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ARS Home » Office of International Research Engagement and Cooperation » OBCL Research Highlights » March 2023 » EBCL Welcomes New Research Scientist: Dr. Maia Tsikolia

EBCL Welcomes New Research Scientist: Dr. Maia Tsikolia

By Alexandra Chaskopoulou and Maia Tsikolia, European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL)

In September 2022 Dr. Maia Tsikolia, a research chemist from the United States, joined the European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL) team at Thessaloniki, Greece. Maia graduated with her MS, and PhD degrees from Tbilisi State University (Georgia), and continued with her post-doctoral training at University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. She broadened her professional skills by working at the USDA-ARS Center for Medical & Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE, Gainesville, FL), and the Emerging Pathogens Institute (EPI) (University of Florida) where she specialized on the development and testing of new chemistries for controlling insects of medical and veterinary importance, such as mosquitoes.

Her research at EBCL focuses on designing and synthesizing novel insecticides, repellents, and attractants against vector insects, including but not limited to mosquitoes, sand flies, and ticks. By joining the team, Maia is expected to significantly strengthen EBCL’s research program on the management of vector-borne diseases, while also expanding EBCL’s network of collaborators within and outside ARS. Dr. Tsikolia already plans to share her first exciting research findings in collaboration with EBCL colleagues during the upcoming international conference of the American Mosquito Control Association in Reno, Nevada, where she will present on the investigation of new chemoattractants for sand fly larval surveillance and control.  Please, join us to welcome Dr. Tsikolia on the team!

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Dr. Tsikolia working with EBCL biological technician Michalis Miaoulis in Thessaloniki (Greece) using gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) equipped with automated headspace (HS) and headspace-solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) for the collection and identification of volatile compounds from soil infested with sand fly larvae.


Contact: Alexandra Chaskopoulou  and Maia Tsikolia 

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.