Michael S. Wolfin

Michael S. Wolfin

  • Assistant Research Professor
104 Chemical Ecology Lab
University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Insect Behavior
  • Chemical Ecology
  • Insect-Host Interactions
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Mushroom Pest Management


  • B.S., Biology, SUNY Cortland (2011)
  • B.S., Chemistry, SUNY Cortland (2011)
  • Ph.D., Entomology, Cornell University (2017)

Research focus:  

The main goals of my research program are to understand the driving forces involved in insect behavior, and to use this behavioral information to develop effective and novel methods of control for pests of our crops.  Insect behavior is mediated by the insect's detection of the physical world around them.  In my lab, we isolate and identify key stimuli driving insect behavior, and manipulate those stimuli to affect insect behavior.  My current projects focus on developing integrated pest management solutions for mushroom flies on mushroom farms.  


Extension focus:

The goal of my extension program is to translate and transfer the results of my applied research to all my stakeholders.  Stakeholder groups include mushroom growers, residents affected my mushroom pest invasions, and elected officials representing both mushroom growers and residents.  My extension activities include monthly visits to mushroom farms in Berks and Southeastern Chester County, authoring extension publications and fact sheets, hosting and attending monthly community and industry meetings, planning and participating in industry workshops, operating the Mushroom Fly Hotline, and hosting annual public presentations of my progress (202020212022).  

My applied research and extension efforts have been featured by Penn State in press releases, and in various news and industry publications worldwide including Lancaster Farming, Mushroom News, Chester County Press, and Australian Mushrooms.  

Interested in exploring your interests in insect behavior, chemical ecology, and integrated pest management?  Send me an email.  I'm looking for undergraduate research assistants, graduate students, and postdocs!