Kent Daane
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
University of California, Berkeley 

Background:

My position with the University of California (Berkeley) is 100% extension. I have laboratories and personnel both on the Berkeley campus and at the Kearney Agricultural Center (located near Fresno, CA).

Graduate work on olive pests began a career in the development of IPM programs for insect pests in vineyards and orchards (almond, stone fruit, pistachio, olive). The primary focus has been on biological and sustainable controls; however, the laboratory has a secondary focus in the impact of grower management practices (such as irrigation amounts) on pest and natural numbers and crop damage. Because the laboratory work is grower-oriented, we also study insecticides and their effective use. 

Job Duties:

Much of my time is dedicated to extending information to farm managers and PCAs. This is easily done as most of the research programs have an extension component and I work closely with farmers, Cooperative Extension personnel, and Pest Control Advisors.

For outreach, I provide about 40 presentations to growers per year.  Because publications are an important goal for UC Berkeley faculty, I also have produced about 10 peer-reviewed publications per year, as well as numerous grower-oriented publications. 

Research:

The research program is diverse; current research projects include three major programs: 

1) Vineyards. Research on vineyard mealybug pests, including the invasive vine mealybug. Closely connected to this project is development of sustainable ant controls. In three collaborative vineyard projects, we are working with Dr. Nick Mills on changes in mite populations, with Dr. Rodrigo Almeida on the importance of leafroll viruses, and with Dr. Miguel Altieri on sustainable grape management. 

New research projects for the laboratory concerns sharpshooters, such as the glassy-winged sharpshooter, and their role in the transmission of the bacterium that causes Pierce’s disease in grapes and almond leaf scorch in almonds. We are also working on control of the light brown apple moth, as well as investigating the newly discovered European grapevine moth (Lobesia botrana).

2) Nut crops. Pistachios and almonds are important California crops. A number of hemipteran (or true bug) and moth pests native to North America have discovered their leaves and fruit are quite tasty and part of my research program is directed towards these pests.

3) Olive fruit fly. A classical biological control program has been undertaken for the olive fly, a newly invasive species in California. We are collaborating with researchers in California, Hawaii, South Africa, and France by quarantine screening parasitoid species to determine their potential to control the olive fly.