Name Areas of Interest Email
David Andow
Professor, Distinguished McKnight University Professor

Ecology of natural enemy food webs in agricultural crops, including interactions involving arthropod predators, with an emphasis on new molecular techniques to identify and quantify food web links. The use of vegetational diversity in the conservation of natural enemies. Ecological risk assessment of biological stressors, such as biological control agents, invasive species and genetically engineered organisms. Insect resistance management, gene flow and its consequences, with an emphasis on evolutionary dynamics. Science policy associated with new agricultural technologies.

Brian Aukema

How aspects of global change such as climate change and invasive species are manifested by forest insects.

Dan Cariveau
Associate Professor

Our lab group is focused on the ecology, conservation, and restoration of native, wild bee communities and the pollination services they provide. We currently have three main research areas. First, how do we most effectively restore and manage habitat for native bees and pollination? Second, how can we best monitor native bees? Finally, we have a robust natural history component to our work. There is so little known about the native bees, leading to an incredible opportunity to uncover taxonomy, basic biology and ecology of these important insects. Our research hopes to inform and thus relies upon collaborations with state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, farmers, and local communities.

Ann Fallon
Distinguished McKnight University Professor

Research Interests

  • Mosquito reproduction
  • Mosquito cell culture; gene expression, gene amplification; toxicology
  • Hormonal effects on cell cycle progression
  • Structure and regulation of mosquito ribosomal protein genes
  • Host microbe interactions, especially Wolbachia in Culex mosquitoes
  • Development of in vitro systems for manipulating Wolbachia

National and International Interests:

  • Grant review panels: NIH (past member, Vector Biology Study Section), NSF, USDA, Howard Hughes Predoctoral Fellowships, Lindbergh Foundation
  • Invited Visiting Professor, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, 1999 
Leonard Ferrington
Professor, (recently deceased)

International Activities:

Extended projects have taken me to Norway, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Tasmania, New Zealand, South Africa and Mongolia. Graduate students have often participated in these projects and have benefitted from the travels. I have also been very fortunate to have collaborated with a number of colleagues across the US and in all of the other countries and am grateful of their spirit of cooperation that has always made the research enjoyable and scientifically productive. I recently participated in an IES Faculty Development Seminar "Paradise Lost? Challenging Perspectives on a Changing Europe" which took place at the IES Abroad EU Center, Villa Gleichenstein in Freiburg, Germany. Topics included EU Foreign Relations, Environmental Policies, Identity Politics and Economic Policies, and discussions were interlaced with local field study trips within Freiburg, the surrounding area (including the Black Forest) and EU institutional facilities at Strasbourg (France), Brussels (Belgium) and Frankfurt (Germany).

George Heimpel
Distinguished McKnight University Professor

I am currently involved in research on the avian parasite Philornis downsi (Diptera: Muscidae) that has invaded the Galapagos Islands where it is attacking Darwin's Finches. This work takes place in the Galapagos as well as mainland Ecuador and Trinidad & Tobago. I have also done research on naturally-occurring biological control of soybean aphid in its native Asia in Japan and China on a number of occasions since 2001.

Ralph Holzenthal

The richness and diversity of insects fascinate me, particularly the diversity of caddisflies, or Trichoptera. As aquatic larvae, caddisflies build remarkable silken nets and portable cases of many different styles and materials. Adults, too, are very diverse in their size, color, and morphology. My curiosity for these insects is fueled by the many new species being discovered around the world and my desire to describe this diversity.

My specific area of expertise is in the systematics and taxonomy of Neotropical caddisflies. My research involves field work, descriptive and alpha taxonomy, and revisionary and phylogenetic studies. I am also interested in general systematic theory and methodology, historical biogeography, conservation, and museum management and administration.

