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Dr. Sridhar Polavarapu - Click to enlarge
Dr. Sridhar Polavarapu
As an internationally known entomologist, Dr. Sridhar Polavarapu was an indispensable part of the New Jersey Blueberry and Cranberry industries. The farm and Rutgers University Extension communities dearly valued him as a person and professional who exhibited a tireless work ethic.

Being an innovator, Dr. Polavarapu said, “I have recognized the need to develop alternative reduce-risk chemicals that are selective, ecologically sound and environmentally friendly, realizing the fragile nature of the Pine Barrens ecosystem, which surrounds the blueberry and cranberry acreage in New Jersey.” To that end, Dr. Polavarapu identified potential insecticide candidates for registration on blueberries and cranberries, proactively sought registrant consent, and developed necessary efficacy data and use pattern information. Before Dr. Polavarapu came along, basic information on the seasonal life history of many major pests was either lacking or insufficiently defined. He changed that.

Not only was Dr. Polavarapu a meticulous researcher and practitioner, he also wrote countless articles, a book chapter, gave presentations at national and international meetings in countries such as Brazil and China on the seasonal life history of the spotted fire worm, blueberry mealy bug, blueberry maggot, oriental beetle, blossom worm and much more.

He was a member of several entomological societies in the U.S. and Canada. Dr. Polavarapu received many local and national distinguished awards and honors for his outstanding work.

Dr. Polavarapu was born in India where he obtained his undergraduate degree from Marathwada Agricultural University and later a Masters from the University of Ag Sciences, Bangalore. He acquired his PhD from the University of New Brunswick in Canada.

Dr. Polavarapu was a loving husband and father. His family includes wife Madhavi and two children. One of his colleagues described Dr. Polavarapu as a man who was not ego driven but committed, and when his work was done, the bottom line was to make sure the work had been done right.