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2016

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.
Penn State ag project reaps $471,000 federal grant
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 loves milk
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!
Brandon is snug as a bug in our lab
September 14, 2016
Brandon Wilt shares some thoughts on his summer working in the Tooker lab
Masoomi's Introduction to Slugs and Bugs!
July 25, 2016
Masoomi's first summer in the Tooker lab has been full of new insights to the arthropod ecology in agricultural fields
Recent paper: Bumble bees prefer plants with nutrient-rich pollen
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
Recent Paper: Inter-varietal interactions among plants in genotypically diverse mixtures tend to decrease herbivore performance.
May 25, 2016
Sarah McTish Wins 1st Place at the Gamma Sigma Delta Research Expo
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 selected as the 2016 Pennsylvania Honey Queen
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.
New collaborative fact sheet on neonicotinoid seed treatments for soybeans
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.