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René SFORZA

 

Research Entomologist, PhD

rsforza@ars-ebcl.org - (33) 4 99 62 30 07

 

René SFORZA

 

Research projects at EBCL:

 

Foreign exploration, discovery of biocontrol agents, classical biocontrol of weeds; current projects are: Swallow worts (Vincetoxicum rossicum and V. nigrum - Asclepiadaceae), medusahead rye-grass (Taeniatherum caput-medusae - Poaceae), French broom (Genista monspessulana - Fabaceae), leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula - Euphorbiaceae) using insects, mites, nematodes, fungi, pathogens as specific agents; host specificity testing. classical biocontrol of insect pests; current project: the vine mealybug (Planococcus ficus - Hemiptera, Pseudococcidae). Phylogeography of invasive targets; Evaluating ecological interactions.

 

Current insect groups and species studied as biocontrol agents: Col. Chrysomelidae (Chrysochus/Eumolpus asclepiadeus), Col.  Cerambycidae (Oberea erythrocephala), Lep. Noctuidae (Abrostola asclepiadis), Dip. Tephritidae (Euphranta connexa),  Hem. Psyllidae (Arytinnis hakani), Hym. Encyrtidae (Anagyrus pseudococci).

 

Areas of scientific interest:

 

Besides biocontrol of weeds, I am interested in crop protection (grapevine, wheat), especially virus and phytoplasma diseases, including vector studies and symptomatology. I am a taxonomist in Hemiptera (leaf- and planthoppers), and studied eco-ethology and insect bionomics (Fulgoromorpha, Cicadelloidea, Coccoidea). I used several bench techniques: DNA extraction, PCR-RFLP, Southern analysis, electrophoresis, RT-PCR, microscopy (photonic, scanning electronic).

 

Teaching experience:

 

Courses in Biological control (2000-10) at Supagro, Montpellier.

Courses in Plant pathology and Entomology (1998-00).

Courses in Agronomy (1998).

Courses in Biology and Geology (1993-94).

Member of the International Council for the Study of Virus and Virus-like Diseases of the Grapevine.

 

Reviewer:

 

Annals of Applied Biology; BioControl; Biocontrol, Science & Technology; Biological Control; Journal of Chemical Ecology; Microbiology; South African Journal of Phytopathology; World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology.

 

Languages:

 

Fluent in English, Italian; Basic knowledges in Spanish and Russian.

 

Personal interests:

 

Music (Jazz, Cuban and African music), Sports (Trail running, Rock climbing, Mountain biking, mountaineering, Badminton), Oenology and Gastronomy, Motor biking, Travelling (31 countries visited on 5 continents).