Michael Saunders, Ph.D.

Michael Saunders, Ph.D.

  • Professor Emeritus of Entomology
514 Ag Sciences & Industries Building
University Park, PA 16802


  • B.S., Duke University, 1975
  • M.S., Old Dominion University, 1978
  • Ph.D., University of Georgia, 1984

Current Graduate Students

Erica Smyers

Department Focus Areas

Ecological Applications

Research Interests

Ecology and IPM of arthropods affecting vineyards; design and development of computer-based systems that capture, formalize, and represent qualitative and quantitative knowledge associated with managed and natural systems


Integrated pest management in viticulture


I currently participate in two research areas. The first of these involves studying the ecology and management of arthropods affecting viticultural systems. Current research in this area includes investigation population dynamics, and diapause initiation and termination of the grape berry moth, Endopiza viteana, as well as conducting surveys and bioassays measuring resistance of populations of this insect to carbaryl. In addition, I investigate grape root borer ecology and control, primarily in the southeastern counties of Pennsylvania.

The second of my research areas is the development and implementation of knowledge based models for managed and natural systems decision support. Current research includes development and implementation of a decision support system for identifying sensitive receptors to air pollution in Class I wildlife areas; development of graphical, object-oriented models of forest systems for detection and diagnosis of forest health problems; and development and implementation of a model that assesses the capacity of an African community to implement community based natural resource management activities.

Extension Activities & Interests

My extension work focuses on education programs regarding IPM in grape production.

Relevant Publications

Saunders, M. C., R. N. Coulson, and L. J. Folse. 1993. Natural resource management and agriculture, applications of artificial intelligence. Pp. 149-162 In A. Kent and J. G. Williams (eds.) Encyclopedia of Microcomputers Vol. 12, Multistrategy Learning to Operations Research, Microcomputer Applications. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York

Weisz, R., M. C. Saunders, Z. Smilowitz, and H. Huang. 1994. Knowledge based reasoning in integrated resistance management: The Colorado potato beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 87:1384-1399.(Co-author 25%)

Reynolds, K., M. C. Saunders, R. Olson, D. Schmoldt, M. A. Foster, D. Latham, B. Miller, J. Steffenson, L. Bednar, and P. Cunningham. 1996. Knowledge-based Information Management in Decision Support for Ecosystem Management in the Pacific Northwest U.S. Artif. Intel. Appl. in Nat. Resourc. Manag.10(2): 9-22. (Co-author 45%)

Nagarkatti, S., A. Muza, and M. C. Saunders 2000. Meridic diet for Endopiza viteana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). The Canadian Entomologist 132: 259-261

Saunders, M.C., and P. C. Tobin. 2000. Grape cane gallmaker (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and its impact on cultivated grapes. J. Econ. Entomol. 93(3): 795-799.