Tooker Lab

Plant-Insect Interactions in Agroecosystems -- We study relationships among plants, insect herbivores, and natural enemies to understand factors that regulate populations of herbivorous insects. We are interested in both plant- and natural-enemy-mediated factors and how they influence insect behavior, community composition, and herbivore mortality. Our long-term goal is to exploit the ecology/biology of our study organisms to provide strategies and tactics for more sustainable insect pest management.

Lab Research News

Scientists to study how soil health is influenced by pest-management tactics
June 19, 2017
An entomologist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study and compare how various pest-management regimes affect the health of soils.
Slugging it out with a new contender in the GMO debate
June 8, 2017
It was the closest thing you get to a blind date between a scientist and a journalist.
Common insecticides are riskier than thought to predatory insects
December 7, 2016
Neonicotinoids -- the most widely used class of insecticides -- significantly reduce populations of predatory insects when used as seed coatings, according to researchers at Penn State. The team's research challenges the previously held belief that neonicotinoid seed coatings have little to no effect on predatory insect populations. In fact, the work suggests that neonicotinoids reduce populations of insect predators as much as broadcast applications of commonly used pyrethroid insecticides.

John's Bio

John Tooker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Entomology
Extension Specialist
506 Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building
and 113 Merkle Lab

University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-865-7082