Welcome to the California Department of Food and Agriculture

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PPDC labs

Plant Pest Diagnostics Center

Seminar Series

Past Presentations (supplementary seminars indicated with *)

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Seminars Still to Come



  • Dr Shaun Winterton (CDFA-PPD) 18th November 2004
    Title: "Phylogeny, classification and diagnostics of Lacewings (Insecta: Neuroptera)"
  • Dr Peter Kerr (CDFA-PPD/UC Davis) 9th December 2004
    Title: "Evolutionary relationships Snipe-flies and their relatives (Insecta: Diptera: Rhagionidae)"


  • Julie Scher (USDA-APHIS) 13th January 2005
    Title: "Interactive Lucid key for diagnostics of seeds of Federal Noxious Weeds"
  • Dr Barbara Hayford (UC Davis) 24th February 2005
    Title: "The utility of Chironomidae (Diptera: Nematocera) as biological indicators in agriculturally influenced waters"
  • Dr Michael Pitcairn (CDFA-IPC) 24th March 2005
    Title: "Update on Biological control of Yellow Starthistle in California"
  • Dr Peter Cranston (UC Davis) 14th April 2005
    Title: "Entomological tales from Gondwana: phylogenetic inertia, ecological stasis, or global homogeneity"
  • Dr Marc Epstein (CDFA-PPD) 12th May 2005
    Title: "Slug Caterpillars of Costa Rica and Beyond"
  • Dr Stephen Gaimari (CDFA-PPD) 9th June 2005
    Title: "Evolutionary relationships of the enigmatic superfamily Lauxanioidea (Insecta: Diptera)"
  • Dr Penny Gullan (UC Davis) 7th July 2005
    Title: "Phylogenetic relationships of soft scales (Margarodidae)"
  • Ray Gill (CDFA-PPD) 18th August 2005
    Title: "Whiteflies (Insecta: Aleyrodidae): Beauty and the Beast"
  • Dr Cheryl Blomquist (CDFA-PPD) 15th September 2005
    Title: "Phytophora diagnostics"
  • Dr Matt Buffington (CDFA-PPD) 6th October2005
    Title: "Phylogeny and evolution of figitid wasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea: Figitidae)"
  • Dr Kevin Hoffman (CDFA-PD/EP) 17th November 2005
    Title: "Systematics of New World mantis-flies (Neuroptera: Mantispidae)"
  • Dr Rosser Garrison (CDFA-PPD) 8th December 2005
    Title: "Insects new to southern California"


  • Dr Martin Hauser ( CDFA-PPD/UC Davis) 19th January 2006
    Title: "Collecting on the 8th Continent: Madagascar"
  • Dr Shaun Winterton (CDFA-PPD) 16 February 2006
    Title: “Studies on therevoid flies (Diptera)”
  • Dr Stephen Gaimari (CDFA-PPD) 13 April 2006
    Title: “Dipterology in an island paradise: Trekking through Fiji looking for lauxaniid flies ”
  • Dr Charles Bellamy (CDFA-PPD) 4 May 2006
    Title: “Is prettiness a valid character state”
  • Dr Gillian Watson (CDFA-PPD) 8 June 2006
    Title: “Non-traditional approaches to IPM in Asia”
  • Dr Shaun Winterton (CDFA-PPD) 6 July 2006
    Title: “Flies eating spiders: molecular evolution and historical divergence time estimates of small-headed flies (Diptera: Acroceridae)”
  • Cory Unruh (UC Davis) 10 August 2006
    Title: “Evolution of Giant Scales (Margarodidae: Iceryini)”
  • Dr Lynn Kimsey (UC Davis) 9 November 2006
    Title: “Studying Biodiversity in Nicaragua”
  • Dr Wendy Moore (Cal Academy/UC Berkeley) 7 December 2006
    Title: “Molecular phylogeny, systematics and natural history of the flanged bombardier beetles”


