Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia

Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia. Credit: Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia Photo by: Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia
Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia. Credit: Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia

UC IPM welcomed Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia as the new area IPM advisor covering the Central Coast. He conducts a research and extension program centered on IPM in leafy vegetables. Upcoming projects include:

  • an on-going needs assessment of his vegetable growers and pest control advisors to determine research and extension priorities;
  • developing an areawide pest monitoring network for aphids, thrips and the diamondback moth to visualize pest populations at the landscape level;
  • learning what insectary plants result in good biological control of aphids in lettuce so they are used more;
  • finding alternatives to pyrethroid and neonicotinoid pesticides for insect control in vegetables; and
  • monitoring for practical insecticide resistance (management failures in the field) in vegetable pests.

His long-term goals are to improve the adoption of more holistic production systems, strengthen IPM programs for leafy vegetable production, and reduce pesticide contamination in local water bodies.

“My biggest inspiration is seeing how science and research helps the growers implement more comprehensive IPM strategies, such as planting insectary plants at the commercial level to promote conservational biocontrol in organic lettuce. I really enjoy being a “facilitator” by connecting different research experts with grower needs and vice versa, bringing the grower concerns and needs to other researchers prioritizing topics and areas of interest in which they would like to conduct research.” — Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia from Entomology Today blog post

Del Pozo-Valdivia has a PhD in Entomology from North Carolina State University, a MS in Entomology from Washington State University, and a BS in Agronomy from La Molina National Agrarian University in Lima, Peru. His previous research focused on the biology and management of agricultural pests in different crop systems: irrigated hybrid poplars, soybeans, corn, and cotton. During his doctoral dissertation, Del Pozo-Valdivia worked on kudzu bug, an invasive pest that attacks soybean. From his work, soybean growers learned how planting date, maturity group selection, soil tillage, and row spacing influence kudzu bug populations. Before joining UC IPM, Del Pozo-Valdivia studied the timing of complementary foliar insecticide applications to improve the management of bollworm in Bt cotton (cotton plants containing Bacillus thuringiensis toxin) in North Carolina.