About the Center
The Center for Biological Control was formally established in 1999 as one of the Research Centers within the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences (CAFS) (formerly College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture (CESTA). However, biological control research had been ongoing in CAFS since 1976 with significant contributions being made to the taxonomy of weed biological agents and other areas.
A Unique Partnership
The Center is made up of a unique partnership between Florida A & M University, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Both agencies have placed fulltime faculty to work cooperatively with university faculty.
Mission and Vision
The mission of the Center is to generate, apply and transfer innovative, ecologically based solutions to pest problems affecting agriculture, natural resources, and human health while developing the human capacity for continued future innovation. During the first five years of operation, the Center has made great progress in training, research and outreach. Faculty resources and portfolio of activities have expanded, providing more opportunities for training and research. The Center is now well positioned to expand and continue delivering positive outcomes by addressing some of the most significant challenges facing the world today and thereby fulfilling its vision of securing food, natural resources, and human health.
Pressing Challenges in the New Millennium
Events during the first decade of the new millennium brought into sharp focus important issues regarding the security of our food, natural resources and health. Among some of the key issues are: the growing threats from invasive alien species and increasing demand for the production of safe, high quality food using methods that do not impact negatively on the environment.
Growing Threats from Invasive Alien Species:
The establishment and proliferation of invasive alien species due to globalization of trade and transport is increasing at an alarming rate. This risk is particularly high in Florida due to the large volume of commodities and passengers passing through the state’s ports. While p revention is the most effective strategy for dealing with these growing threats, it often requires concerted action with trading partners to minimize the risk offshore. Inadvertently, some species will escape and become established requiring mitigation efforts. In many such situations, biological control is often the method of choice.
Demand for Safe Food and Environmental Stewardship: Concerns about the negative impacts of food production methods, especially the use of agro-chemicals on human and environmental health, have fueled demands for the development of appropriate pest management technologies. Integrated pest management (IPM) strategies which are strongly underpinned by biologically based technologies, such as biological control, are urgently required
Identification Tool for Weevil Biological Control Agents of Aquatic and Terrestrial Weeds in the United States and Canada
This tool was developed in 2006 and is based on the LUCID KEY program Version 3.3, links to the CD image and programs are below.