Share

Latest News

July 21, 2017

This summer has been full of insects, corn, soy, and so much dirt! I am Dan Wisniewski a rising sophomore majoring in Plant Science with a minor in Environmental Resource Management at Penn State.

July 11, 2017

Neonicotinoids (neonics) are a class of insecticides based on natural plant compounds that disrupt the insect nervous system. They are used because they have relatively low toxicity on non-insects. They are applied as seed coatings, so when a seed germinates the water-soluble insecticides are taken up and mobilized throughout the plant, providing protection against insects that feed on it. The strategy decreases the need for aerial spraying of broad-spectrum insecticides.

Kyra's pinned ground beetles
June 27, 2017

Kyra joined us for the summer and she kinda likes it.

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.

June 8, 2017

It was the closest thing you get to a blind date between a scientist and a journalist.

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.

December 7, 2016

The federal government is putting a big chunk of funding into an agriculture project at Penn State. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture unveiled a $6.7 million catalog of grants going to 18 different projects, most at universities around the country. The projects all address how the agro-ecosystem affects food production.

Mackenzie and her inspirations
September 14, 2016

Mackenzie moved to PA this past spring and was a bit concerned about leaving Tennessee; fortunately, the Tooker lab help her make a sMOOOth transition!

The day Brandon got his lab coat was a good day!
September 14, 2016

Brandon Wilt shares some thoughts on his summer working in the Tooker lab

July 25, 2016

Masoomi's first summer in the Tooker lab has been full of new insights to the arthropod ecology in agricultural fields

New paper from Anthony Vaudo indicates that bumble bees prefer plants with certain protein-to-lipid ratios
July 7, 2016

Graduate student Anthony Vaudo has determined that bumble bees have discriminating palettes when it comes to their pollen meals. We found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets. Here is the citation and a link to the paper: Vaudo, Anthony D., Harland M. Patch, David A. Mortensen, John F. Tooker, and Christina M. Grozinger. 2016. Macronutrient ratios in pollen shape bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) foraging strategies and floral preferences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. http://www.pnas.org/content/113/28/E4035.abstract.html?etoc

Dr. John Tooker and Sarah McTish at the Research Expo Awards Ceremony
April 19, 2016

Sarah McTish won 1st place in undergraduate research (Plant and Environmental-Related Sciences) at the Gamma Sigma Delta Research Expo held March 29th, 2016. Her poster was titled "Effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on invertebrate populations in vernal pools".

Sarah McTish as 2016 Honey Queen (Credit: http://pastatebeekeepers.org/queen.htm )
January 25, 2016

Sarah McTish, a Penn State junior working with the Tooker Lab since the fall of 2014, was recently selected as the 2016 Pennsylvania Honey Queen! Her infectious enthusiasm for all things insect, but especially honey bee, will no doubt rub off on the many people she will meet while executing her duties.

The Effectiveness of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments in Soybean
January 10, 2016

We have a new publication that was authored by extension entomologists at twelve land-grant universities and reviews the current research on efficacy of neonicotinoid seed treatments, their non-target effects, and the potential role for neonicotinoid seed treatments in soybean production.

Rosie and Anjel enjoying the moment after learning of their 1st place awards!
December 7, 2015

Lab members gave eight presentations at the Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America held in Minneapolis, MN from 15-18 November 2015.

Hillary, a happy summer helper
September 17, 2015

This summer Hillary got a better understanding of how Integrated Pest Management can be implemented in field crops

Christina has enjoyed her time with the dissecting scope
August 2, 2015

Spiders are no longer scary when you stare at so many of them under a microscope!

Nolan setting up some sentinel prey
July 22, 2015

In his first research experience, Nolan is finding himself doing things he never considered relevant