OIREC Announces Next Director of ARS European Biological Control Laboratory
The Office of International Research Engagement and Cooperation (OIREC) is pleased to announce the selection of Robert Shatters as the next director of the ARS European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL), starting in October 2022.
Shatters is currently the research leader at the ARS Subtropical Insects and Horticultural Research Unit in Fort Pierce, Florida. His teambuilding skills and research expertise will bring an exciting new element to EBCL that will complement its existing research activities.
EBCL is located in Montpellier, France, and has a satellite laboratory in Thessaloniki, Greece. The primary objective of research at EBCL is to develop biological control technologies which can be used to suppress invading weeds and insect pests of Eurasian origin. EBCL collaborates with scientists in many countries in Europe, Asia and Africa to explore in regions-of-origin of the target weeds and pests.
The current EBCL director Michael Grodowitz has been leading the laboratory since September 2020 and will continue until Shatters arrives in October 2022.
OIREC congratulates Robert Shatters on his selection and thanks Michael Grodowitz for his continued leadership at EBCL, especially tackling many unique and unprecedented challenges during a global pandemic.
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.