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European Biological Control Laboratory

The European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL) was established in 1991 near Montpellier, France. EBCL was created by the merger of the former European Parasite Laboratory, established in Paris in 1919, and the Biological Control of Weeds Laboratory in Rome. EBCL has a satellite laboratory in Thessaloniki, Greece. As the only USDA ARS-operated laboratory outside the United States, EBCL develops biological control technologies which can be used to suppress invading weeds and insect pests of Eurasian origin. EBCL researchers do this by searching for natural enemies (insects, mites, and pathogens) in their native habitat, determining their identity, testing their host specificity and potential impact in laboratory and field experiments, and shipping promising organisms to the U.S. for further testing as biological control agents. EBCL collaborates with scientists in many countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa to explore in regions of origin of the target weeds and insects.

EBCL’s research includes biological control of insects, biological control of weeds, and integrated management of vectors like mosquitoes and sand flies. It is located on the AGROPOLIS Campus International de Montferrier-Baillarguet which is near several several French and Australian agricultural research centers, including CBGP, CIRAD, and CSIRO. EBCL’s specialized research facilities in France include a molecular genetics laboratory, a microbiology laboratory, and a chemical ecology laboratory. Two quarantine laboratories enable EBCL staff to work with exotic organisms: a P-2 laboratory which is certified for insects and a P-3 laboratory which is certified for plant pathogens. The Thessaloniki location includes the main laboratory and a greenhouse, plus 4,000 square meters of land for field plot research. The EBCL team is an international and interdisciplinary team of seven scientists, seven technicians, and five administrative support staff.

For more information or to discuss potential collaborations please contact EBCL Director Dawn Gundersen-Rindal, Dawn.Gundersen-Rindal@usda.gov.