  • Dr Martin Hauser (CDFA-PPD/UC Davis) 18 January 2007
    Title: “Everything you always wanted to know about flies, but were afraid to ask.”
  • Dr John Chitambar (CDFA-PPD) 22 February 2007
    Title: “Looking for exotic and invasive plant parasitic nematodes in California.”
  • Dr. Terrence Walters (USDA-APHIS-PPQ-CPHST, National Weed Management Lab, Ft. Collins, CO) 13 March 2007
    Title: “Technology for plant protection and quarantine.”
  • Dr. Andy Cline (CDFA-PPD) 22 March 2007
    Title: “Systematics of sap beetles of the world (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae).”
  • Dr. Trevor Suslow (UC Davis) and Steven Koike (UC Farm Advisor, Monterey Co.) 3 April 2007
    Special seminar - 10:30 AM
    Title: “Research & Extension aspects of food safety and leafy vegetables in California .”
  • Dr. Steven Heydon (UC Davis) 19 April 2007
    Title: “The Democratic Republic of Congo. Where conservation really matters.”
  • Dr. Dean Kelch (CDFA-PPD) 24 May 2007
    Title: “Robinson Crusoe Island and Hawaii: comparison of vegetation of two Pacific volcanic islands.”
  • Dr. Daniela Takiya (Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign) 5 June 2007
    Title: “Sharpshooter systematics: taxonomy, classification and behavior of the leafhopper subfamily Cicadellinae.”
  • Dr. Phil Ward (UC Davis) 14 June 2007
    Title: “The evolution of ants.”
  • Dr. Andrew Rehn (California Department of Fish & Game, Aquatic Assessment Lab) 19 July 2007
    Title: “Benthic macroinvertebrates as ecological indicators in streams and rivers: an overview of approaches.”
  • Dr. Charles Bellamy (CDFA-PPD) 23 August 2007
    Title: “Odd Bugs in the Outback: collecting in Australia.”
  • Dr. Marina Ascunce (University of Florida) 17 September 2007
    Title: “Tracking the invasion of Diaprepes abbreviatus L. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) from the Caribbean to the United States.”
  • Dr. Jeremy Miller (California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco) 23 October 2007 (NOTE, TUESDAY)
    Title: "The Good, the Bad and the Many: Stories from the World of Spiders"
  • Dr. Stephen Gaimari (CDFA-PPD) 15 November 2007
    Title: "The Wonderful World of Lauxanioidea (Diptera), or Minettia flaveola and its Kin"
  • Dr. Charles Pickett (CDFA-IPC) 13 December 2007
    Title: “Foreign exploration for parasitoids of olive fruit fly: the benefits and hazards of collecting overseas.”


  • Mark Stirling (CDFA-PE) 24 January 2008
    Title: "The first line of defense - pest exclusion at the border stations."
  • Dr. Peter Kerr (CDFA-PPD) 21 February 2008
    Title: "Collections management:  vouchering for the future."
  • Dr William Roltsch (CDFA-IPC) 20 March 2008
    Title: “Biological control of Pink Hibiscus mealybug”
  • Baldo Villegas (CDFA-IPC) 17 April 2008
    Title: “The good, the bad and the buggly – life on roses”
  • Dr. Sergei Subbotin (CDFA-PPD) 15 May 2008
    Title:  “On phylogenetics and phylogenomics, illustrated by nematode examples.”
  • Dr. Cheryle O'Donnell (University of California, Davis) 12 June 2008
    Title: “Phylogenetic analysis of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, in California”
  • Dr. Dick Penrose (CDFA-PD/EP) 24 July 2008
    Title “CDFA’s Exotic Woodborer Detection Program”
  • Dr. Suzanne Rooney Latham (CDFA-PPD) 18 September 2008
    Title: “Fungi: the good, the bad and the ugly”
  • Dr. Riad Baalbaki (CDFA-PPD) 23 October 2008
    Title: “Plants, pests, energy budgets and global warming.”
  • Dr. Martin Hauser (CDFA-PPD) 20 November 2008
    Title: “Desert diversity - arthropod inventory in the United Arab Emirates”
  • Mark Stirling (CDFA-PE) 18 December 2008
    Title: “Antiquarian books on natural history.”


