Tom Baker, Director

Department of Entomology: We are seeking to understand rudimentary elements of insect olfaction involving signal acquisition and signal transduction using advanced imaging techniques such as atomic force microscopy in conjunction with neurophysiological recordings. We would like to get a better understanding of the evolution of olfaction in insects by using a comparative approach that involves moth species from several families, flies, and mosquitoes.

Flor Acevedo

Assistant Professor Arthropod Ecology, Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center, Penn State Behrend Campus

Jared Ali

Department of Entomology: My focus is on the behavior and chemical ecology of mutli-trophic interactions. This includes plant responses to belowground herbivory, nematode and insect community ecology, chemical ecology, and coevolution. Research projects include trophic cascades, above-belowground interactions, chemotaxis of soil nematodes, and the evolution of plant defense strategies.

Etya Amsalem

Department of Entomology: I study the evolutionary development of complex social behaviors in bumblebees and fire ants using an integrative approach encompassing genomic, chemical and physiological tools. ​

Dave Biddinger

My research focuses on developing integrated pest management programs in tree fruits that utilize selective insecticides (i.e., IGR's, Bt's, pheromone disruption) to control lepidopteran pest species while promoting biological control of secondary pests.

John Carlson

School of Forest Resources: Structural and functional genomics of trees and the intersection between genomics and tree chemistry, genetic linkage mapping and molecular cytogenetics, genetics of tree growth, pest resistance, and wood quality, development of environmentally friendly resistance to insect pests and other stresses, molecular basis of lignin synthesis and the response of trees to environmental pollutants.

Surinder Chopra

Department of Crop and Soil Sciences: Genetics of secondary metabolites in maize and sorghum, molecular biology and role of secondary metabolites in plant developmental process and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, phlobophenes, 3-deoxyanthocyanidins.

Gary Felton, Editor-in-Chief: Journal of Chemical Ecology

Department of Entomology: My research program uses molecular, proteomic and physiological approaches to investigate insect-plant interactions. My main interests are investigating the counter measures herbivores use in overcoming host plant defenses. Particular interest is on the role of herbivore salivary signals in suppressing the induced defenses of host plants.

David Geiser

Department of Plant Pathology: Molecular evolutionary genetics of fungi, molecular phylogenetics and systematics, identities and roles of fungal culprits in plant and animal diseases and toxicoses, curation of the world's largest collection of Fusarium cultures.

Christina Grozinger

Department of Entomology: Bees are critical pollinators in natural and agricultural landscapes, and key model systems for the study of social behavior. My program seamlessly integrates research, education and outreach related to the biology, health and conservation of pollinators, particularly honey bees and bumble bees. My research uses integrative approach encompassing genomics, physiology, behavior, chemical ecology, and ecology. Our studies test and elaborate fundamental principles in animal behavior, evolutionary biology, disease ecology, and more recently landscape ecology. These studies have led to multiple new avenues of inquiry, and provided critical knowledge that can be deployed to improve conservation of pollinators and their ecosystem services.

Sara Hermann

I am broadly interested in understanding how population and community dynamics are shaped by species interactions. My ongoing research addresses how top-down forces influence insect behavior and physiology, contribute to trophic cascades and structure ecological communities.

Kelli Hoover

Department of Entomology: Ecological Applications: Invasive species of forest insects: semiochemical communication in the Asian longhorned beetle, plant-insect-microbial symbiont interactions of the Asian longhorned beetle, methods development for exclusion of invasive species in wood used in international trade.

Nina Jenkins

Research Associate Professor, interests: biopesticide development and control and prevention of bed bug infestations

Seogchan Kang

Department of Plant Pathology: Molecular, cellular, and evolutionary mechanisms underpinning plant-fungal pathogen interactions in rice and Arabidopsis thaliana, development of a cyber-infrastructure (Fungal Plant Pathogen Database) integrating research and survey activities on fungal plant pathogens to support the identification, detection, tracking, and risk assessment of major plant pathogens.

Greg Krawczyk

Research Activities & Interests: Integrated pest management in agricultural ecosystems; Sustainable fruit production methods; Biology and management of tree fruit insect pests; Pesticide resistance management in agricultural ecosystems; Phytophagous and predatory mite management in orchard ecosystems; Insect rearing techniques/laboratory bioassays

Gretchen Kuldau

Department of Plant Pathology: Roles of fungal secondary metabolites in fungus--plant and fungus--microbe interactions, functions of mycotoxins, microbial ecology of silages, secondary metabolites of Fusarium.

