Research in the Soil Insect Ecology Laboratory focuses broadly on understanding the ecology and behavior of soil-dwelling insects. We primarily use turfgrass systems as a model for developing novel pest detection and mitigation strategies.
White Grub Spatial Biology and Biogeochemical Interactions
Research in this area explores the spatial, temporal and biogeochemical characteristics of soil-dwelling scarab larvae in order to focus monitoring efforts, facilitate Integrated Pest Management decisions and direct the development of next generation pest management tools.
Billbug Seasonal Ecology and Management
Research in this area focuses on the development and utilization of DNA barcoding techniques to facilitate a better understanding of the seasonal biology of the billbug complex (a sympatric group of grass feeding weevils that are major pest of turfgrass world-wide). The larvae of these insects cannot be differentiated morphologically.
Improving Integration of Cultural and Biological Controls for Turfgrass Insects
Research in this area focuses on the use of microbes (fungal endophytes, insect-pathogenic fungi, insect-parasitic nematodes, baculoviruses) for managing turfgrass insects. The aim of this work is to provide the green industry with science-based recommendations for integrating alternative insect management tactics.
Product Development and Assessment
We work closely with industry partners around the world to develop novel pest management tools, enhance sustainability and reduce the environmental footprint of managed turfgrasses.