Biological control is the science and practice of using living organisms to manage pests and pathogens.  The department is particularly well recognized for its excellence in biological control of invasive and emerging diseases and pests.  Entomologists and Plant Pathologists are studying the biology and ecology of invasive insect pests and plant pathogens and their biological control agents to develop more efficient strategies for the release, establishment, and utilization of biological control agents. Scientists in the department are also world-renowned for their work on biological control of soil-borne plant pathogens and insect pests using antagonistic microbes and entomopathogenic bacteria, fungi, and nematodes.



Figure 1: A.  Asilid fly attacking chrysomelid beetle; B. Entomopathogenic bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis toxin crystals; C. Mantid eating a fly; D. Germinating spores of Beauveria bassiana, an entomopathogenic fungus used for biological control of seedling diseases and insect pests.