University of Florida


People at Hayslip Biological Control Research and Containment Laboratory.

Pasco B. Avery, Ph.D.

Dr. Pasco Avery Senior Biological Scientist
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My research interests involve evaluating multi-trophic interactions between host plant-pest-pathogen/parasitoids from a systems approach. Current research projects involve investigating biocontrol strategies using entomopathogenic fungi alone or in combination with other predators or parasites for managing invasive insect pests which include the following: red bay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus), Sri Lanka beetle (Myllocerus undecimpustulatus undatus), and yellowmargined leaf beetle (Microtheca ochroloma). Other research work involves the implementation of safe and efficacious control strategies focused on reducing or mitigating the transport of plants or cuttings infested with invasive insect pests which include the Madeira mealybug (Phenacoccus madeirensis). Also, I am working with the Palm Beach County Whitefly Task Force to monitor and assess infestation levels of the invasive rugose spiraling whitefly (Aleurodicus rugioperculatus) on various host plants in the landscape.

Ganesh Bhattarai

 BhattaraiPost-doctoral fellow
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I am interested in ecology and evolution of plant-herbivore interactions at the biogeographical scale and their implications on ecological processes. Currently, I am studying spatial variation on plant defenses against insect herbivores in an invasive plant, Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolia), in Florida. In another project, I am examining plant-mediated interactions between two potential biological control agents, the psyllid Calophya latiforceps and the thrips Pseudophilothrips ichini, of Brazilian peppertree. I am also interested in post-introduction evolution of traits associated with growth, competitive ability and defense against both generalist and specialist herbivores in invasive plant species.

Elizabeth Calise

Laboratory AssistantElizabeth Calise


Ronald D. Cave, Ph.D.

Dr. Ronald Cave Professor
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Research on biological control of invasive arthropods. Current activities include rearing and establishment of the parasitic fly Lixadmontia franki in Florida for control of the Mexican bromeliad weevil, laboratory evaluation and expected field release of the predatory lady beetle Phaenochilus n. sp. for control of the cycad aulacaspis scale, and field evaluation of the spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris, for control of the yellow-margined leaf beetle. He is also collaborating with Dr. Brett Ratcliffe at the University of Nebraska on a survey and inventory of the dynastine scarab beetles of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize.

Teresa M. Cooper, Ph.D.

Dr. Teresa Cooper Post-doctoral Associate
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Biological control for use in the conservation of natural systems and the maintenance of managed systems. Present projects include a tachinid fly (Lixadmontia franki) to control an invasive bromeliad-eating weevil (Metamasius callizona), and a coccinellid (Phaenochilus n. sp.) to control the cycad aulacaspis scale (Aulacaspis yasumatsui).

Janet S. Dawson

Janet Dawson Laboratory Assistant
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I have been working at BCRCL on the Metamasius callizona "Weevil" study under Dr. Ron Cave since 2005.




Erik Ottoson

Erik Ottoson Biological Scientist III, BCRCL Quarantine Officer
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I am the quarantine officer for the Norman C. Hayslip Biological Control Research & Containment Laboratory. It is my responsibility to uphold all state and federal laws and regulations regarding an arthropod containment facility. I also perform biotech crop and other biological containment inspections throughout central and south Florida.

Carey Minteer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
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Dr. Minteer works to develop solutions for controlling the state’s invasive weed problems through classical biological control  and integrated pest management. Dr. Minteer is currently working to control the Brazilian peppertree, one of the state’s most wide-spread invasive plant species and air potato, a climbing vine from Asia.  


 Ron Scarberry

Maintenance SpecialistRon Scarberry