  • Dr. Stephen Gaimari (CDFA-PPD) 22 January 2009
    Title: “A dipterist's trek through Western Australia”
  • Dr Elaine Backus (USDA/ARS Research Entomologist) 26 February 2009
    Title: “Transmission mechanisms of Xylella fastidiosa by the glassy-winged sharpshooter, and implications for disease epidemiology”
  • Dr Gillian Watson (CDFA-PPD) 19 March 2009
    Title: “Scales and whiteflies: the challenges of a sedentary lifestyle”
  • Dr. Barry Hill (CDFA-PPD) 16 April 2009
    Title: “Recent Discoveries in the Epidemiology of Pierce's Disease”
  • Dr Richard Hoenisch (WPDN/UC Davis, Plant Pathology) 14 May 2009
    Title: “The NPDN First Detector Network and pest awareness”
  • Dr. Kris Godfrey (CDFA-IPC) 18 June 2009
    Title: “An update on Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing in North American and California ”
  • Dr. Steven Koike (Plant Pathology Farm Advisor, U.C. Cooperative Extension) 16 July 2009
    Title: “Research update on the ecology of E. coli in Salinas Valley fields”
  • Dr. Martin Hauser (CDFA-PPD) 20 August 2009
    Title: “The hoverfly genus Eumerus in Australia - amazing flies from down under”
  • Dr. Martin Hauser (CDFA-PPD) 17 September 2009
    Title: “When vinegar flies go bad - the case of the spotted winged drosophila”
  • Dr Dale Woods (CDFA-IPC) 15 October 2009
    Title: “Yellow Starthistle Rust: Use of a plant pathogen as a weed biological control”
  • Dr. Alessandra Rung (CDFA-PPD) 19 November 2009
    Title: “Something about Brazil and aulacigastrids (Diptera)”
  • Dr. Rosser Garrison (CDFA-PPD) 10 December 2009
    Title: “Research on the Neotropical Odonata: current results and challenges ahead”


  • Dr. Lynn Kimsey (UC Davis) 21 January 2010
    Title: “Anthropogenic impacts on insect biodiversity: heat and insanity in Imperial County”
  • Dr. Steven Koike (Plant Pathology Farm Advisor, U.C. Cooperative Extension) 18 February 2010
    Title: “Novel and interesting plant disease developments in coastal California”
  • *Prof. Richard Stouthamer (UC Riverside) 1 March 2010
    Title: “Use and misuse of molecular markers for insect identification and biological control”
  • Lance Beem (Stoller USA) 18 March 2010
    Title: “Impact of plant hormone and flavenoid regulation on insect pests”
  • Dr. Chuck Bellamy (CDFA-PPD) 22 April 2010
    Title: “Insect diversity in Southern Africa: beetles and plants of the succulent Karoo”
  • Dr. Jinya Qiu (USDA-APHIS) 27 May 2010
    Title: “Technology of real-time PCR detection of soil nematodes and its potential use in the CAPS survey program”
  • Dr. Natalia von Ellenrieder (CDFA-PPD) 23 June 2010
    Title: “Argentina's biogeography: examples from the insect realm”
  • Dr. Dean Kelch (CDFA-PPD) 15 July 2010
    Title: “Evolution in the tropical conifer family Podocarpaceae”
  • *Dr. Takumasa Kondo (CORPOICA, Colombia) 5 August 2010
    Title: “Scale insects on avocados in Colombia”
  • Dr. David Morgan (CDFA-PD) 19 August 2010
    Title: “Glassy Winged Sharpshooter biological control”
  • Dr. Louie H. Yang (UC Davis) 16 September 2010
    Title: “Resource pulses in time and space:  periodical cicadas, hurricanes and some thoughts for the future”
  • Dr. Robert Price (CDFA-PPD) 21 October 2010
    Title: “Diversity and Relationships of the Temperate Zone Conifers”
  • Dr. Barry Hill (CDFA-PPD) 18 November 2010
    Title: “Pierce's Disease Epidemiology II: what Barry did next...”
  • Baldo Villegas (CDFA Integrated Pest Control) 15 December 2010 (note, Wednesday!)
    Title: “The status of new weed biological control projects”


