Invasive species and agricultural biosecurity topics are increasingly important for professionals working in agricultural and natural area disciplines. In Florida, approximately two to three new insect and related arthropod species are detected every month.  Florida’s subtropical to tropical climate is favorable for the establishment of many non-native arthropods.  Trade and travel patterns in recent years have resulted in an increased occurrence of non-native pest arthropods in Florida and the continental U.S.  Research and extension programs in our laboratory focus on

1) improving predictions of pest potential
2) promoting the early detection of exotic, invasive species
3) pest management, diagnostic, and invasive species research related to Hemipteran insects

The BRE lab critically addresses invasive arthropod issues in Florida from a cross-commodity perspective.  Although many areas of Florida are urban, agricultural production and exports continue to be a vital and critical component of Florida’s economy.  Approximately 9.25 million acres of Florida land is managed by over 47,500 commercial farms.  In terms of U.S. production, Florida continues to rank #1 in cash receipts for numerous fruit and vegetable crops. Florida ranks #2 nationally in the production of greenhouse and nursery crops.  Total crop cash receipts in 2011 were $6.8 billion.  In the U.S., Florida ranks as #7 nationally in agricultural exports, with a cash value of around $4 billion. 

Florida Agriculture Overview and Statistics

The BRE lab also contributes to the teaching mission of the University of Florida by offering two multi-disciplinary undergraduate and graduate level courses –

1. Challenges in Plant Resource Protection, ALS 4163 and ALS 6942, Principles of Plant Risk Assessment and Management


The following graduate-level courses are also taught by the UF DPM Program and the BRE lab:

1. Integrated Plant Medicine, ALS 6925

2. Colloquium of Plant Pests of Regulatory Significance, ALS 6921

3. Internship in Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Management, ALS 6943



The following graduate-level certificate program is also provided by the UF DPM Program and the BRE lab:

Certificate in Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Management

Undergraduate students have also had the opportunity to complete plant biosecurity internships in the BRE lab.

Funding for establishment of the BRE lab was provided by the Steinmetz Fund for Biosecurity Research and Education and other grants awarded to the Lab Director.