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Dr Iain Paterson

Discipline: Entomology, Biological Control

Iain Paterson

Office: Biological Sci, Lab 110

Phone: +27 46 603 8098

Email: i.paterson@ru.ac.za


PhD Rhodes University (2010)



Iain completed his PhD at Rhodes University in 2010. He is currently working on developing new biological control agents for the invasive alien plant, Pereskia aculeata (Cactaceae), commonly referred to as Barbados gooseberry. He has imported two new promising agents for biological control of the weed and has been conducting host specificity testing on both species. The Pereskia stem-wilter, is now designated safe for release in South Africa and will be released soon. The main focus of his job will then change to monitoring the success of the agent in the field and determining whether more biological control agents are required.

He also uses genetic techniques to identify where alien invasive plants originate. By knowing where invasive alien populations originate it is possible to identify the best place to look for biological control agents.


Research Interests

  • Biological control of weeds

  • Development of new biological control agents

  • Post release evaluations

  • Host specificity

  • Genetic determinations of weed origins

  • Pereskia aculeata


  • Paterson, I.D., Mdodana, L.A., Mpekula, O., Mabunda, D.B.X. and Hill, M.P. 2014). A promising biological control agent for the control of the invasive alien plant, Pereskia aculeata Miller (Cactaceae), in South Africa. Biocontrol Sceince and Technology, 24(10):1083-1095.

  • Canavan, K., Paterson, I.D. and Hill, M.P. 2014. The herbivourous arthropods associated with the invasive alien plant, Arundo donax, and the native analogous plant Phragmites australis in the Free State Province, South Africa. African Entomology, 22(2): 454-459.

  • Canavan, K., Coetzee, J.A., Hill, M.P. and Paterson, I.D.2014. Effect of water trophic level on the impact of the water hyacinth moth Niphograpta albiguttalis on Eichhornia crassipes. African Journal of Aquatic Science, 39(2): 203-208.

  • Paterson, I.D., Vitorino, M.D, de Cristo S.C., Martin, G. and Hill, M.P. 2014. Prioritization of potential agents for the biological control of the invasive alien weed, Pereskia aculeata (Cactaceae), in South Africa. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 24:407-425. 

  • Paterson, I.D. and Zachariades, C. 2013. ISSRs indicate that Chromolaena odorata invading southern Africa originates in Jamaica or Cuba. Biological Control, 66: 132-139.

  • Paterson, I.D., Hill, M.P. and Downie, D.A. 2012. The effect of host plant intraspecific genetic variation on the fitness of a monophagous biological control agent. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 22(5):513-525.

  • Paterson, I.D., Hoffmann, J.H., Klein, H., Mathenge, C.W., Neser, S. and Zimmermann, H.G. 2011. Biological control of Cactaceae in South Africa. African Entomology, 19(2): 230-246.

  • Taylor, S.J., Downie, D.A., and Paterson, I.D. 2011. Genetic diversity of introduced populations of the water hyacinth biological control agent Eccritotarsis catarinensis (Hemiptera: Miridae). Biological Control, 58: 330-336.

  • Paterson, I.D., Coetzee, J.A., Hill, M.P. and Downie, D.A. 2011. A pre-release assessment of the relationship between the invasive alien plant, Pereskia aculeata Miller (Cactaceae), and native plant biodiversity in South Africa. Biological Control, 57: 59-65. 

  • Paterson, I.D., Downie, D.A. and Hill, M.P. 2009. Using molecular methods to determine the origin of weed populations of Pereskia aculeata in South Africa and its relevance to biological control. Biological Control, 48: 84-91.

  • Richards, C, Paterson, I. D. and Villet, M. 2008. Estimating the age of immature Chrysomya albiceps (Diptera: Calliphoridae), correcting for temperature and geographical latitude. International Journal of Legal Medicine, 122: 271-279.

Last Modified: Fri, 10 Apr 2015 11:24:09 SAST