Robert Van Steenwyk Appointed to ISAC

Lanham, MD; September 28, 2011 – Dr. Robert Van Steenwyk, a 40-year member of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), has been appointed by the United States Secretary of the Interior to serve on the Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC). Dr. Van Steenwyk, a cooperative extension specialist at the University of California, Berkeley, was nominated for the position by the ESA's Plant-Insect Ecosystems (P-IE) Section. As a member of the committee, he will provide advice to the National Invasive Species Council (NISC) on a broad array of issues, including preventing the introduction of invasive species, providing for their control, and minimizing the economic, ecological, and human health impacts that invasive species cause.

"Bob is a principled scientist and individual, and is passionate about entomology, invasive insect research, and management," said Dr. Paul Borth, 2010 President of the ESA P-IE Section. "His research and extension background is solid, and he hails from California, which has had an inordinate share of invasive insect episodes to manage. There is no doubt that he will offer well-considered opinions with his frank, candid style that is obviously based on years of scientific and professional experience in this area."

Dr. Van Steenwyk has provided leadership in research and extension for invasive insect species for the University of California for over 30 years during his career as an entomologist, and has been involved in all aspects of invasive insect species, including foreign exploration, sterile insect techniques for eradication, monitoring, management, and public education.

During his career, Dr. Van Steenwyk has worked on invasive insects such as the Mediterranean fruit fly, pink bollworm, apple maggot, olive fruit fly, European grapevine moth, and spotted wing drosophila. He has served in an advisory role to the California Department of Agriculture as a member of the Pest Detection Panel, has served the University of California as Chairman of a Blue Ribbon Committee on the Establishment of Mediterranean Fruit Fly in California, and has served on the Tree-Fruit Technical Advisory of the Northwest Horticultural Council.

He has published over 282 research articles, reports, and extension publications on the biology and control of pest species; of these publications, 20 have addressed various aspects of invasive pest species. In addition, he has provided over 375 presentations, training meetings, workshops, short courses, TV and radio interviews, and field tours to disseminate the latest insect pest management information on deciduous fruit, nut, and vine crops.

"I strongly believe that Bob will represent entomology and ESA in a manner that will elevate the visibility of ESA members and increase entomological influence in the matters of national importance for which ISAC provides advice," said Dr. Borth.

The Entomological Society of America is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has more than 6,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry and government. Members are researchers, teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, students and hobbyists. For more information, visit