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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Paul Pratt

Research Leader

Paul Pratt
Research Leader
(510) 559-6127
USDA, ARS, WRRC, Exotic & Invasive Weeds Research Unit
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710


Educational Background:

  • 1990-1992 BYU-Idaho, Rexburg Idaho, A.S.
  • 1993-1995 California State Univ. Chico, B.S.
  • 1995-1997 Oregon State Univ., M.S.
  • 1997-1999 Oregon State Univ., Ph.D.


Work Experience:

Research Leader, USDA/ARS, Exotic and Invasive Weed Research Unit, Albany, CA, 2015 to present


Research Focus:

The long term objective of my research is to develop environmentally safe methods of invasive species control by increasing the availability and utility of biological control agents. This objective necessitates formulating and guiding research at multiple phases:

  1. Design or conduct foreign explorations for natural enemies of pest species, as well as ensure safe consignment and maintenance of living specimens under quarantine conditions. 
  2. Quantify ecological risk posed by candidate biological control agents through life history studies, host specificity testing, prerelease impact studies, and initial field establishment.
  3. Develop techniques for release of new biological control agents and ascertain attributes that compromise potential establishment and impact.
  4. Identify and develop means for evaluating the performance of established biological control agents in terms of pest population suppression and environmental risk. 
  5. Assess impacts of exotic species invasions on native communities


To date, these research efforts have resulted in 138 publications, including 111 peer review journal articles and 9 book chapters.


Current Research Projects:

  • Prioritization of weeds as targets for biological control
  • Biological control of water hyacinth, Egeria, and Ludwigia
  • Environmental safety of the Scotch broom gall mite Aceria genistae
  • Partnering with agencies and research institutions on the development and implementation of biological control


*Info about my research team:

Current lab members include:

Dr. John Herr, Dr. Angelica Reddy, Dr, Erin Donley-Marineau, Dr. Julie Hopper, Matthew Perryman, Caroline Nunn, Clayton Sodergren, Anna Beauchemin, June Hong, Ethan Grossman, and Alex Thomsen.

Last Modified: 8/31/2017
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