Don Weber grew up in northern Virginia with a knowledge of plants, insects and birds imparted by Burgundy Wildlife Camp and its staff. After obtaining his BA in Biology at Williams College, and an MS in Entomology at UC Berkeley with research on cole crop pests, Don pursued his interest in fruit and vegetable integrated pest management. Don's PhD work researched the biology and dispersal of the Colorado potato beetle, a notorious pest in North America and Eurasia. This research investigated crop rotation and trap crops which show promise to work with biological controls as the basis of a nontoxic management system. After a stint in Zurich at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Don joined Ocean Spray Cranberries, a grower cooperative in six US states and two Canadian provinces. The thrust of his research there was to develop environmentally-friendly strategies for the diverse pest complex of cranberries in all growing regions. In 2002, he joined what is now the Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory of USDA's Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland, as Research Entomologist. His lab researches non-pesticidal alternatives such as natural enemies and pheromones for major vegetable pests, especially beetles and true bugs. He is Lead Scientist for the current 5-year project on insect pests of small farms and urban gardens, with emphasis on cole crops and cucurbits. Recent research led to discovery of aggregation pheromones and other attractants for brown marmorated stink bug as well as harlequin bug, a serious cole crop pest, and discovery of a new egg parasitoid for brown marmorated stink bug in North America. His current professional activities include: Chair of Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Administrative Council; President-Elect of Eastern Branch, Entomological Society of America; and President of Nearctic Regional Section, International Organization for Biological Control.
Fellow at a Glance
USDA Agricultural Research Service
Beltsville, Maryland 20705