UF-CTA Affiliated Faculty:

Waldemar Klassen

Title and department: Professor, Entomology & Nematology

Address: Tropical Research and Education Center
18905 S.W. 280 Street
Homestead, FL 33031-3314

Phone: 305-246-7001 x 257
E-mail:  klassen@ufl.edu
Homepage:  http://klassen.ifas.ufl.edu


B.S. University of Alberta
M.S. University of Alberta
Ph.D.  University of Western Ontario

Research Interests (with focus on Tropical Agriculture)
  1. Invasive alien species are major threats to natural and artificial ecosystems in tropical and subtropical regions. Ecosystems in the Greater Caribbean Region (northern South America to the southeastern USA) are being overrun by adventives organisms; about one-half of which originated in Asia and the Pacific and most of the remainder are neotropical. I have been engaged with efforts to meet this threat since 1998.
  2. Sustainable production systems need to be devised for tropical and subtropical regions. Soils such as those in south Florida have no more than 1% organic matter, have very poor water- and nutrient-holding capacities and low fertility. Consequently I have been engaged in evaluating legume and grass cover crops for their capacities to increase carbon sequestration, minimize leaching, improve soil fertility and suppress plant-parasitic nematodes, etc. In addition I have been addressing the need for chemical and non-chemical alternatives to methyl bromide.
  3. The genetic improvement of vegetable cultivars is an important strategy for assuring food security and minimizing pesticide use. Thus I collaborate with plant breeders in developing improved breeding lines of tomato and squash. Currently the focus is on multiple disease-resistant tomatoes and on winter squash resistant to Phytophthora capsici.
5 most significant publications

Abdul-Baki, A. A., H. H. Bryan, G. Zinati, W. Klassen, M. Codallo and N. Heckert. 2001. Biomass yield and flower production in Sunn Hemp: Effect of cutting the main stem. J. Veg. Crop Production, 7(1): 83-104.

Klassen, W., C.  F. Brodel and D. A. Fieselmann. 2002. Exotic Pests of Plants: Current and Future Threats to Horticultural Production and Trade in Florida and the Caribbean Basin. Micronesica, Suppl. 6; Invasive Species and Their Management. pp. 5-27.

Wang, Q., W. Klassen, Y. Li, M. Codallo, and A.A. Abdul-Baki. 2005. Influence of Cover Crops and Irrigation Rates on Tomato Yields and Quality in a subtropical Region. HortScience 40 (7): 2125-2131.

Abdul-Baki, A. A.,W. Klassen, H. H. Bryan, M. Codallo, B. Hima, Q. R. Wang, Y. Li, Y.-C. Li, and Z. Handoo. 2005. A Biologically-Based System for Winter Production of Fresh-Market Tomatoes in South Florida. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 118: 153-159.

Zasada, I. A., W. Klassen, S. L. F. Meyer, M. Codallo and A. A. Abdul-Baki. 2006 Velvetbean (Mucuna pruriens) extracts: impact on Meloidogyne incognita, Lycopersicon esculentum and Latuca sativa survival.  Pest Management Science, 62: 1122-1127.
Seal, D. R., M. Ciomperlik, M. L. Richards, and W. Klassen.  2006.  

Distribution of the chilli thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), within pepper plants and within pepper fields on St. Vincent.  Florida Entomologist 89 (3): 311-320.

Extramural support during past 5 years: $1,047,000.


Teaching Interests (with focus on Tropical Agriculture)

I am prepared to lecture on the issue of invasive alien species in relation to tropical and subtropical agriculture. I have worked on this issue particularly with respect to the Greater Caribbean Region since 1998. In addition I can lecture or conduct a short course on area wide pest management of tropical insect pests.

Extension/Outreach Interests (with focus on Tropical Agriculture)

I wish to advance the safeguarding of the Greater Caribbean Region against invasive species.  I am a charter member of the Caribbean Invasive Species Working Group, and I work closely with CARDI, CARICOM Secretariat, CIRAD, FAO and IICA to achieve this goal.

International Activities (with focus on Tropical Agriculture)

During last 10 years I have been engaged in the issue of invasive alien species in the Greater Caribbean Region. In 1999 I convened a T-STAR Symposium at Homestead entitled: “Mitigating the Effects of Exotic Pests on Trade and Agriculture, Part A. The Caribbean”.  I had  a lead role in organizing the workshop in Port of Spain, Trinidad in 2004 titled: “Facilitating Safer US-Caribbean Trade: Invasive Species Issues”. I helped organize three T-STAR/CBAG workshops on invasive species.  I help draft the Caribbean Invasive Species Intervention Strategy (CRISIS), and the proposal, “Caribbean Invasive Species Surveillance and Information Program.” I have been involved in conducting FAO/IAEA training courses on area-wide pest management and the application f the sterile insect technique in Jamaica, Malaysia, Tanzania, Canada and Gainesville, Florida. Also I have been involved with the program against tsetse in Africa.


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