Nancy Ostiguy, Ph.D.

Nancy Ostiguy, Ph.D.

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


  • B.A., California State University, Sacramento, 1979
  • M.P.H., University of California, Berkeley, 1982
  • Ph.D., Cornell University, 1991

Department Focus Areas

Ecological Applications

Research Interests

Honey bee and native pollinator health, Integrated Pest Management; Impact of pesticides on non-target species; Sampling strategies.


  • ENT 202, Insect Connections
  • ENT 313, Introductory Entomology
  • NT 535, Applied Biostatistical Techniques
  • E R M 210, Environmental Factors and Their Effect on Your Food Supply

Research Activities & Interests

My interests are in the area of sustainable and organic agriculture. The current focus of my research is in the area of pollinator (bees) health, environmental consequences of pest control strategies, including non-pesticidal approaches to pest control (IPM), pesticide residues in foods and other products, risk communication, and sublethal effects of pesticides on non-target organisms.

We are investigating the contribution of various stresses, such a varroa mites, miticides (used to control varroa mites) and pesticides on decline in honey bee populations. The impact of viruses and pesticides on the survivorship of eggs, larvae, pupae and the longevity of newly emerged bees are being explored. The epidemiology (spatial and temporal distribution) of pesticide exposure, viral diseases and colony health and survivorship are being investigated in collaboration researchers at six other universities in the United States. Models to predict varroa mite populations (and potential virus infections) as influenced by size of apiary and ambient conditions are being constructed and tested. Work is underway to evaluate varroa control tactics that do not expose bees to miticides yet reduce mite poulations.

I am interested in pesticide residues in food, especially honey and beeswax. We are looking at long and short-term residues from the application of fluvalinate and/or coumaphos in honey bee colonies.

We have begun to explore the relationship between native bees and native plant distribution along with other factors influencing native bee populations and their role in agroecosystems and natural ecosystem pollination.

Relevant Publications

Valderrama, W.B., N. Ostiguy, C.N. Cutter. 2014. Multivariate analysis reveals differences in biofilm formation capacity in Listeria monocytogenes lineages. Biofouling: The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research 30(10): 1199-1209 doi: 10.1080/08927014.2014.980818.

Shutler, D., K. Head, K. Burger-MacLellan, M. Colwell, A.L. Levitt, N. Ostiguy, G.R. Williams. 2014. Honey Bee Apis mellifera Parasites in Absence of Nosema ceranae Fungi and Varroa destructor Mites , PLOSOne 9(6):e98599. doi:10.137/journal.pone.0098599.

Ostiguy, N., B. Eitzer. 2014. Overwintered Brood Comb Honey: Colony Exposure to Pesticide Residues. Journal of Apicultural Research 53(3): 413-421 doi: 10.3896/IBRA.

Levitt, A.L., R. Singh, D. Cox-Foster, E. Rajotte, N. Ostiguy, E.C. Holmes, K. Hoover. 2013. Cross-species transmission of honey bee viruses in associated arthropods. Virus Research 176: 232-240.

Yoder, S.F., W.R. Henning, E.W. Mills, S. Doores, N. Ostiguy, Cutter C.N.  2012. Investigation of Chemical Rinses Suitable for Very Small Meat Plants to Reduce Pathogens on Beef Surfaces. Journal of Food Protection 75(1): 14-21. [citations: 2 (Google Scholar)]

Ostiguy, N. 2011. Pests and Pollinators. Nature Education Knowledge 2(11):3  

Hoover, K., A. Uzunovic, B. Gething, A. Dale, K. Leung, N. Ostiguy, J.J. Janowiak. 2010. Lethal temperature for pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilius, in infested wood using microwave energy. Journal of Nematology 42(2): 101-110.

Singh, R., A.L. Levitt, E.G. Rajotte, E.C. Holmes, N. Ostiguy, D. vanEngelsdorp, W.I. Lipkin, C.W. dePamphilis, A. L. Toth D. Cox-Foster. 2010. RNA viruses in Hymenopteran pollinators: Evidence of inter-taxa virus transmission via pollen and potential impact on non-Apis Hymenopteran species. (2010) PLoS ONE 5(12): e14357 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014357.

Yoder, S.F., W.R. Henning, E.W. Mills, S. Doores, N. Ostiguy, Cutter C.N.  2010. Investigation of water washes suitable for very small meat plants to eliminate pathogens from inoculated beef surfaces, Journal of Food Protection 73(5): 907-915.

Williams, G. R, R.E.L. Rogers, A.L. Kalkstein B.A. Taylor, D. Shutler, N, Ostiguy. 2009. Deformed wing virus in western honey bees (Apis mellifera) from Atlantic Canada and the first description of an overtly-infected emerging queen. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 101(1): 77-79. 10.1016/j.jip.2009.01.004

Plymale, R., M. Grove, D. Cox-Foster, N. Ostiguy, K. Hoover. 2008. Plant-mediated alteration of the peritrophic matrix and baculovirus infection in lepidopteran larvae. Journal of Insect Physiology. 54: 737-749.

Motch, S. M., H. W. Harpster, S. Ralston, N. Ostiguy, N. K. Diehl. 2007. A note on yearling horse ingestive and agonistic behaviours in three concentrate feeding systems. Applied Animal Behavior Science 106:167-172.

Ostiguy, N. 2007. Organic certification of pesticides: From philosophy to practice. Crop Protection for Organic Agriculture: Environmental, Health, and Efficacy Assessment. Editors: Felsot A. S. and K. D. Racke. ACS Symposium Series 947, American Chemical Society. Pages 34-44.

Ostiguy, N., D. Cox-Foster, A. Kalkstein and O. Thompson. 2007. The Continuing Story of Honey Bee Viruses. American Bee Journal 147(5):441.

Kevan, P.G., M.A. Hannan, N. Ostiguy, and E. Guzman-Novoa. 2006. A Summary of the Varroa-Virus Disease Complex in Honey Bees. American Bee Journal 146:694-697.

Koide, R. T., B. Xu, J. Sharda, Y. Lekberg, and N. Ostiguy. 2005. Evidence o

Shen, M., L. Cui, N. Ostiguy, and D. L. Cox-Foster. 2005. Intricate transmission routes and interactions between picorna-like viruses (Kashmir bee virus and sacbrood virus (SBV) with the honey bee host and the parasitic varroa mite. Journal of General Virology 86:85-93.