About the Department

Our mission is to conduct outstanding research on insect science that will improve human health, quality of life, and the sustainability of our food and ecosystems.

Entomology is the study of insects. It is an interdisciplinary life science that contributes much to our understanding of life, our environment, and the well-being of our society. Insects are the predominant species on Earth, representing the greatest biodiversity with more than one million known species. Not surprising, insects significantly affect human civilization, whether the impact is positive, such as pollination of our food plants, or negative, such as competition with our food supply or carriers of major human diseases.

We have developed strong entomological programs and traditions in teaching, outreach, and research. Prospective graduate students will find information on our educational programs, curriculum, and research opportunities. If you need information on the management of insect pests, numerous fact sheets are available that address your specific needs.

Research in the Department of Entomology addresses diverse questions and uses a wide variety of experimental approaches and methodologies. Nevertheless, what bonds us is an interest in understanding fundamental and applied biological questions from the level of the molecule to the level of the population and the community. Knowledge of entomology is expanding at a rapid pace, creating great possibilities for innovative research at the interface of life sciences research. Penn State offers exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary research through interaction with intercollege programs in Ecology, Plant Physiology, Genetics, and other life sciences.

If you want to discover more about entomology at Penn State, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.

Latest News

June 11, 2024

New exhibit will showcase complex lives and impacts of insects

A new exhibition will help visitors to the Bellefonte Art Museum explore the symbiotic relationship between humans and insects. Created by the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, “Entwined Worlds” will shine a spotlight on the crucial role insects play in sustaining ecosystems; pollinating plants; inspiring art, music and literature; and contributing to advancements in medicine, biofuels and construction materials. The exhibition will be on display from July 5 to Aug. 25.

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June 10, 2024

Haiku may shine a light on humans’ relationship with insects, study suggests

Penn State researchers analyzed which insects were mentioned the most in haiku — with butterflies, fireflies and singing insects such as crickets topping the list. Andrew Deans, professor of entomology in the College of Agricultural Sciences, director of the college’s Frost Entomological Museum and corresponding author on the study, said the findings shine a light on the insects that inspire emotion and awe in humans.

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June 5, 2024

Penn State Extension guide provides advice on managing spotted lanternfly

Authored by researchers and extension educators in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, the "Spotted Lanternfly Management Guide" features comprehensive information, illustrations, charts and photos on the pest’s biology, behavior, plant damage and management, as well as a brief overview of ongoing research.  

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June 3, 2024

Combining pest treatments may be key to helping honey bees survive the winter

A new study by Penn State researchers has found that using not one but multiple pest treatments may help honey bees survive the winter and make it to spring.

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