College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

Sam Wilson

Sam Houston Wilson


BA Development Studies 2005, University of California, Berkeley

PhD Environmental Science, Policy and Management 2014, University of California, Berkeley

Research Areas

Agricultural entomology, biological control and integrated pest management (IPM) in tree crops

Contact Information
Kearney Ag. Ctr., 9240 S. Riverbend Parlier, CA 93648
(559) 646-6519

Research specialization – integrated pest management in tree nuts and stone fruit. As an agricultural entomologist, I conduct research to reduce the impacts of insect and mite pests on California tree crops. My approach is rooted in the fundamentals of agricultural ecology and integrated pest management (IPM). I aim to develop practical and cost-effective pest management strategies for growers by leveraging our scientific understanding of the interactions between crops, organisms, and the environment.

I’m particularly interested in the development and evaluation of biological control strategies with an emphasis on plant-insect interactions, landscape ecology, insect movement, and regional population dynamics. Some of my other projects involve the use of pheromones and plant volatiles to improve pest trapping and mating disruption, as well as work with chemical controls, where my goal is to design programs that minimize the human and environmental impacts of insecticide use in agriculture.

My research programs all utilize a combination of field, greenhouse and laboratory studies to evaluate the underlying mechanisms that drive on-farm or regional processes in order to improve our understanding of crop pests and pathogens. Collaboration with commercial growers and commodity groups, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) advisors and the UC Statewide IPM Program is paramount in all of my programs. Their input and support helps me to pursue the most relevant research questions and ultimately develop better management strategies. In a similar way, involvement of other UCCE specialists and university scientists is important to address problems that are cross-disciplinary in nature.

Awards Received

2017 California Department of Pesticide Regulation – IPM Achievement Award


Wilson, H., K. M. Daane 2017. “Review of Ecologically-based Pest Management in California Vineyards” Insects 8(4): 108. click to download 

Wilson, H., J. S. Wong, R. W. Thorp, A. F. Miles, K. M. Daane, M. A. Altieri. 2017. “Summer flowering cover crops support wild bees in vineyards” Environmental Entomology 47(1): 63-69. click to download

Wilson, H., K. M. Daane 2017. "Greenhouse evaluation of two different formulations of azadirachtin on egg mortality of Virginia creeper leafhopper, 2016” Arthropod Management Tests 42(1). click to download

Wilson, H., S. J. Triapitsyn. 2017. “Records of Anagrus tretiakovae Triapitsyn,1998 (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae)in California vineyards” The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 93(2): 53-55. click to download.

Wilson, H., A. F. Miles, K. M. Daane, M. A. Altieri. 2017. “Landscape diversity and crop vigor outweigh influence of local diversification on biological control of a vineyard pest”Ecosphere 8(4): e01736. click to download.

Wilson, H., K. Daane. 2016. "Greenhouse evaluation of azadirachtin and white mineral oil on egg mortality of Virginia creeper leafhopper, 2015” Arthropod Management Tests 42(1). click to download.

Wilson, H., A. F. Miles, K. M. Daane, M. A. Altieri. 2016. “Overwintering habitat of Anagrusspp. (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) and Erythroneura elegantula Osborn(Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) in northern California” Environmental Entomology 45(3): 602-615. click to download.

Kelly, R., J. Kitzes, H. Wilson, A. Merenlender. 2016. “Remnant habitat promotes bat activity in a vineyard landscape” Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 223: 175-181. click to download.

Wilson, H., A. F. Miles, K. M. Daane, M. A. Altieri. 2015. “Landscape diversity and crop vigor influence biological control of the western grape leafhopper (Erythroneura elegantulaOsborn) in vineyards” PLoS one 10(11): e0141752. click to download.

Wilson, H., A. F. Miles, K. M. Daane, M. A. Altieri. 2015. “Vineyard proximity to riparian habitat influences Western grape leafhopper (Erythroneura elegantula Osborn) populations” Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 211: 43-50. click to download.

Let us help you with your search