Erika Machtinger

Department of Entomology: I am interested in reducing the health risks to humans, as well as wild and domesticated animals, associated with arthropod vectors. Research in this area can be directly related to vector control, or focus on agricultural pests and food safety. Integrated research is necessary to develop novel control methods for vectors and agricultural pests as health risks increase from a growing population, climate change, and increased pesticide resistance.

Jim Marden

College of Science, Department of Biology: Ecological and evolutionary animal physiology, evolution of aerial locomotion in insects, population- and ecosystem-level influences on insect success and life history evolution, impact of food quality and quantity on dragonfly parasite loads, metapopulation dynamics of butterflies.

Harland Patch

Department of Entomology: pollinator health; pollinator behavior, population genetics; sustainable agriculture; food security; human nutrition

Tanya Renner

Department of Entomology: The central goal of our research is to examine evolutionary patterns and processes that drive functional diversification. We are particularly interested in how multi-species interactions shape biodiversity at the microevolutionary scale and influence form and function.

Rudolf Schilder

The success or fitness of animals depends to a large extent on how well they respond to changes in demands from their environment. I am broadly interested in the (physiological) mechanisms that allow them to do this most optimally, but my research in this area is mainly focused on how animals match the performance of their locomotory apparatus (i.e. their musculoskeletal system) to changes in their body size, energy requirements and energy availability. As most organisms have to deal with these issues, I am not limited in the type of animal I can study. In fact, by studying these mechanisms across different animal taxa we may identify important evolutionary constraints on animal design (in a broad sense), and sources of design variation that natural selection may act on.

Irmgard Seidl-Adams

Department of Entomology: Molecular analysis of plant–insect and plant–pathogen interactions, elicitation and regulation of "defense" signaling in plants; role of plant hormones, in particular auxin, during pathogen infection.

Katriona Shea

College of Science, Department of Biology: Basic and applied population ecology using both theoretical and empirical methods; invasion ecology; decision theory in population management; species interactions.

Andy Stephenson

College of Science, Department of Biology: Interrelationships among inbreeding, herbivore and disease in plants; effects of inbreeding on plant volatile production and insect attraction to plants; changes in volatile production with herbivory and pathogen infection; responses of insect vectors to pathogen infected plants.

Matt Thomas

Department of Entomology: Our research explores many aspects of the ecology and evolution of insect pests and diseases with the aim of better understanding the consequences of global change and improving the effectiveness and sustainability of pest and disease management. We combine empirical and theoretical approaches to address issues of fundamental and applied significance.

Ming Tien

College of Science, Department of Biochemistry: Fungal lignin biodegradation, role of wood substrate in enzyme production and succession of enzymes involved in degradation of wood, protemics, trypsin fingerprinting using MALDI/TOF mass spectroscopy, role of methionine sulfoxide reductases in protection of plants from oxidative stress.

John Tooker

Department of Entomology: Plant–insect interactions, tritrophic interactions, host–plant volatile emissions, plant defenses, phytohormones dynamics, conservation biological control, gall-inducing insects.

Jim Tumlinson

Department of Entomology: Insect pheromones and other semiochemicals, biochemistry of signal production and release in plants and insects, behavioral responses of insects to chemical cues, interactions among herbivorous insects, their host plants, and their natural enemies, biochemistry of insect saliva and regurgitant, environmentally safe pest management.

Julie Urban

Department of Entomology, Associate Research Professor

Yinong Yang

Department of Plant Pathology: Complex network of signal transduction and pathway interactions involved in rice biotic and abiotic stress tolerance by using a combination of molecular, biochemical, genetic, genomic and proteomic approaches; genetic and molecular dissection of defense signaling pathways in rice; proteomic and functional analyses of stress signaling complexes; high-throughput RNA interference system for rice functional genomics; genetic engineering for enhanced biotic and abiotic stress tolerance.

Rose Zhu

Department of Entomology: The primary emphasis of our research is to understand the mechanisms and evolution of insects’ adaptation to chemical stresses in their environment. Insects are the most evolutionarily successful metazoans on the Earth.