Dr. Mark S. Hoddle, an extension specialist in biological control in the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), was elected as an ESA Fellow in 2018. Hoddle is internationally known for his work on the classical biological control of invasive arthropods that adversely affect agricultural, urban, and wilderness areas.
Hoddle was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1967. He attended the University of Auckland, receiving his B.Sc. in zoology in 1989 and M.Sc. in zoology in 1991. Hoddle's M.Sc. research investigated basic biological attributes of the gorse seed weevil, Exapion (formerly Apion) ulicis, a natural enemy of gorse, a highly invasive weed. In Fall 1992, Hoddle started his Ph.D. in entomology at the University of Massachusetts (UMass), Amherst, under the supervision of Dr. Roy Van Driesche. This work assessed the impacts of inundative releases of two parasitoid species for control of silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, infesting greenhouse-grown poinsettias. In spring 1997, after graduating from UMass, Hoddle started at UCR. In May 2018, Hoddle received his D.Sc. from the University of Auckland, the culmination of more than 20 years of work on the biological control of invasive pests.
Major research accomplishments have included the biology and biological control of avocado pests in California; the highly effective classical biological control program targeting the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis, in the South Pacific; proactive biocontrol and elucidation and field evaluation of the sex pheromone of the avocado seed moth, Stenoma catenifer, in Guatemala and Perú; classical biological control of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri, in California with parasitoids found from foreign exploration in Punjab Pakistan; biological control of invasive insect pests of conservation importance such as the cottony cushion scale in the Galapagos Islands; biology and management of invasive palm weevils, Rhynchophorus spp., in California and Saudi Arabia; and the taxonomy, biology, behavior, and control of invasive thrips (Thysanoptera).
Honors and awards received include: California Department of Pesticide Regulations Integrated Pest Management Award for ACP biocontrol (2017); University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Staff Appreciation and Recognition Award for ACP extension (2016); International Organization of Biological Control Nearctic Regional Section Distinguished Scientist of the Year (2015); California Avocado Society's Oliver Atkins Award for outstanding research excellence and service to the California avocado industry (2014); ESA Pacific Branch Award for Excellence in Extension (2013); ESA Pacific Branch Plant-Insect Ecosystems Award (2012); ESA National Recognition Award in Entomology (2007); University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Rosenfield Award for Applied Pest Management (1996), and the ESA's President's Prize for best oral student presentation in biological control (1994 and 1995).
The majority of what Hoddle has accomplished would not have been possible without his wife and fellow entomologist, Christina Hoddle, who has been an integral part of organizing and executing field and lab work targeting Stenoma, cottony cushion scale, ACP, and palm weevils. Their two boys, Nicholas and Luke, enjoy looking for palm weevils and monarch caterpillars!
(updated August 2018)