Ron Smith, professor emeritus of entomology and extension entomologist at Auburn University, and recent Auburn Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology master’s graduate Julian Golec have been awarded top honors for their contributions to the field of integrated pest management, more commonly known as IPM.
The Southern Region IPM Center named Smith the recipient of its 2015 Friends of IPM Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of the significant impact he has had on the management, control and, in the case of the boll weevil, eradication of destructive insect pests in cotton and other agricultural crops. Smith, who earned a Ph.D. in entomology from Auburn in 1970, joined the Alabama Cooperative Extension System as extension cotton entomologist in 1972 and in 1986 added the title of professor in the College of Agriculture. He was awarded emeritus status when he retired from the faculty in 2003 but has continued his work as a statewide extension entomologist.
Golec, who completed his master’s in December 2014 under the direction of entomology professor Xing Ping Hu, received the center’s 2015 Friends of IPM Graduate Student Award at the master’s level. In his groundbreaking graduate research at Auburn, Golec discovered two native parasitic insects that are natural enemies of the invasive, rapidly spreading kudzu bug. Golec will enter the Ph.D. program at the University of Delaware in February and focus his research on biological control of the Asian long-horned beetle, an exotic insect detrimental to forests.
Integrated pest management is a common-sense, environmentally sound approach to controlling pest populations that involves prevention and the use of nonchemical and, if necessary, chemical tactics to treat pest infestations. The Southern Region IPM Center covers Alabama as well as 11 other states and two territories.