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.
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 moved to PA this past spring and was a bit concerned about leaving Tennessee; fortunately, the Tooker lab help her make a sMOOOth transition!
Brandon Wilt shares some thoughts on his summer working in the Tooker lab
Masoomi's first summer in the Tooker lab has been full of new insights to the arthropod ecology in agricultural fields
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
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, 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.
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.
Lab members gave eight presentations at the Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America held in Minneapolis, MN from 15-18 November 2015.
This summer Hillary got a better understanding of how Integrated Pest Management can be implemented in field crops
Spiders are no longer scary when you stare at so many of them under a microscope!
In his first research experience, Nolan is finding himself doing things he never considered relevant
Colgate undergrad (and State College native) Sarah Wylie did not know that she would embrace her summer gig in entomology, but she certainly has, and we are thankful for that!
Undergraduate Sarah McTish describes her research path to the Tooker lab.
Use of a class of insecticides, called neonicotinoids, increased dramatically in the mid-2000s and was driven almost entirely by the use of corn and soybean seeds treated with the pesticides, according to researchers at Penn State.
Our research in no-till soybean fields reveals that seed-applied, neonicotinoid insecticides are exacerbating slug populations by disrupting biological control. This peer-reviewed work, which was led by Ph.D. candidate Maggie Douglas, was published today in the online version of the Journal of Applied Ecology.
The Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America was held in Portland, OR, 16-19 Nov 2014. Seven lab members attended for a few days of scientific presentations, networking, and good fun. A few of our folks even walked away with some nice awards.