  • Dr. Shaun Winterton (CDFA-PPD) 20 January 2011
    Title: “One family or two?: phylogeny of moth lacewings (Neuroptera: Ithonidae) and giant lacewings (Polystoechotidae) using DNA sequence data, morphology and fossils”
  • Dr. Lynn Kimsey (UC Davis, Department of Entomology) 17 February 2011
    Title: “Adventures in paradise – collecting in Sulawesi, Indonesia”
  • Dr. Hong Lin (USDA-ARS at Parlier) 23 March 2011
    Title: “The Genome-based Diagnosis of Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB)”
  • Dr. Shaun Winterton (CDFA-PPD) 21 April 2011
    Title: “Cybertaxonomy as a paradigm shift for documenting global biodiversity”
  • Dr. Nikos Papadopoulos (University of Thessaly, Greece) 5 May 2011
    Title: “The cost of reproduction in male medflies”
  • Dr William Roltsch (CDFA-IPC) 19 May 2011
    Title: “Biological Control: Egg Parasitism and Predation of the Light Brown Apple Moth”
  • Dr. Gillian Watson (CDFA-PPD) 16 June 2011
    Title: “Scale insects and man”
  • Dr. Natalia von Ellenrieder (CDFA/PPDB Entomology) 21 July 2011
    Title:  “A biodiversity rapid assessment study in Suriname”
  • Dr. Tom Gulya (USDA-ARS) 4 August 2011* [2:30 pm]
    Title: “Identifying sunflower diseases by signs and symptoms”
  • Dr. Joanna Chiu (UC Davis, Department of Entomology) 18 August 2011
    Title: “It's about time: setting the pace of the circadian clock in insects”
  • Dr. Peter Kerr (CDFA-PPD) 22 September 2011
    Title: “Unrecognized biodiversity in Californian mycetophilid flies”
  • Dr. Lynn Kimsey (UC Davis Dept. of Entomology) 20 October 2011
    Title: “Biodiversity survey of the Mekongga Mountain in southeastern Sulawesi.”
  • Dr. Steven Tjosvold(UC Cooperative Extension) 17 November 2011
    Title:  “The Importance of  Regulatory/Research/Extension linkages for the Management of Light Brown Apple Moth in California”
  • Dr. Li Shi (Inner Mongolia Agricultural University & CDFA/PPDC) 15 December 2011
    Title: “Enhancing identification of California agromyzids”


  • Dr. Neil McRoberts (UC Davis Plant Pathology Department) 19 January 2012
    Title: “Application of decision theory to diagnostics and regulatory plant pathology”
  • Dr. Chris Borkent (McGill University & CDFA/PPDC) 16 February 2012
    Title: “Hiding in the shadows: the fascinating diversity and evolutionary history of fungus gnats (Diptera: Mycetophilidae)”
  • Dr. Brian R. Johnson (UC Davis Entomology Department) 15 March 2012
    Title: “The roles of self organization in collective decision making in bees”
  • Mark Stirling (CDFA/ Pest Exclusion) 19 April 2012
    Title: “The Border Station Program – Where We Fit in the Pest Prevention Network”
  • Dr. Arthur Evans (Research Associate, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC) 17 May 2012
    Title: “Beetles of Eastern North America-the making of a field guide”
  • Anura Sirisena (Agricultural University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka) 21 June 2012
    Title: “Mealybugs of Sri Lanka”
  • Drs. Martin Hauser & Stephen Gaimari (CDFA/PPDC) 19 July 2012
    Title:  “Of head-hunters and Fly-hunters in Borneo, or South East Asia – A fly’s perspective”
  • Liansheng He (Acting Assistant Director, Entomology & Nematology Section, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore) 16 August 2012
    Title: “Pests and pest management in Singapore”
  • Dr. Richard M. Bostock (UC Davis Plant Pathology Department) 27 September 2012*
    Title: “An update on Thousand Cankers Disease in California”
  • Dr. Ioannis Stergiopoulos (UC Davis Plant Pathology Department) 25 October 2012*
    Title: “Immunity in plants: Old concepts and new insights illuminated by Dothideomycete comparative genomics”
  • Dr. Marc Epstein (CDFA/PPDC) 14 November 2012*
    Title: “I got your back: evolution of dorsal defense in slug and nettle caterpillars (Limacodidae)”
  • Dr. Kevin Hoffman (CDFA/Pest Detection-Emergency Projects) 13 December 2012
    Title:“ CDFA’s Pest Detection/Emergency Projects Branch: The Last Line of Defense in the Battle Against Invasive Species”


