Research Issues

Biocontrol and Insect Pathology
Two of the current research projects in this area include those of Dr. Consuelo De Moraes, who is searching for the critical role of chemical communication in ecological interactions across trophic levels, and Dr. Jim Tumlinson, who is investigating the interactions among herbivorous insects, their host plants, and their natural enemies.
Evolutionary Biology
Researchers are examining the evolutionary relationships between species, the selective forces that lead to biodiversity, and the molecular and physiological bases for the evolution of complex traits, including social behavior and host-parasite interactions.
Genomic tools are allowing researchers to dramatically expand our understanding of the genetic and molecular bases of behavioral, physiological, and morphological traits in ecologically and agriculturally important species.
Honey Bee and Pollinator Research
Penn State researchers are leading the research investigating the disappearance of honey bees.
Integrated Pest Management
IPM researchers are actively searching for ways to safely deal with such problems as Oriental fruit moth and codling moths in Pennsylvania's more than 50,000 orchards. Another project deals with educating urban at-risk populations about pesticide safety.
International Research
Dr. Jim Tumlinson has collaborated with scientists in Brazil and South Africa on investigations to identify an attractant for Sirex noctilio, an invasive species of woodwasp that attacks pine trees. Dr. Jim Frazier and Maryann Frazier recently conducted research in Africa with graduate students working to solve the mysterious disappearance of large numbers of honey bees.
Malaria Research
Malaria is one of the most important parasitic diseases globally, infecting between 300 and 500 million people and killing more than one million each year.
Toxicologists study the dose-dependent fate of poisons, natural and synthetic, from source to affected organisms in the environment.