a potential alternative to soil fumigation for control of some soil borne pathogens in strawberry production." Plant Pathology 67: 51-66.
  • Dara, S. K. (2017). Biology and management of sucking pests of canola. Integrated management of insect pests on canola and other Brassica oilseed crops.G. Reddy. CABI.: 68-76.
  • Dara, S.K. (2017). "Compatibility of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana with some fungicides used in California strawberry." The Open Plant Science Journal 10: 10:29-34.
  • Dara, S. K. et al. (2017). "Impact of entomopathogenic fungi on the growth, development, and health of cabbage growing under water stress." American Journal of Plant Sciences
  • Dara, S. K.; Goble, T; and Shapiro-Ilan, D. (2017). Leveraging the ecology of invertebrate pathogens in microbial control. Ecology of Invertebrate Diseases.A. Hajek and D. and Shapiro-Ilan. Wiley.: 467-491.
  • Dara, S.K. (2017). "Managing western flower thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on lettuce and green peach aphid and cabbage aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on broccoli with chemical insecticides and the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana (Deuteromycotina: Hyphomycetes)." The Open Plant Science Journal 10: 1224-1233.
  • Daugovish, O.; Faber, B.; Cahn, M.; Dara, S.K. (2016). Doubling number of drip lines for water conservation during strawberry establishment. International Journal of Fruit Science. 16:1. 2016. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/15538362.2016.1199997
  • Dara, S.K.; Sandoval, S.; Peck, D. (2016) Improving Strawberry Irrigation with Micro-Sprinklers and Their Impact on Pest Management. Agricultural Science 7, 859-868
  • Dara, S. K. (2016). Microbial control of arthropod pests in small fruits and vegetables. Microbial control of insect and mite pests: from theory to practice.L. Lacey. Academic Press.: 209-216.
  • Dara, S.K. (2015). Integrated Pest Management. Strawberry Production Manual.S. Dara, M. Bolda, B. Faber, M. Fallon and K. Peterson. Cachuma Resource Conservation District.: 61-74.
  • Dara, S. K.; Barringer, L; Arthurs, S. P. (2015). "Lycorma delicatula (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae): a new invasive pest in the United States." Journal of Integrated Pest Management 6: 20.
  • Dara, S. K. (2015). Manejo integrado de plagas (IPM). Manual de produccion de fresa.S. Dara, M. Bolda, J. Fallon, K. Sanchez and K. Peterson. Cachuma Resource Conservation District.: 61-74.
  • Dara, S. K. (2015). Manual de produccion de fresa-Version 2015. Cachuma Resource Conservation District.
  • Wekesa, V. W.; Hountondji, F.C.C.; Dara, S. K. (2015). Mite pathogens and their use in biological control. Prospects for biological control of plant feeding mites and other harmful organisms.G. Moraes. Springer.: 309-328.
  • Dara, S.K. (2015). Strawberry Production Manual 2015. Cachuma Resource Conservation District.
  • Dara, S. K. (2015). "Virus decline of strawberry in California and the role of insect vectors." Plant Health Progress 16: 211-215.
  • Lati, R.N.; Rachuy, J.S.; Smith, R.S.; Dara, S.K; Daugovish, O. Fennimore (2015). Weed management in Transplanted lettuce (Lactuca sativa L). with pendimethalin and S-metolachlor. Weed Tech.: 29:827-834.
  • Natwick, E.; Palumbo, J.; Dara, S. (2013). Bagrada bug. Pest Alert. September 2013. http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PDF/pestalert/bagradabug.pdf, http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/pestalert/pabagradabug.html
  • Dara, S. K. (2013). "Endophytic colonization and pest management potential of Beauveria bassiana in strawberries." Journal of Berry Research: 203-211.
  • Dara, S.; Bi, J.; Bolda, M. (2012). Arthropod management in organic strawberries. Organic Strawberry Production Manual.S. Koike, C. Bull, M. Bolda and O. Daugovish. Oakland, CA, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. Publication 3531, 97-110. June 2014.
  • Koike, S.; Liu, H-Y; Sears, J.; Tian, T.; Daugovish, O.; Dara, S. (2012). "Distribution, cultivar susceptibility, and epidemiology of Apium virus Y on celery in coastal California." Plant Disease 96: 612-617.
