About the BRE Lab

Invasive species and agricultural biosecurity topics are increasingly important for professionals working in agricultural and natural area disciplines. In Florida, approximately one to two 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 pest potential and status predictions and 2) pest management, diagnostic, and invasive species research related to various Hemipteran insects and 3) promoting the early detection of exotic, invasive species.

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 in agricultural exports, with a cash value of around $4 billion.  Click here for more information about the value of Florida agriculture.

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. Exotic Species and Biosecurity Issues, ALS 4161 and 6166

2. 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. Doctor of Plant Medicine Seminar, ALS 6931

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

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

5. Scouting and Survey Methods for Plant Health Professionals, ENY 6905


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.