Bill Hutchison
Professor and Extension Entomologist, Fellow, Entomological Society of America

In addition to my research responsibilities, I am active in international activities, including participation in international projects and meetings, regarding the challenges of IPM adoption, and the use of genetically engineered (GE) crops in various countries, such as, Colombia, England, Ethiopia, Mexico, South Africa, and Switzerland. I also serve as Co-Editor for Radcliffe's World IPM Textbook; with 67 chapters (English, Spanish), this site is an interactive resource for teaching IPM worldwide. 

Stephen Kells

My primary focus is on arthropod and rodent pests in structures and non-farm stored products.  These habitats include homes, work places and other human systems in society, such as hotels, transportation, food manufacturing and storage facilities, retail stores and distribution, etc.

Pests can cause considerable loss of quality of life, discomfort and annoyance, direct injury and vector disease agents, resulting in severe health problems and medical costs.  In food production facilities, food may be directly lost or contaminated. Uncontrolled pest activity in these structures may result in temporary facility closure to resolve problems.

Through research and teaching I enable people to more effectively prevent and control pests, resulting in reduced risks and costs.  

Robert Koch
Associate Professor, Extension Entomologist

My research program focuses on applied ecology and integrated pest management of arthropods associated with crops, primarily soybean. The goal, in conjunction with my extension program, is to improve the environmental and economic sustainability of crop production through integrated pest management. The research program is broadly based in integrated pest management, emphasizing scouting (sampling and remote sensing) and evaluation and integration of control tactics (chemical and biological controls and host plant resistance).

Vera Krischik
Associate Professor
Tim Kurtti

International collaborative projects:

On Cardinium and Wobachia symbionts of arthropods with Dr. Hiroaki Noda and colleagues (Chief of Research Unit, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba Japan: Professor, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo Japan). Most recent joint publication, Nakamura, Y., Gotoh, T., Imanishi, S., Mita, K., Kurtti, T. J., Noda, H. 2011. Differentially expressed genes in silkworm cell cultures in response to infection by Wolbachia and Cardinium endosymbionts. Insect Molecular Biology 20:279-289).

Tick cell biology with Dr. Sirlei Daffre (Associate Professor, Instituto de Ciencias Biomedicas Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil (Esteves, E., Lara, F.A., Lorenzini, D.M., Costa, G.H.N., Fukuzawa, A.H., Pressinotti, L.N., Silva, J.R.M.C., Ferro, J.A., Kurtti, T.J., Munderloh, U.G. and Daffre, S. 2008. Cellular and molecular characterization of an embryonic cell line (BME26) from the tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilusmicroplus. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 38:568-580)

Tick cell culture with Dr. Darci Barros-Battesti (Laboratório de Artrópodes, Instituto Butantan. Avenida Vital Brazil 1500, 05503-900 São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil)

Establishment of a Tick Cell Line Biobank funded by Wellcome Trust with Dr Lesley Bell-Sakyi (The Roslin Wellcome Trust Tick Cell Biobank, The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush, Edinburgh EH9 1QH, Scotland, UK). Most of the tick cell lines generated at the University of Minnesota are deposited in this "Biobank."

Memberships in Scientific Societies: 

American Society for Microbiology; Entomological Society of America; Society for Invertebrate Pathology; Society for In Vitro Biology; New York Academy of Science; American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; Sigma Xi.

Amelia Lindsey
Assistant Professor

Insect functional genomics, host-microbe interactions and symbiosis, parasitoids, evolution

Ian MacRae
Professor and Extension Entomologist
Karen Mesce
Professor, Director of Graduate Studies

We are investigating the neural mechanisms underlying the generation of behaviors in simpler invertebrate animals. Professor Mesce is the President-elect of the International Society for Neuroethology and the Director of Graduate Studies in Entomology. 

Ulrike Munderloh
Ken Ostlie
Professor and Extension Entomologist

Conduct educational program on corn and soybean insects and their management.

