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Paul Pratt

Research Leader

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Paul Pratt
Research Leader
(510) 559-6127
USDA, ARS, WRRC, Invasive Species and Pollinator Health Research Unit
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710


Area of Expertise:

Research Entomologist, Biological Control, Invasion Ecology, Entomology, and Weed Science


A.S., Ricks College, Rexburg, Idaho, 1992

B.S., California State University Chico, 1995

M.S., Oregon State University, 1999

Ph.D., Oregon State University, 1999

Work Experience:

Research Leader, USDA/ARS, Invasive Species and Pollinator Health Research Unit, Albany, CA, 2015 to present

Research Entomologist, USDA/ARS, Invasive Plant Research Laboratory, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 33314, 1999 to 2014

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. Nastaran Tofangasazi, Matthew Perryman, Caroline Nunn, June Hong, Alex Thomsen, Chris Tucker, and Chris McCarron.