Kassim Al-Khatib

Kassim Al-Khatib

Position Title
Professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist

Plant Sciences


Al-Khatib, a professor and Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences, specializes in weed science. He serves as the director of the statewide UC Integrated Pest Management program (IPM). Al-Khatib completed his Ph.D. in crop physiology at Kansas State University before joining the UC Davis faculty in 2009. Al-Khatib was an agronomist at Washington State University and a professor at Kansas State University prior to his arrival here.

Research interests:

Integrated pest management, weeds, weed physiology, weed control, pesticide drift, herbicide resistant plants, sustainability, agriculture.

Brief overview:

Directly or indirectly, all Californians are affected by weeds. Weeds reduce farm and forest productivity, invade crops, smother pastures, and some can harm livestock. Farmers incur material and labor costs to control weeds; these costs are passed on to the public through higher food prices.

We can reduce weed risks by increasing the adoption of integrated pest management strategies. These include biologically-based weed management systems, weed monitoring, threshold-based decision-making, biological and cultural controls, and use of reduced-risk herbicide. My program is focused on developing weed management strategies for field crops to solve problems that have an impact on the California economy, human health, and the environment.

Current projects:

  • Reducing herbicide drift on sensitive plants and understanding how non-target plants respond to herbicides
  • IPM approach to preventing development of herbicide resistant weeds
  • Development of herbicide resistant grain sorghum that allows using postemergence treatment of grass control herbicides