Miguel A. Altieri
Associate Professor and Associate Entomologist
Phone #: (510) 642-9802
FAX #: (510) 642-7428, 642-0875
Our research group uses the concepts of agroecology to obtain a deep understanding
of the nature of agroecosystems and the principles by which they function.
Throughout our research and writings we have aided in the emergence of agroecology
as the discipline that provides the basic ecological principles for how
to study, design, and manage sustainable agroecosystems that are both productive
and natural resource conserving, and that are also culturally-sensitive,
socially-just and economically viable. In particular, our research has focused
on the ways in which biodiversity can contribute to the design of pest-stable
agroecosystems. Several of our studies concentrate on elucidating the effects
of intercropping, covercropping, weed management, and crop-field border
vegetation manipulation on pest population density and damage and on the
mechanisms enhancing biological control in diversified systems.
Our research has also extended into Latin America where the enhancement
of biodiversity in agriculture can help the great mass of resource-poor
farmers to achieve year-round food self-sufficiency, reduce their reliance
on chemical inputs and develop agroecosystems that rebuild the production
capacities of their small land holdings. Our approach has consisted of devising
integrated farming systems emphasizing soil and water conservation, natural
crop protection, and achievement of soil fertility and stable yields through
integration of trees, animals, and crops.
Our laboratory is involved in several field projects in California where
we are testing the effects of biological corridors in annual cropping systems.
The idea is to explore whether corridors can break the nature of monocultures
thus serving as a conduit for the dispersion of natural enemies within the
field thus enhancing their impact on pest populations.
Our group is also engaged in collaborative work with a number of Universities,
NGOs and research centers in Africa, Asia and Latin America promoting research,
training and capacity building in agroecology and sustainable agriculture.
Altieri, M.A. and Liebman, M.Z. 1988. Weed management: Ecological guidelines.
In: Weed Management in Agroecosystems: Ecological Approaches. M.A. Altieri
and M.Z. Liebman, eds. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fl.
Altieri, M.A. 1990. Agroecology and rural development in Latin America.
In: Agroecology and small farm development. M.A. Altieri, S.B. Hecht, eds.
CRC Press, Florida, pp. 113-118.
Altieri, M.A. 1993. Crop Protection Strategies for Subsistence Farmers.
Westview Press, Inc. Boulder, CO, 197 pp.
Altieri, M.A. 1994 Biodiversity and Pest Management in Agroecosystems. Haworth
Press, Inc., NY.
Altieri, M.A. 1995. Agroecology: The science of sustainable agriculture.
Westview Press, Boulder, CO. Revised and expanded edition.
Current Graduate Student:
- Jose Alejandros Aquilar (CLAS)
Current Staff Research Associate: