Research Areas

Research in the department is as diverse as the faculty and students. Areas in which we are engaged cut across suborganismal, organismal, and applied entomology.  Many faculty have research programs that are broadly interdisciplinary and span two or more of these areas.  Our research aims to understand the basic biology of how insects perceive and adapt to the environment and how and why their populations grow.  We examine how they affect crops and forests, influence ecosystem processes such as nutrient and carbon cycling and the “services” they provide in natural and managed ecosystems such as pollination and pest suppression.  We study their diversity and conservation and how we as humans are affected by them.  We invite you to visit individual faculty research pages to get more in-depth descriptions of the diversity of research in Entomology.

 
Suborganismal research in the department focuses on insect physiology with specialization on insect hormones (Goodman), cholesterol metabolism (Lan), and insect parasite interactions (Paskewitz). Studies of gene flow utilize various molecular methods (Brunet).
 

Organismal: Entomology faculty have been leaders in the the areas of basic Harmoniaecology of insects in a variety of natural and managed systems, such as forests, lakes and agroecosystems.  Studies in taxonomy (Young), chemical ecology (Lindroth and Raffa) pollination biology (Brunet, Gratton and Groves), gene flow (Brunet), spatial analysis (Zhu), vector biology (Paskewitz, Groves), behavioral ecology (Steffan) and landscape ecology (Gratton) have strong representation in the department.

Applied / Extension: Faculty in the department extend a long tradition of research on insects as they impact humans.  Excellence in agricultural research continues in vegetable crops (Groves), field and forage crops (Cullen and Hogg) and the turf and ornamental "green industry" (Williamson) where work hascontinued to advance the application of integrated pest management in agricultural systems.  Basic research conducted by faculty in cropping systems also has implications for pest management (Steffan), conservation and bioenergy (Gratton), resource management (Raffa, Young) and risk of transgene escape (Brunet).  Suborganismal studies on mosquitoes (Paskewitz and Lan) and tick-borne diseases (Paskewitz) have advanced novel management strategies for insect-vectored diseases.

 

Research in the department explores the interconnections across scales of biological organization, from molecular and cellular interactions to ecosystem-level studies, in both managed and natural systems, and from basic to applied research.  Our faculty often have active collaborations with colleagues in other departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences - Forest and Wildlife Ecology (Gratton, Lindroth, Raffa, Brunet), Plant Pathology (Groves, Brunet), Agronomy (Gratton, Cullen), Horticulture (Brunet), Soils (Cullen), Statistics (Brunet, Zhu), Agricultural and Applied Economics (Cullen), and beyond the college and University.

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