Administrative Unit: Entomology
College/School: College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Admitting Plans: M.S., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered: M.S., Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates: Doctoral Minor
The department is a diverse unit of researchers whose work spans the areas of suborganismal, organismal, and applied entomology. Research programs of the faculty are broadly interdisciplinary employing cutting edge technology in all areas. Individual faculty web pages provide in-depth descriptions of the diversity of research in entomology.
Suborganismal research in the department focuses on insect physiology and population genetics. Areas of specialization include the molecular action of insect hormones and the insect/microbiome interface. Studies of gene flow utilize various molecular methods. Genomic data are used to understand adaptation, gene flow on landscapes, the genetic basis of phenotypes, and the phylogenetic relationships of insect species.
Organismal: Entomology faculty members are leaders in the areas of basic ecology of insects in a variety of natural and managed systems, such as forests, lakes and agroecosystems. Studies in taxonomy, chemical ecology, spatial analysis, vector biology, behavioral ecology, and landscape ecology have strong representation in the department. Research examines how they affect crops and forests, influence ecosystem processes such as nutrient and carbon cycling and the "services" they provide in natural and managed ecosystems such as pollination and pest suppression.
Applied/Extension: Faculty in the department extend a long tradition of research on insects as they impact humans. Excellence in agricultural research continues in vegetable crops, field and forage crops and the turf and ornamental "green industry" where work has continued to advance the application of integrated pest management in agricultural systems. Basic research conducted by faculty in cropping systems also has implications for pest management, conservation, bioenergy, resource management. This research extends to global health issues focusing on arthropod borne diseases and insects as a novel food source.
Research in the department explores the interconnections across scales of biological organization, from molecular and cellular interactions to ecosystem-level studies, in both managed and natural systems, and from basic to applied research. Faculty members collaborate with colleagues in other departments in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and beyond the college and university.
Graduate education in the Department of Entomology provides many opportunities for collaborative research. Faculty members participate in joint instructional programs with other departments on campus and with scientists at other universities, in federal and state agencies, and in industry. Because several entomology faculty members are also adjunct professors in zoology, forest and wildlife ecology, molecular and environmental toxicology, and other departments, they may serve as primary advisers to graduate students majoring in those fields. Opportunities exist to conduct research in a variety of distant tropical and temperate regions, to gain experience in classroom instruction and individual mentoring, and to participate in outreach activities such as addressing K–12 classes, naturalist groups, and commodity producers.