  • Dr. Kevin Williams (CDFA/PPDC) 17 January 2013
    Title: “Fuzzy logic and fuzzy wasps, a holistic systematic approach to velvet ant research”
  • Duane Schnabel (CDFA/ PPDC & IPC) 21 February 2013
    Title: “The IPC Branch; unique and rewarding work, but sometimes a dirty job”
  • Dr Kris Godfrey (UC Davis/ Contained Research Facility) 21 March 2013
    Title: “The Role of the UC-Davis Contained Research Facility in Research on Plant Pests”
  • Drs Stephen Gaimari & Martin Hauser (CDFA/PPDC Entomology) 18 April 2013
    Title: “The Continuing Saga of Flies in Southeast Asia” 
  • Dr Jason Leathers (CDFA/PD EP) 16 May 2013
    Title: “A Risk Analysis Based Pest Rating System for California”
  • Dr. Edwin Lewis (UC Davis/ Entomology) 20 June 2013
    Title: “Ecological and behavioral theory lay the groundwork for successful biological control with entomopathogenic nematodes”
  • Drs. Rosser Garrison & Natalia von Ellenrieder (CDFA/PPDC Entomology) 18 July 2013
    Title: “Collecting odonates & other insects in Costa Rica”
  • Dr. Shaun Winterton (CDFA/PPDC Entomology) 15 August 2013
    Title: “Evolution and historical biogeography of stiletto flies and their allies (Diptera): evidence from fossils, DNA and morphology”
  • James Lawrence (CDFA/ Interior Pest Exclusion) 19 September 2013
    Title: “The Phytosanitary Export Program and Role of PPDC Diagnosticians”
  • Dr. Maher Al Rwahnih (UC Davis/ Foundation Plant Services) 17 October 2013
    Title: “Next-generation sequencing (NGS) as a diagnostic tool for plant pathogens”
  • Dr. Mysore R. Sudarshana (UC Davis/ USDA-ARS) 21 November 2013
    Title: “Grapevine red blotch Disease, a new malady affecting wine grape production in California”
  • Dr. Philip S. Ward (UC Davis/ Entomology & Nematology) 19 December 2013
    Title: “The evolution and diversification of ants“


  • Greg Kareofelas (Davis, CA) 16 January 2014
    Title: “The Monarch Mystery - Monarch Butterfly Migration to Mexico”
  • Chaofan Shi (Capital Normal University, Beijing, China) 20 February 2014
    Title: “Fossil lacewings from the Late Mesozoic of Northeastern China”
  • Dr. Kent Bradford (UC Davis/ Seed Biotechnology Center) 20 March 2014
    Title: “Seed biology research and outreach at the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center”
  • Leithen M'Gonigle (UC Berkeley/ Entomology) 17 April 2014
    Title: “Reassembly of native pollinator communities in an agricultural landscape in California”
  • Matan Shalomi (UC Davis/ Entomology) 15 May 2014
    Title: “Risk Assessment of Eucalyptus-Feeding Insects as an Ecoterrorism Weapon”
  • Dr. Michael Turelli (UC Davis/ Evolution & Ecology) 19 June 2014
    Title: “Wolbachia population biology: from natural spatial spread to possible dengue control”
  • Danielle Wishon (CDFA/PPDC Entomology) 17 July 2014
    Title: “Hematophagous Houseguests: The Natural History of Bed Bugs”
  • Jeff Smith (Bohart Museum) 21 August 2014
    Title: “Filth Flies – their ID, Biology, and Control”
  • Dr. Charlie Pickett (CDFA/IPC-Biocontrol) 18 September 2014
    Title: “Classical Biological Control and Systematics”
  • Dr. Gillian Watson (CDFA/PPDC Entomology) 16 October 2014
    Title: “Scale insects on the rampage”
  • no seminar 20 November 2014
  • Dr. Robert Kimsey (UC Davis/Entomology & Nematology) 18 December 2014
    Title: “Utility of Entomology in Fire Death Investigations”


