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Posts Tagged: Larry Godfrey

In memoriam: Larry Godfrey


Larry Godfrey spoke at the Rice Field Day in 2016. Godfrey was widely known for his research on applied insect ecology and integrated pest management strategies. Photo by Evett Kilmartin

Larry Godfrey, UC Cooperative Extension entomology specialist in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, died April 18, after a six-year battle with cancer. He was 60.

Widely known for his research on applied insect ecology and integrated pest management (IPM) strategies, Godfrey was internationally acclaimed for his research on rice and cotton. He also developed IPM strategies for such field and vegetable crops as alfalfa, dry beans, timothy grass, melons, mint and onions.

At UC Davis, he taught arthropod pest management and agricultural entomology. A member of the entomology department since 1991, Godfrey served as its vice chair in 2008.

“Larry was an outstanding contributor to the department, not only as a researcher and teacher, but also in the effective ways that he connected with clientele through outreach,” said Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. “He was a member of our department's Executive Committee and I could always count on Larry for sound advice.”

Rachael Long, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Yolo County, collaborated with Godfrey on dry bean research. Long said, “He was an incredibly dedicated field crop entomologist and terrific colleague with team spirit, and his loss leaves a big hole in our lives and I'll miss him.”

Godfrey, who grew up on an Indiana farm, was a 1974 graduate of Salem (Ind.) High School. He received two entomology d

Larry Godfrey
egrees from Purdue University: his bachelor's degree in 1978 and his master's degree in 1980. He earned his doctorate in entomology in 1984 from the University of Kentucky, Lexington, where he met his wife Kris, then a postdoctoral scholar.

He began his career as a product development specialist for Union Carbide Agricultural Products Co., Inc., Research Triangle, N.C., before joining the University of Nebraska's Department of Entomology from 1987 to 1991 as a research associate.

Godfrey was a founding member of the California Invasive Species Advisory Committee, appointed by then Secretary A.G. Kawamura of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

For his personal statement on the California Invasive Species Advisory Committee website, Godfrey wrote: “Growing up on a farm in Indiana, I saw first-hand the ‘battles' that farmers and homeowners face trying to produce crops and grow landscape plants in competition with insects. I became fascinated with insects through the typical ‘bug-in-a-jar' hobby. A county Natural Resources Field Day cultivated my interest in entomology and this led to enrollment in the 4-H entomology project. By the time I was several years into the 4-H project, I was transporting a dozen wooden collection boxes full of pinned insects to the county fair.”

At UC Davis, Godfrey zeroed in on invasive insect and mite pests such as silverleaf whitefly, panicle rice mite and rice water weevil. In addition, he targeted scores of pests, including alfalfa weevils, blue alfalfa aphids, spotted cucumber beetles, and two-spotted spider mites. He researched plant response to insect injury, refining economic thresholds. He also researched various pest management tactics, including biological control, reduced risk insecticides, mating disruption, cultural control and host plant resistance.  

Highly respected by his peers, Godfrey received the Excellence in IPM Award in 2005 from the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America (PBESA), followed by the PBESA Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension in 2010. Nationally, he was elected chair of ESA's Section F (crop protection) in 2002 and served as president of the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America in 2008.

He is survived by his wife Kris Godfrey, his mother Laura Godfrey and sister Carol Green and family. 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to pet rescue groups or groups that support young people interested in entomology or agriculture. A memorial and celebration of his life will take place at UC Davis in the near future.

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Posted on Monday, April 24, 2017 at 8:57 AM
  • Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Tags: April 2017 (23), Larry Godfrey (2)

ANR shares in USDA specialty crops grants

Brown marmorated stink bug diagram by Statewide IPM Program.
ANR scientists are among those who will share in USDA's recently announced $36.5 million grants for specialty crops research. ANR is involved in two projects: brown marmorated stink bug and pollinators.

Nine UCCE specialists and advisors are participating in the $3.7 million grant for “Management of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in U.S. Specialty Crops,” submitted by North Carolina State University, Raleigh. The stink bug project is a multi-state project to develop management tools and strategies using biological control.

“This is a very common invasive insect in Sacramento and other urban areas but has not widely infested agricultural areas,” said Larry Godfrey, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. “Based on what the insect has done in the mid-Atlantic states in the East, everyone expects it to invade crop areas. The grant is not crop specific, other than specialty crops, which is about all of the crops we grow in California--except (primarily) rice, corn and cotton. We will be studying how this pest adapts to California conditions and crops. And also studies will be done on the fit of biological control for managing this pest. Clearly some of our major crops such as grapes, almonds and other nut crops, tomatoes, cool-season vegetables, stone fruits, etc. will be subjects of research.”

Other UC scientists working on the brown marmorated stink bug project with Godfrey are Frank Zalom, UCCE specialist and professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, UCCE specialists Kent Daane in the UC Berkeley Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, and Mark Hoddle in the UC Riverside Department of Entomology; UCCE advisors Monica Cooper in Napa County and Chuck Ingels in Sacramento County; and area integrated pest management advisors Emily Symmes in Butte County, Shimat Joseph in Monterey County and Jhalendra Rijal in Stanislaus County.

Honey bees forage on seaside daisies in Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven at UC Davis. Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey
Elina Niño, UCCE apiculture specialist in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is a collaborator in a funded grant submitted by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. The $2.8 million grant is titled "Protecting Pollinators with Economically Feasible and Environmentally Sound Ornamental Horticulture." 

One study will identify plants currently available in the marketplace that attract pollinators and the pollinators which visit them. Another study will document the actual risk to pollinators from current and alternative ornamental horticulture production practices. Extension efforts include developing recommendations for growers and landscape professionals for effective pest management while protecting pollinators and crafting guidelines for pollinator education displays at garden centers and public gardens.

For more information about the 19 grants funded, visit USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative website.

Posted on Monday, August 29, 2016 at 9:55 AM
  • Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey

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