Nick C. Toscano, ESA Fellow (1997)

Dr. Nick C. Toscano, an emeritus extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), was elected as Fellow in 1997. He is internationally known for his work on insecticide resistance management and the development of IPM programs in field and vegetable crops, including grapes.

Toscano was born November 7, 1940, and raised on a dairy farm in Los Banos, C A. He received his B.A. and M.A. from Fresno State in 1965 and 1968, respectively, and his Ph.D. from UCR in 1973. He remained at UCR for his 35-year career in extension, also serving as an Associate Dean, a Cooperative Extension (CE) Associate Director of Programs, a CE Program Director of Pest Management and Western Regional Grants Coordinator. He was science advisor to the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Cotton Pest Control Board and Beet Leafhopper Curly Top Virus Program. He was on two committees to advise the CA Secretaries of Agriculture on exotic pests and the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci. He served on the National Cotton Council’s National Education/Information Subcommittee; Sticky Cotton Action Team, and Transgenic Cotton Committee. He was also on the Arizona Department of Agriculture Whitefly Advisory Committee; and USDA-Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service IPM Committee; Western Region Experiment Stations' Administrative Advisor to committees on Biological Control; Interactions Among Bark Beetles, Pathogens and Conifers in North American Forests; Evaluation of Methods to Control Rodent Damage; and Biology and Management of Sweetpotato Whitefly. He also co-organized the National Research and Action Plan for Development of Management and Control Methodology for the Silverleaf Whitefly.

Toscano's work focused on insect resistance management, alternatives to insecticides, sampling and monitoring techniques, insect and plant development, economic thresholds, and insecticide effects upon plant development. His laboratory developed and synthesized this vital information for distribution to growers to encourage the use of multiple pest control strategies and monitoring techniques to maximize crop production while minimizing costs and impacts to the environment. In 2000–2001, he developed and implemented a program to manage the glassy-winged sharpshooter, a vector of the bacterium that causes Pierce’s Disease in grapes. He has published more than 250 articles in peer reviewed and technical journals.

Toscano received numerous honors, including University of California Cooperative Extension Outstanding Administrator Award, 1984; Kellogg Fellow, 1990; California Legislature “Assembly” Resolution for reducing pesticides in CA Agriculture, 1991; ESA Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension, 1991; USDA Group Achievement Awards, 1995 & 2003; Spain’s Ministry of Education and Cultural Award, 2001; Fulbright Scholar, 2001–02; Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2003; ESA-Pacific Branch Recognition Award in Entomology, 2004; and Woodworth Award, 2007. He has traveled to over 20 foreign countries, attending international entomological meetings, and consulting for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, United States Agency for International Development, and Organization for International Cooperative Development.

Toscano continues to maintain a very active lifestyle. He pursues weight fitness, flies ultralight aircraft, hunts, maintains different varieties of citrus, and helps manage the family farm. 

(updated April, 2015)