Tooker Lab

Plant-Insect Interactions in Agroecosystems -- We study relationships among plants, insect herbivores, and natural enemies to understand factors that regulate populations of herbivorous insects. We are interested in both plant- and natural-enemy-mediated factors and how they influence insect behavior, community composition, and herbivore mortality. Our long-term goal is to exploit the ecology/biology of our study organisms to provide strategies and tactics for more sustainable insect pest management.

Lab Research News

'Sustainable intensification' of cropping systems good for farmers, environment
March 16, 2020
By diversifying their crop rotations to create conditions that promote beneficial, predatory insects to combat pests, farmers can reduce their reliance on insecticides to control early-season crop pests, such as caterpillars, and still produce competitive yields of corn and soybeans.
Half a billion dead honey bees in Brazil show what happens when you roll back pesticide regulations
August 30, 2019
Insecticides kill insects. It should be no surprise, then, that in Brazil, which has seen a 27% increase in pesticide sales since last year, roughly 500 million honey bees were found dead in piles across four states in early spring. The country’s pesticide use has grown by 770% between 1990 to 2016, as reported by Bloomberg.
'Planting green' cover-crop strategy may help farmers deal with wet springs
July 3, 2019
Allowing cover crops to grow two weeks longer in the spring and planting corn and soybean crops into them before termination is a strategy that may help no-till farmers deal with wet springs, according to Penn State researchers.

John's Bio

John Tooker, Ph.D.
Professor of Entomology
Extension Specialist
506 Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building
and 113 Merkle Lab

University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-865-7082