The Crop Bioprotection Unit conducts research on the development of new biological control technologies that address critical needs in sustainable agriculture in order to enhance global food security. These technologies replace or reduce the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that are potentially harmful to the environment, human and animal health, and our food supply. New technologies that utilize agricultural by-products in innovative ways are also devised to open new markets for their use and to enhance their economic value. Scientists within the unit comprise a diverse, multi-disciplinary cadre of researchers that are internationally recognized experts in their fields. These scientists work to determine the factors that contribute to an organism’s status as a pest or as a potential biological control agent. Useful traits that naturally occur in beneficial microorganisms, insects, and plants are identified, characterized, and subsequently adapted to develop new tools for the control of insect pests, weeds, and crop diseases.