Skip to Main Content

John Couture named University Faculty Scholar for multifaceted research in plant and insect ecology

John Couture has been chosen as a 2024 University Faculty Scholar for his exceptional research spanning plant and insect ecology, marking a significant milestone in his tenure as an associate professor of entomologyand forestry and natural resources.

Couture’s research involves elevating the understanding of ecosystem functioning, analyzing plant chemical and metabolic profiles, refining precision agriculture techniques and developing solutions for effective natural and agricultural resources management.

Driven by pressing challenges facing our society, Couture is committed to discovering solutions.

One of the main drivers of why we do this research is that as a whole, we face societal grand challenges, including environmental change, food security, sustainability in agriculture and a number of other factors. We’re hoping that we can develop solutions to try and address some of these grand challenges." -John Couture

Couture’s research achievements are a testament to the collaborative efforts of the Couture Lab of Plant-Insect Chemical Ecology team. Graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and research technicians combine fundamental plant biology principles with innovative technology, such as hyperspectral and remote sensing, to unravel the complexities of natural systems.

Acknowledging the invaluable contributions of his students and collaborators, Couture emphasizes, “Without all of them none of this would be possible. I have students working on questions about individual organism responses to stress all the way up to ecosystem-level questions, addressing key topics like physiochemical mechanisms for agricultural plant tolerance of variable environments to carbon storage and sustainability in forests.”

Having earned his Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Wisconsin, Couture’s research journey has been shaped by a focus on plant-insect chemical ecology and tree physiological ecology.

“By training, I am a plant chemical and physiological ecologist who is interested in understanding how plants responds to stress, including insect pests, pathogens, drought and other aspects of environmental change,” noted Couture.

 

John Couture in Martell Greenhouse at the Wright Center examining a tree.

Since joining Purdue in 2016, Couture has bridged the gap between basic plant biology and technological innovation. He has cultivated a comprehensive research program geared towards enhancing plant health and management across diverse spatial scales. He also holds a key role within the Institute of Digital Forestry.

“I’ve had very positive interactions with deans and my department heads, especially and importantly while I was getting established,” stated Couture
The resources and support the college invests in the faculty – from seed funding to professional development and instructional support – has helped me develop a holistic program focused on trying to achieve world class research, instruction and mentoring, and engagement.” -John Couture

Featured Stories

Alex Dudley holds a black vulture; Alex is pictured through a hole in a rock formation; Alex holds her camera in front of a forested mountain landscape.
Meet FNR Outstanding Senior Alex Dudley

From her research on black vulture ecology in the Zollner lab and on digital forestry under Dr....

Read More
Yellow flowers against a leafy green background
April Showers Bring May Flowers to Jules Janick Horticulture Garden

The sweet smell of hundreds of blossoms draws pollinators and people alike to the Jules Janick...

Read More
Dr. Rob Swihart, Bob Burke and others at an HTIRC meeting in 2016.
FNR Remembers Alumnus, HTIRC Advisory Committee Member Bob Burke

Robert Dean “Bob” Burke, who received his bachelor’s degree from Purdue...

Read More
Bob Auber presents from a screen titled "A Day in the Life." In the foreground, there are two graduate students watching.
‘Plants to people:’ Bob Auber’s path from the Center for Plant Biology to oncology

On Friday March 22, Bob Auber returned to Room 116 in Whistler Hall to stand behind a podium in...

Read More
Measuring soil in a field
New Indiana Organic Network to engage farmers in statewide soil health census

A Purdue University interdisciplinary team is establishing a network of organic farmers to...

Read More
Bob and Karen Thompson walking side-by-side while smiling at each other and holding hands
Funding endowed chair in agricultural economics reflects couple’s global vision brought home: “Purdue is special in our lives”

Bob and Karen Thompson have operated as a team, both throughout their 55-year marriage and in...

Read More
To Top