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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Stephen D. Hight

Research Entomologist

Dr. Hight has over 20 years experience in biological control of weeds and has been a Research Entomologist with ARS for more than 5 years. Before joining ARS-Tallahassee, he was part of the initial team that developed the successful, internationally cooperative project on classical biological control of purple loosestrife in North America. He has worked in a variety of diverse ecosystems including aquatic, wetland, and terrestrial habitats. Since 2001, Dr. Hight has been implementing and evaluating biological control research projects against non-native invasive plant species in Florida and monitoring, evaluating, and controlling the invasive cactus moth. Recently, he cooperated with other ARS and university scientists on the introduction of herbivorous insects that attack tropical soda apple, a reservoir of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) and an important pasture weed. In the course of his research on invasive cactus moth he has collaborated closely with APHIS and been involved in the development of a trapping system and the demonstration of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) as a potential control technique.He has coordinated the survey program that monitors the continued spread of the moth in North America.


As noted above, Dr. Hight’s research is integrated with that of Drs. Reitz and Legaspi. The goals of this research are described on previous web pages. Dr. Hight will take the lead in the biological control of invasive plants that serve as reservoirs for thrips and TSWV. He will also lead further experiments on the efficacy of SIT to control invasive cactus moth and in the continued development of attractants and traps to monitor the effects of area-wide cactus moth control programs.


Dr. Hight's work on the invasive cactus moth was featured in the September 2006 issue of Agricultural Research Magazine article, Sticking it to the South American Cactus Moth.


Collaborators


Kenneth Bloem, USDA, APHIS, PP&Q, Center for Plant Health Science and Technology, Tallahassee, Florida

Dan Borchert, USDA, APHIS, PP&Q, Center for Plant Health Science and Technology, Tallahassee, Florida

Richard Brown, Professor of Entomology, Director, Mississippi Entomological Museum, Mississipi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-9775

James Carpenter, Research Entomologist, USDA, ARS, Tifton, Georgia

Joel Floyd, Director, Planning and Preparedness, USDA, APHIS, PPQ-PDMP, Riverdale, Maryland

Moses Kairo, Director, FAMU College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture, Division of Research & Technology, Tallahassee, Florida

Julio Medal, Visiting Assistant in Entomology, UF, IFAS, Gainesville, Florida

Greg Wheeler, Research Entomologist, 3225 College Ave., Fort Lauderdale, Florida  33314-0000


Last Modified: 3/31/2014
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