A vibrant research and teaching program in forest entomology has been a long hallmark of the U, from Sam Graham (1921), Leslie Orr (1927), and Alex Hodson (1931) to Herb Kulman (1966), Steve Seybold (1998), and Peter Rush (2002).

Our research group (est. 2010) studies the ecology of forest insects, linking patterns across space and through time to individual- and community-level processes. We work across plant-insect and predator-prey interactions, landscape ecology, population dynamics, chemical ecology, and biometry, the application of statistical tools to novel ecological questions therein. Linking pattern and process across scales touches on a number of topics in resource management, such as insect outbreaks and disturbances, dispersal, sampling, changing climate, invasion biology, and biological control.

Our research program is based on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota, where I hold a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship in the Department of Entomology.

Quick Links

Winter wonderland • The winter of 2013 hammered gypsy moth numbers in the state, although they'll likely bounce back quickly • MDA press release » | 19 Nov 14

Latest finds of emerald ash borer • Wondering how close the latest infested trees are relative to your house, business, or cottage? Check out the MDA's handy-dandy map • Show me » | 22 Apr 13

Emerald ash borer • This devastating invasive threatens native ash. Think you have it? Here's a helpful resource page of everything you'll ever need to know • Learn more » | 18 Mar 13

About the lab • Everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask • History » | 18 Mar 11

More links • A variety of useful, fun, and random links • Links » | 12 Dec 10

Education and Background

2014-PresentAssociate Professor, Entomology, Univ. of Minnesota
2010-PresentAdjunct Faculty, University of Northern British Columbia
2011-2013McKnight Land-Grant Professor, Entomology, Univ. of Minnesota
2006-2010Research Scientist, Canadian Forest Service
Adjunct Assistant Professor, U Northern British Columbia
2004-2005Visiting Fellow, Canadian Forest Service (Dr. Allan Carroll)
Research Associate, Entomology, UW-Madison (Dr. Kenneth Raffa)
1999-2003PhD, Entomology, UW-Madison (Dr. Kenneth Raffa)
MS, Biometry/Statistics, UW-Madison (Dr. Murray Clayton)
1997-1999MS, Entomology, University of Wisconsin (Dr. Kenneth Raffa)

Select Publications

2012 de la Giroday, H.-M., Carroll, A.L., and B.H. Aukema. Breach of the northern Rocky Mountain geoclimatic barrier: Initiation of range expansion by the mountain pine beetle. Journal of Biogeography 39: 1112-1123.
2012 Sambaraju, K., Carroll, A.L., Zhu, J., Stahl, K., Moore, R.D. and B.H. Aukema. Climate change could alter the distribution of mountain pine beetle outbreaks in western Canada. Ecography 35: 211-223.
2010 Klingenberg, M.D., Lindgren, B.S., Gillingham, M.P., and B.H. Aukema. Management response to one insect pest may increase vulnerability to another. Journal of Applied Ecology 47: 566-574.
2008 Aukema, B.H., Carroll, A.L., Zheng, Y., Zhu, J., Raffa, K.F., Moore, R.D., Stahl, K., and S.W. Taylor. Movement of outbreak populations of mountain pine beetle: Influence of spatiotemporal patterns and climate. Ecography 31: 348-358.
2008 Raffa, K.F., Aukema, B.H., Bentz, B.J., Carroll, A.L., Hicke, J.A., Turner, M.G., and W. Romme. Cross-scale drivers of natural disturbances prone to anthropogenic amplification: Dynamics of biome-wide bark beetle eruptions. BioScience 58: 501-517.
2006 Aukema, B.H., Carroll, A.L., Zhu, J., Raffa, K.F., Sickley, T.A., and S.W. Taylor. Landscape level analysis of mountain pine beetle in British Columbia, Canada: Spatiotemporal development and spatial synchrony within the present outbreak. Ecography 29: 427-441.
2004 Aukema, B.H., and K.F. Raffa. Does aggregation benefit bark beetles by diluting predation? Links between a group-colonization strategy and the absence of multiple predator effects. Ecological Entomology 29(2): 129-138.
2002 Aukema, B.H., and K.F. Raffa. Relative effects of exophytic predation, endophytic predation, and intraspecific competition on a subcortical herbivore: Consequences to the reproduction of Ips pini and Thanasimus dubius. Oecologia 133(4): 483-491.
2000 Aukema, B.H., Dahlsten, D.L., and K.F. Raffa. Improved population monitoring of bark beetles and predators by incorporating disparate behavioral responses to semiochemicals. Environmental Entomology 29: 618-629.

Lab News & Events

22 Apr 15

Silvics • Brian was at the Cloquet Forestry Center for the day, co-teaching the entomology and pathology section of a National Advance Silviculture Program module with our friend Linda Haugen.

17-18 Apr 15

Field Work • Derek and Brian were in the Black Hills, making summer plans with collaborators and checking on the mountain pine beetles. They're all still there.

2 Apr 15

National Geographic • Did a nice feature on mountain pine beetle this month featuring our colleagues Diana Six and Allan Carroll. Our work on epidemiology of the outbreak is cited in the accompanying cartography section

31 Mar 15

Case work • Sam, Fraser, and Brian joined Mike Albers from the DNR for an enjoyable day in the woods hunting larch casebearer around Floodwood. A thousand little friends came home with us

6 Mar 15

New Paper • Here is Fraser's second paper of 2015, appearing in Canadian Entomologist. Host-switching by mountain pine beetle out west... with implications to Derek's work on this insect's potential range expansion to the east

6 Mar 15

Recruiting Day! • What a fun day, visiting with new potential students to our Department. There is a lot of really bright talent this year!

4 Mar 15

First Detectors • Brian spent the morning with an Extention team, teaching volunteer First Detectors how to spot and identify invasive forest insect pests. What a delicious sammy for lunch from Nelson's Deli

2-3 Feb 15

Drift Burger • with a mash of chesnuts and Door County cherries; easily one of the top 5 burgers of all time, enjoyed with friends at Vintage Brewing in Madison on a short road trip with our friend Linda Haugen at USFS State & Private Forestry next door as Marissa and Fraser gave invited presentations on the invasion of gypsy moth and loss of tamarack due to eastern larch beetle at the Wisconsin Plant Pest Forum

15 Jan

Larch beetle express • Congrats to Fraser, with the first paper of 2015! This paper furthers our understanding of how a warming climate may be influencing the ongoing mortality of tamarack in the region from this insect

8 Dec

Clear Pass • On the heels of Derek's clear pass on his oral prelims Friday, Sam defended his MS thesis with a clear pass! Well done!

3 Dec

MPR • Over at Minnesota Public Radio, Dan Kraker put together a nice piece on how mountain pine beetle threatens Minnesota's pine forests. Check it out!