Our purpose is to develop sustainable pest management programs that are cost effective, long-term, and environmentally sound. We conduct both applied and basic research to evaluate new strategies for controlling key pests of small fruits and vegetables. Through our extension efforts, we aim to communicate our research findings to growers, county extension agencies, and industry representatives and provide training on how to implement these new practices. Our work extends not only to the United States, but also internationally to Africa and the Caribbean.
Dr. Liburd is developing environmentally sound insect pest management programs in fruit and vegetable systems for Florida and the southeastern US. Applied and basic research is performed in organic and conventional systems including blueberries, strawberries grapes, blackberries, cucurbits and cole crops. Areas of expertise include management of thrips, midges, mites, whiteflies, aphids, scale insects, flea beetles, mealybugs, lepidopteran pests and fruit flies. Dissemination of research-based information to state and county extension faculty, commodity groups, growers, various levels of government, and private-industries occurs through innovative educational programs comprised of grower meetings, workshops, in-service training sessions, newsletters, and via the internet. The laboratory also develops and updates educational materials, and pest management recommendations targeting growers, agribusiness, and crop consultants. The international research and extension activities are focused on pesticide safety, resistance management and implementation of bio-rational strategies in Africa and the Caribbean region.