Dahlsten, Donald L. 1933-2003

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DAHLSTEN, Donald L. 1933-2003


See index for CA sketch: Born December 8, 1933, in Clay Center, NE; died of skin cancer September 3, 2003, in Berkeley, CA. Biologist, educator, and author. Dahlsten was well known for his work in biological control: an alternative to pesticides that uses insect species to control other pest species that are destroying plants. A graduate of the College of Agriculture (now the University of California at Davis), where he earned a B.S. degree in 1956, he also completed an M.S. in 1960 and Ph.D. in 1963, both from the University of California at Berkeley. Dahlsten joined the faculty at Berkeley in 1965, remaining there for the rest of his career; he became a full professor of etymology in 1974 and, beginning in 1996, served as an associate dean. Although the field of biological control began to take root in the 1960s, Dahlsten's work did not gain much public attention until the 1990s, when he first used a species of wasp to wipe out an infestation of blue gum psyllids that was destroying eucalyptus trees in California. He then used similar methods to control another species of psyllid beginning in 1998—a project that was still in progress at the time of his death. Dahlsten recorded his work in over two hundred scientific papers; he was also the editor, with Richard Garcia, of Eradication of Exotic Pests (1989).



Los Angeles Times, September 20, 2003, p. B20.

New York Times, September 18, 2003, p. A25.

Washington Post, September 20, 2003, p. B7.