  • Dr. Michelle Trautwein (California Academy of Sciences) 15 January 2015
    Title: “Of mites and men: Exploring the diversity of Demodex face mites”
  • Dr. Daniel Potter (UC Davis/ Plant Sciences) 19 February 2015
    Title: “Phylogeny and Diversification of the Stone Fruit Genus (Prunus, Rosaceae)”
  • Dr. Elina Lastro Niño (UC Davis/ Entomology and Nematology) 19 March 2015
    Title: “Understanding regulation of honey bee queen post-mating changes”
  • Dr. Ivonne Garzón (CDFA/PPDC Entomology) 16 April 2015
    Title: “Systematics and patterns of diversification in Neotropical butterflies”
  • Dewi Sartiami (Bogor Agriculture University, Indonesia/ Plant Protection) 21 May 2015
    Title: “Indonesia, Malaysia and the mealybugs”
  • Dr. David Robinson (USDA-APHIS-Plant Protection and Quarantine), 19 June 2015 (note, Friday!)
    Title: “The official USDA response to invasive pest snails: two recent case histories”
  • Jessica Gillung (UC Davis/CDFA Entomology) 16 July 2015            
    Title: “Fairy tales and horror stories: an overview of several Entomological Collections worldwide”
  • Brendon Boudinot (UC Davis/ Entomology and Nematology) 20 August 2015
    Title: “A new vision and understanding of the ants: updated familial diagnosis and global treatments of the subfamilies”
  • Dr. Michael Pitcairn (CDFA/ IPC) 17 September 2015             
    Title: “What’s New in Weed Biocontrol for California”
  • Danica Maxwell (UC Davis/ Entomology and Nematology) 15 October 2015
    Title: “Entomopathogenic Nematodes: A Non-Chemical Tool in a Multi-Component Plan”
  • CANCELLED 19 November 2015
  • Martin MacKenzie (US Forest Service/ Stanislaus National Forest) 17 December 2015
    Title: “Pityophthorus boycei, a little known bark beetle”


  • Dr. Karl Kjer (UC Davis/ Entomology and Nematology) 21 January 2016
    Title: “Insights on Insect phylogeny from the 1KITE initiative”
  • Dr. Phyllis Himmel (UC Davis/ Seed Biotechnology Center) 18 February 2016
    Title: “Collaboration for Plant Pathogen Strain Identification”
  • Dr. Marc Epstein (CDFA/ Entomology) 24 March 2016
    Title: "Moths, Myths, and Mosquitoes: The Eccentric Life of Harrison G. Dyar, Jr."
  • Laura Breitkreuz (University of Kansas/ Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)  21 April 2016
    Title: “Evolution of green lacewings”
  • Dr. Brian Bahder (UC Davis/ Entomology & Nematology - IPM) 19 May 2016
    Title: “The three-cornered alfalfa hopper (Spissitilus festinus) is a vector of grapevine red blotch-associated virus”
  • Dr. Lucy Tran-Nguyen (Northern Territory Government, Australia) 14 June 2016 (note, Tuesday! Supplementary Seminar)
    Title: “Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus - Australian situation”
  • Dr. Art Evans (Research Associate, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC) 17 June 2016 (note, Friday!)
    Title: “The Saga Continues—Beetles of Western North America”
  • Dr. Roberto Tapia (Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero, División de Protección Agrícola y Forestal, Chile) 23 June 2016 (Supplementary Seminar)
    Title: “Developing an early warning system for crop pest and disease outbreaks in Chile”
  • Dr. Judit Arno Pujols (IRTA, Cabrils, Spain) 21 July 2016
    Title: “Tuta absoluta: a threat for tomato crops. What can be learned from the Mediterranean experience?”
  • Dr. Kevin Williams (CDFA/ Entomology) 25 August 2016
    Title: “Velvet ant research: working up to the ground floor”