The Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee has added Tobin Northfield as an integrated pest management researcher, according to a news release. Northfield, who began work on Aug. 16, will work to develop sustainable strategies to contain pests that threaten apple, pear, cherry and other fruit crops.
“I’m really excited to meet the growers of Washington,” said Northfield in the release. “There’s no substitute for their decades of experience. While I have my own ideas, no one knows their farms like they do.”
Northfield, a 2011 WSU alumnus with a doctorate in entomology and a master’s in statistics, is returning to the area after working the past five years at James Cook University in Australia, where he supported tropical agricultural industries through ecology and IPM.
With his mathematical modeling and statistical background, Northfield also plans to work with WSU’s Decision Aid System, which predicts the timing of pest life cycles based on weather conditions (https://decisionaid.systems). He hopes to add tools that can help maintain habitat for beneficial insects while stopping the spread of pests.
“Our native environment is really important for the agricultural environment,” he said.
The complete news release is available at WSU News.