  • Dara, S. (2012). From the lab to the field: entomopathogens, their success, and limitations for widespread use. Scientific Publishers (India).
  • Dara, S.; Klonsky, K.M.; Tumber, K. (2012). Sample costs to produce fresh market broccoli. UCCE Cost Study Publication. May 2012.
  • LeStrange, M.; Cahn, M.; Koike, S.; Smith, R.; Daugovish, O.; Fennimore, S.; Natwick, E.; Dara, S.; Takele, E.; Cantwell, M. (2011). Broccoli production in California. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/7211.pdf
  • Dara, S.; McGuire, M.; Ulloa, M.; Kaya, H. (2008). "Evaluation and molecular characterization of Beauveria bassiana for the control of the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca coagulata in California." Journal of Entomological Science 43: 241-246.
  • Dara, S.; McGuire, M.; Kaya, H. (2007). "Isolation and evaluation of Beauveria bassiana for the suppression of glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca coagulata." Journal of Entomological Science 42: 56-65.
  • Ariori, S.; Dara, S. (2007). "Predation of Neozygites tanajoae-infected cassava green mites by Typhlodromalus aripo (Acari: Phytoseiidae)." Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus 72: 169-172.
  • Ariori, S.; Dara, S. (2007). Predation of Neozygites tanajoae-infected cassava green mites. Within-plant distribution of Pandora neoaphidis (Zygomycetes: Entomophthorales) in populations of red morph of Myzus nicotianae (Homoptera: Aphididae) on flue-cured tobacco. Journal Agricultural and Urban Entomology.S. Dara and P. Semtner. 23, 56-65.
  • Dara, S.; Semtner, P. (2007). "Within-plant distribution of Pandora neoaphidis (Zygomycetes: Entomophthorales) in populations of red morph of Myzus nicotianae (Homoptera: Aphididae) on flue-cured tobacco." Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology 23: 65-76.
  • McGuire, M.; Leland, J.; Dara, S.; Park, Y.; Ulloa, M. (2006). "Effect of different isolates of Beauveria bassiana on field populations of Lygus spp." Biological Control 38: 390-396.
  • Dara, S.; Semtner, P. (2006). "Introducing Pandora neoaphidis (Zygomycetes: Entomophthorales) into populations of Myzus persicae ss. nicotianae (Homoptera: Aphididae) on flue-cured tobacco." Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology 22: 173-180.
  • Hountondji, F.; Lomer, C.; Hanna, R.; Cherry, A.; Dara, S. K. (2002). "Field evaluation of Brazilian isolates of Neozygites floridana (Entomophthorales: Neozygitaceae) for the microbial control of cassava green mite in Benin, West Africa." Biocontrol Science and Technology 12: 361-370.
  • Dara, S. K.; Hountondji, F. (2001). "Effects of formulated imidacloprid on two mite pathogens, Neozygites floridana (Zygomycotina: Zygomycetes) and Hirsutella thompsonii (Deuteromycotina: Hyphomycetes)." Insect Science and its Application 21: 133-138.
  • Dara, S. K.; Semtner, P. (2001). "Incidence of Pandora neoaphidis (Zygomycetes: Entomophthorales) in the Myzus persicae (Sulzer) complex (Homoptera: Aphididae) on three species of Brassica in the fall and winter." Journal of Entomological Science 36: 152-161.
  • Dara, S. K.; Semtner, P. (1998). "Influence of temperature and substrate type on the devleopmental morphilogy of Pandora neoaphidis (Zygomycetes: Entomophthoraceae), a pathogen of the tobacco aphid (Homoptera: Aphididae)." Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 72: 112-118.
  • Semtner, P.; Tilson, W.; Dara, S. (1998). "Performance of the tobacco aphid, Myzus nicotianae Blackman (Homoptera: Aphididae) on various host plants." Journal of Entomological Science 33: 180-195.
  • Kumar, D. ; Prasad, V. ; Reddy, G. (1992). "Age-specific fertility-tables of Spodoptera litura Fabr. on castor, blackgram, and chilli." Journal of Applied Zoological Researches 3: 132-134.
  • Dara, S. K. (1991). Age-specific life-table, fertility-table and stable age-dsitribution of Spodoptera litura F. on some food plants. Department of Entomology, Agriculture College-Bapatla, Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University. 75.

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