Siavash Taravati was hired in July 2015 as a new IPM advisor for structural pests in Los Angeles, Orange, and other surrounding counties. He will be working closely with pest management professionals, public agency personnel, UC ANR advisors, faculty, and specialists to promote IPM for structural pests.
Prior to joining UC IPM, Taravati was a research assistant at the University of Florida, working to manage the invasive rugose spiraling whitefly and gaining a lot of experience growing different crops and controlling ants in and around greenhouses, crop fields, and buildings. Taravati reared several pest and beneficial insects such as whiteflies, scales, lady beetles, lacewings, and parasitoids for his research. He conducted several efficacy trials using natural and synthetic insecticides, including the compatibility of systemic imidacloprid with the biological control of rugose spiraling whitefly.
Taravati is a beetle enthusiast, and in 2015 co-founded www.tenebrionidae.net, which is dedicated to the study of darkling beetles. Taravati holds a patent (U.S. Patent TX 7-301-658) for a computer program he developed during his Masters studies at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in Iran. This program aids in conversion and visualization of geometric morphometrics outline data. Taravati has experience in macro photography, auto-montage, computer programming, and website development. He is fluent in Farsi and English and is familiar with taxonomic texts in German.