Director of the Center for Invasive Species Research
- College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
I am an extension specialist in biological control. I have a keen interest in invasive species and the environmental and economic problems that invasions cause in California and globally. As Director for the Center for Invasive Species Research I am regularly engaged in emerging programs concerning invasive pests such as light brown apple moth, Asian citrus psyllid, and avocado lace bug. Because California has many exotic pest problems, and in some instances biological control presents itself as a viable control strategy, research programs can have overseas components. Projects on invasive species conducted in my lab have involved extensive work in Mexico, Guatemala, Australia, French Polynesia, and Fiji. I enjoy greatly exploring California’s fantastic wilderness areas and I enthusiastically support the California State Parks system. I am also a member of the Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature. I am a firm believer in getting to the gym to work out at least 4 times a week, I play squash, and ride my bike to work each day.
- BSc Zoology 1988
- University of Auckland, New Zealand
- MSc Zoology 1991
- University of Auckland, New Zealand
- PhD Entomology 1996
- University of Massachusetts
2007 Entomological Society of America Recognition Award in Entomology – National Award
2007 Entomological Society of America Recognition Award in Entomology – Pacific Branch
2000 California Junior Chamber of Commerce Young Farmer of the Year
1996 Rosenfeld Award for Applied Pest Management
1995 Entomological Society of America President's Prize for Biological Control
1994 Entomological Society of America President's Prize for Biological Control
1993 University of Massachusetts Graduate Fellowship
The majority of work conducted in my laboratory focuses on the biological control of exotic arthropod pests that attack agricultural and ornamental plants in California. I am also very interested in the biological control of exotic weeds. Four areas of biological control are studied to develop sustainable solutions for invasive pest problems. These four areas are: (1) augmentative biological control which involves evaluating the efficacy and cost effectiveness of periodic releases of natural enemies into cropping systems for the suppression of key pests. Research in augmentative biological control has examined the feasibility of using predacious mites for the control of pest mites in avocados. (2) Inundative biological control research has studied the feasibility of regular mass releases of white fly natural enemies, in particular releases of parasitic wasps, for the control of pest whiteflies infesting ornamental plants grown in greenhouses. (3) Conservation biological control research is investigating the practice of habitat modification (cover crops) and resource provisionment (flowering plants) to improve conditions in cropping systems (e.g., organic vineyards in southern California) for natural enemies so they can exert greater control on pest population growth. Additionally, we also work cooperatively with other laboratories to evaluate the safety of pesticides to natural enemies so IPM strategies can be developed for pests. (4) Classical or introduction biological control is the deliberate importation and release of exotic natural enemies for control of an invasive pest species. These biological control agents are typically imported from the home range of the pest and ideally exhibit high levels of host specificity. Work in classical biological control investigates the impact new natural enemies have on the selected target, the safety of the released natural enemies, and questions such as the importance of genetic diversity and climate matching are also of interest. Better understanding of the biology, behavior, and ecology of exotic pests and introduced natural enemies is a major focus.
I also work on thrips of importance to California. This is a four-fold program that focuses on: (1) identifying and studying exotic pest thrips species, (2) identifying native California thrips, and investigating the biodiversity and plant and habitat specialization of native species, (3) the morphological and (4) genetic characteristics of these very interesting insects. California has a very rich native thrips fauna that has been poorly studied over the last 40 years and this is an area that has great research potential. In addition to being notorious pests, thrips are excellent study organisms for investigating factors that affect invasion success or lack thereof, and for studying bizarre reproductive biologies.
A new area that is of interest is acoustic communication in native California sharpshooters. This work is concentrating on identifying, characterizing, and quantifying substrate-borne songs, documenting the periodicity of song production, and the role song variation has in promoting incipient speciation amongst widely separated sharpshooter populations.
Hoddle, M.S., J. M. Heraty, P. F. Rugman-Jones, L. A. Mound, and R. Stouthamer. 2008. Relationships among species of Scirtothrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) using molecular and morphological data. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 101: 491-500.
Percy, D. A., E. A. Boyd, and M. S. Hoddle. 2008. Observations of acoustic signaling in three sharpshooters: Homalodisca vitripennis, Homalodisca liturata, and Graphocephala atropunctata (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) Annals of the Entomological Society of America 101: 253-259.
Grandgirard, J., M. S. Hoddle, J. A. Petit, G. K. Roderick, and N. Davies. 2008. Engineering an invasion: classical biological control of the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis, by the egg parasitoid Gonatocerus ashmeadi in Tahiti and Moorea, French Polynesia. Biological Invasions 10: 135-148.
Petit, J. N., M. S. Hoddle, J. Grandgirard, G. K. Roderick and N. Davies. 2008. Invasion dynamics of the glassy-winged sharpshooter Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) in French Polynesia. Biological Invasions 10: 955-967
Hoddle, M. S. and C. D. Hoddle. 2008. Bioecology of Stenoma catenifer (Lepidoptera: Elachistidae) and associated larval parasitoids reared from Hass avocados in Guatemala. Journal of Economic Entomology 101: 692-698.
Millar, J. G., M. S. Hoddle. J. S. McElfresh, Y. Zou, and C. D. Hoddle. 2008. (9Z)-9,13-Tetradecadien-11-ynal,the sex pheromone of the avocado seed moth, Stenoma catenifer. Tetrahedron Letters 49: 4820-4823.
Hoddle, M. S., C. D. Hoddle, and L. A. Mound. 2008. Inventory of Thysanoptera collected from French Polynesia. Pacific Science 62: 509-515.
Hoddle, M. S. and C. D. Hoddle. 2008. Lepidoptera and associated parasitoids attacking Hass and non-Hass avocados in Guatemala. J. Econ. Entomol. 101: 1310-1316.
Petit, J. N., M. S. Hoddle, J. Grandgirard, G. K. Roderick, and N. Davies. 2008. Short-distance dispersal behavior and establishment of the parasitoid Gonatocerus ashmeadi (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) in Tahiti: implications for its use as a biological control agent against Homalodisca vitripennis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Biological Control 45: 344-352.
Hoddle, M. S. 2008. First record of Asphondylia websteri (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) infesting Hass avocados. Florida Entomologist 91: 501-503.
Van Driesche, R. G., M. S. Hoddle, and T. Center. 2008. Control of Pests and Weeds by Natural Enemies – An Introduction to Biological Control. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA. 473pp.
Hoddle, M. S., L. A. Mound, and D. Paris. 2008. Thrips of California – Distinguishing Pest Species Among California’s Rich Native Thrips Fauna. CBIT Publishing, University of Queensland, Australia.
Grandgirard, J., M. S. Hoddle, J. N. Petit, D. N. Percy, G. K. Roderick, and N. Davies. 2007. Pre-introductory risk assessment studies of Gonatocerus ashmeadi (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) for use as a classical biological control agent against Homalodisca vitripennis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) in the Society Islands of French Polynesia. Biocontrol Science and Technology 17: 809-822.