I hold a three-way appointment that combines research, Extension, and teaching. Applied research needs to be conducted before it can be extended to producers. My research focuses on applied aspects of insect-plant interactions as a basis to develop more sustainable pest management tools and strategies in fruit orchards. More specifically, my research seeks to develop behaviorally-based pest management tools such as attract-and-kill systems that are based on information from insect sensory ecology and behavior. Examples include odor-baited trap trees for plum curculio, mass trapping for Japanese beetles, and bait stations for invasive and native fruit flies. My research also seeks to integrate chemical, behavioral, and biological methods in insect control and a better understanding on the ecology of pests and their natural enemies.
My Extension program delivers timely and relevant research-based IPM information to fruit growers using a variety of methods. Through Extension activities, I seek to increase the level of awareness and adoption of IPM components by growers and to document impacts derived from my Extension activities. Successful adoption of IPM should lower input costs and decrease pesticide use, leading to increases in growers’ profit margins while decreasing the negative environmental impact associated with pesticide misuse and the risk of resistance. View personal Webpage