Our research focuses on forest insects, many of which become challenges when introduced to new ranges or changing climates. Our lab attempts to link patterns observed across space and through time to individual- and community-level processes. Integrating basic and applied foci, we strive to provide high-quality deliverables to granting agencies and stakeholders from regional to international levels who invest in our work.
Management of spongy moth
Invasive spongy moth is managed by spraying a biorational insecticide to kill feeding caterpillars. A changing spring climate makes timing application very difficult, however.
Endemic niche of mountain pine beetle
Mountain pine beetles kills vast amounts of mature trees when at outbreak levels, but where do they go during endemic periods? What co-habiting insects might facilitate invasion to the Great Lakes region?
The spread of emerald ash borer
Detection of emerald ash borer often lags infestation by several years. How rapidly can we expect trees to die? Are detections more likely in larger communities? Why?
Diapause in eastern larch beetle
Eastern larch beetle has killed 800K acres of tamarack in the past 20 years. We are studying the life cycle to determine how it might respond to a changing climate.
Resin production in tamarack defense
Conifers produce pitch to repel attacks by bark beetles. What is in the resin of tamarack? How does it vary through the growing season when bark beetles are attacking?
Chemical ecology of eastern larch beetle
Both mates and predators are attracted to pheromones of eastern larch beetles. A fantastic collaboration with Dr. Brian Sullivan of the US Forest Service.
Eastern spruce budworm
Eastern spruce budworm can be found on both mainland Minnesota and on Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. Do the populations share similar phenologies? Natural enemies?
Cold tolerance of elongate hemlock scale
Elongate hemlock scale is an invasive insect found on several conifers imported to the Great Lakes region for Christmas trees. Can scales survive local winters?
Nut weevils on hazelnuts
Hybrid hazelnuts are a novel crop to the upper midwest, but a suite of insects likes them as much as we do. What mites and insects feed on them? Are they serious problems? When are they present?
Larch casebearer in North America
Larch casebearer is an invasive moth introduced to North America in the 1880s. Eastern populations behave differently than those in the west. We are workign to determine if they are indeed the same species.
Recently Completed Projects
Dispersal of mountain pine beetle
Outbreaks produce gazillions of beetles. We characterized how far you can catch mountain pine beetles away from pine trees, which informs range expansion. Hint: a long way!
Host range expansion in mountain pine beetle
Mountain pine beetle threatens range expansion to eastern North America. We examined if it could reproduce in cut logs of pine species native to eastern North America.
A few other recently completed projects...
Interactions between mountain pine beetle and Ips grandicollis
Reducing insecticide use but maintaining protection against emerald ash borer
Non-target effects of treatments against emerald ash borer
Bark beetles and carbon dynamics
Climate change and larch casebearer
Biological control of larch casebearer revisited
Host screening for velvet longhorned beetle
Citizen science and biosurveillance of buprestids
Optimal sampling schemes for emerald ash borer
Biological control of emerald ash borer
Dispersal and feeding biology of larval spongy moth
Host screening against walnut twig beetle
Overwintering success of egg masses of spongy moth
Ecology of eastern larch beetle