Dr. Surendra Dara of the University of the California Co-Op Extension focuses his work on strawberries, vegetable crops, general plants and their systems, insects, mites, and other arthropods affecting plants.
Dara, an Extension entomologist since January 2009, serves San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and is an affiliated UC IPM advisor, part of the UC Statewide IPM Program. He is also affiliated to the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis.
In his role as the strawberry and vegetable crops advisor, Dara primarily looks after pest management, but also works on disease, irrigation, weed, and nutrition management issues. As an IPM advisor, he contributes to the IPM solutions of various crops grown in California. With his expertise in entomopathology, he serves as a resource person for microbial control of various pests in different parts of the state.
Dara has written 27 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, eight book/manual chapters, 35 articles in other journals, and 141 extension articles. He has also co-edited three manuals. He has delivered several presentations worldwide. He has trained strawberry growers in India, Kosovo, Moldova, and Transnistria, and also lends his expertise to strawberry industries in a number of countries.
Dara earned both his bachelor's degree and master's degree at the Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University, India, obtaining his bachelor's degree in agricultural sciences, and his master's degree in entomology. He went on to receive his doctorate in entomology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va. in 1995. He also has a post-graduate diploma in Applied Information Technology from Canada.
After receiving his doctorate, Dara served as an entomopathologist from 1996-1999 for the Plant Health Management Division, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture under the United Nations Development Program, Cotonou, Republic of Benin in West Africa. He was a post-doctoral research associate from 2003-2004 with the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, and an independent software consultant, 2001-2003.
His other work experience includes assistant project scientist, 2005-2006, with the UC Davis Department of Nematology (now the Department of Entomology and Nematology) through USDA-ARS, and quality control manager from 2006 to 2009 for Certis USA, Wasco.
UC Cooperative Extension
2156 Sierra Way, Ste C
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401