Prof. Iain Paterson

Deputy Director: Centre for Biological Control

Office: F18, First Floor, Life Science Building
Phone: +27 46 603 8098

PhD, Entomology, Rhodes University (2010)

Iain is an Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology and Entomology who specialises in various aspects of biological control of weeds. He has worked as an exploratory entomologist surveying for new potential biological control agents on a number of invasive alien plant species, including cactus weeds, tropical trees that have invaded island ecosystems, and invasive grasses that are problematic in the USA and Australia. Iain is interested in the origin of invasive populations of plants and how this impacts the success of biological control. He also has an interest in cryptic diversity of herbivorous insects, species delineations, and the evolution of host specificity. Other aspects of Iain’s work include host specificity testing and improving how we test the safety of potential agents and assess the risks of releasing new agents.

Research interests

  • Biological control of weeds
  • Cryptic diversity of herbivorous insects
  • Development of new biological control agents
  • Post release evaluations
  • Host specificity
  • Genetic determinations of weed origins
  • Prioritisation of targets for biological control

Recent publications

Sutton GF, Canavan K, Day MD, Paterson ID (2021) Field based ecological studies to assess prospective biological control agents for invasive alien plants: an example from giant rat’s tail grass. Journal of Applied Ecology. 58: 1043-1054. (IF: 5.84) 

Canavan K, Paterson ID, Ivey P, Sutton GF, Hill MP (2021) Prioritisation of targets for weed biological control III: A tool to identify the next targets for biological control in South Africa and set priorities for resource allocation. Biocontrol Science and Technology. In press. 

Paterson ID, Hill MP, Canavan K, Downey PO (2021) Prioritisation of targets for weed biological control II: The South African Biological Control Target Selection system. Biocontrol Science and Technology. In press.

Downey PO, Paterson ID, Canavan K, Hill MP (2021) Prioritisation of targets for weed biological control I: A review of existing prioritisation schemes and development of a system for South Africa. Biocontrol Science and Technology. In press. 

Reid MK, Naidu P, Paterson ID, Managan R, Coetzee JA (2021) Populations genetics of invasive and native Nymphaea mexicana Zuccarini: Taking the first steps to initiate a biological control programme in South Africa. 171: 103372.

Van Steenderen C, Paterson ID, Edwards S, Day MD (2021) Addressing the red flags in cochineal identification: the use of molecular techniques to identify cochineal insects that are used as biological control agents for invasive alien cacti. Biological control. 104426

Egbon I, Paterson ID, Compton S, Hill MP (2020) Evolution of growth traits in invasive Pereskia aculeata (Cactaceae): testing the EICA hypothesis using its specialist herbivore, Catorhintha schaffneri (Coreidae). Pest Management Science. 76: 4046-4056.

Martin GD, Paterson ID, Sutton GF, Magengelele NL (2020) Climate modelling suggests a review of the legal status of Brazilian pepper, Schinus terebinthifolia, in South Africa is required. South African Journal of Botany. 132: 95-102.     

Canavan K, Canavan S, Harms NE, Lambertini C, Paterson ID, Thum R (2020) The potential for biological control on cryptic plant invasions. Biological Control. 144: 104243. 

Paynter Q, Paterson ID, Kwong RM (2020) Predicting non-target impacts. Current Opinion in Insect Science. 38: 79-83. 

Muskett PC, Paterson ID, Coetzee JA (2020) Ground-truthing climate-matching predictions in a post-release evaluation. Biological Control. 144: 104217. 

Sutton GF, Canavan K, Day MD, den Breeyen A, Goolsby JA, Cristofaro M, McConnachie A, Paterson ID (2019) Grasses as suitable targets for classical weed biological control. Biocontrol. 64: 605-622. 

Aigbedion-Atalor PO, Adom M, Day MD, Uyi O, Egbon IN, Idemudia I, Igbinosa IB, Paterson ID, Braimah H, Wilson DD, Zachariades C (2019) Eight decades of invasion by Chromolaena odorata (Asteraceae) and its biological control in West Africa: the story so far. Biological Control Science and Technology. 29: 1215-1233. 

Novoa A, Brundu G, Day MD, Deltoro V, Essl F, Foxcroft LC, Fried G, Kaplan H, Kumschick S, Lloyd S, Marchante E, Marchante H, Paterson ID, Pyšek P, Richardson DM, Witt A, Zimmermann HG, Wilson JRU. 2019. Global actions for managing cactus invasions. Plants MDPI 8, 421. doi:10.3390/plants8100421

Mnqeta Z, Paterson ID (2019) Interactions between two biological control agents and their target weed: a beetle, a bug and a cactus weed. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 29: 979-990. 

Griffith T, Paterson ID, Owen C, Coetzee JA (2019) Thermal plasticity and microevolution enhance establishment success and persistence of a water hyacinth biological control agent. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 167: 616-625. 

Paterson ID, Coetzee JA, Griffith T, Voogt N, Hill MP (2019) Crytpic species of water hyacinth biological control agent revealed in South Africa: host specificity, impact and thermal tolerance. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 167: 682-691.

Paterson ID, Muskett PC, Mdodana LA, Vitorino MD (2019) Pereskiophaga brasiliensis, a natural enemy of the invasive alien cactus Pereskia aculeata, is not suitably host specific for biological control in South Africa. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 29: 715-719. 

Canavan K, Paterson ID, Hill MP, Dudley TL. (2019) Testing the enemy release hypothesis on tall-statured grasses in South Africa, using Arundo donax, Phragmites australis, and Phragmites mauritianus as models. Bulletin of Entomological Research. 109: 287-299. 

Paterson ID, Manheimmer CA, Zimmermann HG (2019) Prospects for biological control of cactus weeds in Namibia. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 29: 393-399. 

Aigbedion-Atalor PO, Day MD, Idemudia I, Wilson DD, Paterson ID (2019) With or without you: stem-galling of a tephritid fly reduces the vegetative and reproductive performance of the invasive plant Chromolaena odorata (Asteraceae) both alone and in combination with another agent. Biocontrol. 64: 103-114.


Last Modified: Wed, 26 May 2021 13:48:08 SAST