Our group's mission is to elucidate ecological principles underlying the communities and populations of forest insects in temperate ecosystems. As such, we work on a variety of insect taxa with a focus on terrestrial ecosystems. We conduct both basic and applied research, train the next generation of forest entomologists, and assist foresters and land-owners with insect pest and conservation issues. We are multi-disciplinary, multi-national, and collaborate with many scientists, and state and federal agencies across the world. Some (but not all) of our current research projects are as below.
Disturbances and Forest Insects
Forest insects are critical disturbance agents, and we focus on their community-level interactions with many other abiotic and biotic disturbances.
-Pollinator ecology under forest management techniques.
-Effects of catastrophic wind disturbances on forest insects.
Chemical Ecology of Forest Insects
We study multi-trophic responses to tree volatiles and insect pheromones in coniferous forest ecosystems.
-Chemical ecology of southern pine beetle and Ips species in southern pine stands.
-Semiochemical interactions between black turpentine beetle and southern pine beetle.
Invasion Dynamics of Exotic Insects
Our lab studies the ecological impacts of non-native forest insects, their interaction with other disturbances, and efficacy of various management techniques.
-Predicting invasions by exotic herbivorous insect species.
-Restoration of ash trees and biocontrol of emerald ash borer in southeastern U.S.
Southern Pine Health Research Cooperative (SPHRC)
Working with private forest companies and the USDA Forest Service, we are conducting highly applied forest health research and outreach to alleviate pest and pathogen burdens in our southeastern pine forests. See website for more information.
The P4 Plan: Pine Pandemic Preparedness Plan
Working with diverse agencies, we are tackling the central challenge of how to best prepare for future non-native pests and pathogens that may have a catastrophic impact on our southern pine growers? We are creating a truly collaborative pine pandemic preparedness plan (The P4 Plan) built, owned, and for use by the entire community. See this file for more information.