Weed-Rousting Bay Area Scientist Wins ARS Research
Honor By Marcia
Wood February 9, 2005
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9Saltcedara hardy, water-guzzling
tree that's crowding out willows and cottonwoods along Western U.S. rivers and
streamsis among the targets of innovative research led by east San
Francisco Bay Area biologist
For his creative, skillful leadership of scientific investigations
aimed at stopping the spread of this weed, and other plant and insect pests of
ranches, farms, and natural areas, Carruthers has been named Outstanding
Scientist for 2004 by the Agricultural
Ray Carruthers examines saltcedar (Tamarix
parviflora) along Cache Creek in Yolo County, Calif. (More)
Click the image for more information about it.
The 8-state region encompasses Arizona, Alaska, California, Hawaii,
Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Carruthers is based at the agency's
Regional Research Center in Albany, Calif., where he directs the
and Invasive Weeds Research Unit.
Carruthers and other award winners were honored today at an annual
awards ceremony here at U.S. Department of
Agriculture headquarters. His prize includes a plaque and additional funds
for his Albany team. "Dr. Carruthers' work shows his exceptional insight,
originality, and productivity," said ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling.
Carruthers first joined ARSUSDA's chief scientific research
agencyin Ithaca, N.Y., then worked in Weslaco, Texas. He later moved to
the agency's Beltsville, Md., headquarters as national program leader for
biological control--the use of beneficial natural organisms to control
destructive ones, such as an invasive weed or plant-damaging insect. He's been
leader of the Albany team, with labs in Davis, Calif., and Reno, Nev., since
1998, in charge of studies on saltcedar and other weedy plants such as yellow
starthistle, tall whitetop, Russian thistle, gorse, Cape ivy, hydrilla, giant
reed, pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil, and smooth cordgrass.
Carruthers is an acknowledged expert not only in biological control,
but also in integrated pest management, or IPM, which is the careful
orchestration of a variety of pest-control tactics so each is used to its best
He received his B.S. in biology in 1975 from
California Polytechnic State University,
San Luis Obispo, and his M.S. (1979) and Ph.D. (1981) degrees in entomology
from Michigan State University, East Lansing.