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Plant Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Laboratory

Plant Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Laboratory, Raleigh, NC

Location: 1730 Varsity Dr., Suite 300, Raleigh, NC 27606
Phone: (919) 855-7538
Contact: Lab Director, Heike Meissner


The Plant Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Laboratory (PERAL) helps PPQ make sound policy and operational decisions by developing risk and economic analyses, technical reports, pest spread models, and other science-based products. PERAL’s work supports the entire breadth of the PPQ safeguarding continuum, from prevention over preparedness and response to recovery. Almost all PPQ activities are to some degree designed, guided, or evaluated with PERAL’s help.

Specifically:

  • PERAL facilitates safe trade by conducting commodity risk assessments for agricultural imports.
  • PERAL helps open, expand, and maintain export markets by developing pest lists and analyses needed to resolve phytosanitary barriers.
  • PERAL helps ensure risk-based targeting of port-of-entry inspections by carrying out analyses and contributing to implementation planning.
  • PERAL helps PPQ by prepared for imminent pest introductions by developing New Pest Response Guidelines.
  • PERAL helps inform emergency response activities by providing crucial information about newly introduced pests and assessing their economic impact potential through the New Pest Advisory Group.
  • PERAL helps tailor pest program activities by developing and applying models and analytical frameworks to predict pest spread, pest establishment, and time of emergence.
  • PERAL helps PPQ allocate resources wisely by evaluating the effectiveness and economic benefits of active pest programs and characterizing pathways of pest introduction.
  • As a global leader in phytosanitary risk analysis, PERAL contributes actively to international dialog, harmonization, capacity building, and collaboration through engagement with the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO), the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), and a multitude of other organizations and institutions.

With almost 50 scientists on its staff, PERAL has expertise on a wide array of subject matters, including entomology, virology, bacteriology, mycology, nematology, ecology, botany, horticulture, seed health, soil science, quantitative and geospatial analysis, economics, international phytosanitary standards, technical communication, and management of information systems, as well as proficiency in 15 foreign languages.

PERAL’s diverse workforce strives for excellence as it operates in full partnership with its customers to provide answers, develop solutions, and bridge the gap between science, policy, and operations.


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