My educational philosophy is to engage farmers, and their advisory ag professionals, in exploring the contemporary management challenges posed by changing insect risks, evolving technologies and dynamic production needs.  These challenges provide an excellent opportunity to teach insect biology, ecology and management at its interface with crop production.   I relish the constantly changing educational situation; every year brings different insect problems. 

Major foci of my extension activities have changed drastically over the last 10 years: European corn borer has faded from its status as a key pest only to be replaced by corn rootworms as their resistance to crop rotation intensifies.  The invasive soybean aphid arrived in 2001 and changed the face of soybean production.  Changing weather patterns has brought to the forefront other insect problems: bean leaf beetle, two-spotted spider mites and western bean cutworm.  The introduction and rapid adoption of biotechnology has revolutionized corn rootworm and corn borer management.  The necessity for insect resistance management vies with economic and logistical realities that farmers face in deciding their production practices.  The current “insurance approach” towards use of crop inputs, such as Bt-corn, seed treatments and foliar insecticides now pose the greatest single hurdle to extension education programs.

Activities in my extension program include:

  • preparing educational materials (publications, newsletters, web pages and presentations)
  • teaching farmers and ag professions (county / cluster winter meetings,  short courses, field days, field schools, clinics, and workshops)
  • conducting applied research with extension staff and other ag professionals, and
  • in-service training of extension educators.

Guest lecturer for departmental and college courses(integrated pest management, insect pathology, sampling, issues in natural resources)

Matt Petersen
Teaching Assistant Professor

I teach a variety of Entomology courses covering topics of insect identity, ecology, and impact in native and managed systems. In teaching Entomology try to provide an environment where students can learn foundational concepts that will expedite their future endeavors, while helping them to develop problem solving skills and an understanding of how science is conducted. Through these objectives my ultimate goal is to instill the idea that in addition to learning these foundational concepts, we are assimilating information about interconnected components of larger processes.

As a researcher I am a broadly trained systematist that is interested in the ecological and evolutionary factors impacting species distribution.  My studies are based on examining questions of insect systematics (insect phylogeny, historic biogeography, and tests of ecological niche conservation in non-native species) and landscape and local factors influencing the incidence and abundance of pest species in managed systems. 

Sujaya Rao
Professor and Department Head

IPM in field crops

Behavior and Ecology of Native Bee Pollinators in Agricultural and Native Landscapes

Entomophagy - Changing social perceptions about edible insects as food for humans

Marla Spivak
Distinguished McKnight University Professor

The research goal my lab is to promote the health of all bees. Our primary research focus is on honey bees, ranging from basic studies on mechanisms of social immunity and behavior, to applied studies on honey bee breeding and management.  Current studies are centered on honey bee hygienic behavior as a mechanism of parasite and possibly virus resistance, and on the benefits of propolis (antimicrobial plant resins) to the health of honey bees and the stingless bee, Scaptogrigona mexicana


Additional Graduate Faculty

Name Email
Matt Aliota
Assistant Professor (Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences)
Elizabeth Borer
Professor (Ecology, Evolution and Behavior)
Declan Schroeder
Associate Professor (Veterinary Population Medicine)
Emilie Snell Rood
Associate Professor (Ecology, Evolution and Behavior)
Rob Venette
Adjunct Associate Professor, Director, Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plant & Pest Center , Research Biologist
Marlene Zuk
Regents Professor, Associate Dean for Faculty Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

Emeritus Faculty

Name Email
Mark Ascerno
Professor Emeritus
Roger Moon
Professor Emeritus
Edward Radcliffe
Professor Emeritus
David Ragsdale
Professor Emeritus, Head, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University

Affiliated with Entomology

Name Email
Mark Asplen
Associate Professor, Department Chair (Department of Natural Sciences, Metropolitan State University)
Roger Blahnik
Research Affiliate, Insect Collection
John Luhman
Adjunct Assistant Professor (retired)
Karen Oberhauser
Professor, Director of The UW Arboretum, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Susan Palchick
Adjunct Associate Professor, Director, Hennepin County Public Health