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Indian River Research and Education Center

Indian River Research and Education Center

Dr. Ronald D. Cave

IRREC Director and Professor of Entomology and Nematology

Dr. Ronald D. Cave is Center Director of the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC). In this capacity, Dr. Cave manages the Center's budget and operations, and works along with 75 faculty and staff members and graduate students to conduct innovative research, teaching, and extension programs, with the goal of discovering new knowledge for improving agricultural practices and natural resource management.

Ronald D. Cave joined the University of Florida in 2002. His research program focuses on biological control of invasive arthropods - particularly the importation of exotic insects as candidate biological control agents, assessment of commercial natural enemies, and study of the biology of parasitoids and predators.

Since 1998, he has collaborated with Dr. Brett Ratcliffe on a faunistic inventory of the dynastine scarab beetles north of Colombia.

He teaches three courses: Fundamentals of Plant-Pest Management, Tropical Entomology, and Biological Control.

Dr. Cave is author or co-author of more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, 20 non-refereed publications, and 20 books or book chapters. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador and Paraguay, and worked for 15 years at the Panamerican School of Agriculture in Honduras.

He is a member of the Entomological Society of America, Florida Entomological Society, The Coleopterists Society (currently serving as Managing Editor of The Coleopterists Bulletin), Entomological Society of Washington, Center for Systematic Entomology, and the agricultural honor society Gamma Sigma Delta.

  • Research

    Dr. Ronald D. Cave's research program involves biological control of arthropods against arthropods. Dr. Cave's research focuses on the biological control of invasive arthropods, particularly the cycad aulacaspis scale and the Mexican bromeliad weevil. Dr. Cave's international experience includes work in Honduras, Paraguay, and El Salvador.

  • Teaching


    Dr. Cave's teaching program emphasizes the development and delivery of stimulating and informative courses to students (undergraduate and graduate) and, the supervision of graduate students in their research, coursework, and professional development.

    Dr. Cave instructs the following courses: Fundamentals of Plant-Pest Management (IPM 3022), Tropical Entomology (ENY 3563/5566), Tropical Entomology Field Lab (ENY 3564/5564), and Biological Control (ENY 5241).

    His graduate training involves giving guidance to masters and doctorate students in the methods for preparing a research project, developing a research proposal, performing proper research methods and data analysis, and delivering oral and written presentations of research results and conclusions.

Dr. Ronald Cave

Dr. Ronald Cave is a Professor of Entomology and the IRREC Director. He also carries out biological control research.


Room #217
Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) 
2199 South Rock Road
Fort Pierce,  FL  34945-3138


Norman C. Hayslip Biological Control Research and Containment Laboratory

  • Education
    • Ph.D., Entomology, Auburn University, 1987
    • M.S., Entomology, University of California-Berkeley, 1977
    • B.S.,Entomology, University of California-Davis, 1975
  • Publications
  • Awards and Service
    • UF Online Quality Assurance Committee
    • Superior Accomplishment Award, Teaching Personnel, 2008
    • J. O. Westwood Medal awarded by the Royal Entomological Society (London, UK) for excellence in insect taxonomy