Steven Naranjo, ESA Fellow (2015)

Dr. Steven Naranjo, Director of the USDA-ARS Arid Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, Arizona, was elected as Fellow in 2015. He is internationally recognized for his research in integrated pest management (IPM), insect sampling and decision aids, conservation biological control, insect population ecology, and environmental risk assessment of transgenic crops.

Naranjo is a native of Colorado and completed his B.S. in zoology at Colorado State University (CSU) in 1978. He worked for several years as a biological technician in the Capinera laboratory at CSU before going on to do graduate work at the University of Florida (M.S. Entomology, 1983) and Cornell University (Ph.D. Entomology, 1987). He joined the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) in 1988 as a postdoctoral research associate in Brookings, South Dakota, and then as a Research Entomologist at the Western Cotton Research Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona, from 1990–2005. In 2006, two Phoenix-based laboratories were relocated to a new Center in Maricopa, where he served as Research Leader of the Entomology Unit from 2006–2012 before becoming Director. Naranjo holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Entomology at the University of Arizona.

Naranjo contributed to knowledge and development of IPM programs in several field crops. He was a key architect in the implementation of a cotton IPM program in Arizona that has been widely adopted in other parts of the world. In Arizona, the program reduced insecticide use by nearly 90% and saved growers hundreds of millions of dollars over the last 18 years. He conducted important long-term field studies to document the non-target effects of transgenic Bt cotton with specific emphasis on natural enemy abundance and function. He also led and collaborated on several large meta-analyses to quantify non-target effects of Bt crops worldwide. This work collectively demonstrated the low risk of Bt technology to the environment and aided regulatory agencies.

He authored more than 200 scientific papers, books, book chapters, and technical reports and presented numerous invitational papers and seminars at professional conferences, symposia, and academic institutions. Naranjo served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the international journal, Crop Protection, from 1995–2006. He currently serves as Subject Editor for Environmental Entomology, covering the topic area of Transgenic Plants and Insects, a section that he founded in 2005, and as Review Editor for Frontiers in Plant Biotechnology. He mentored and advised a number of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. He served or currently serves on a number of state and national agricultural boards, advisory committees, professional committees, and grant panels and is highly sought for peer review on grant proposals and manuscripts. Naranjo was president of the ESA Pacific Branch in 2013-2014.

Naranjo received several awards and honors, including the UDSA-ARS Early Career Scientist of the Year, the ESA Recognition Award in Entomology, the ESA Pacific Branch C.W. Woodworth Award, and the Entomological Foundation IPM Team Award.

Naranjo is married to Roberta and they have a son, Nathan. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking and restoring vintage automobiles.

(updated November, 2016)