I am interested in determining the spatial characteristics of agricultural pest problems. Currently, I am establishing the distribution of Bt-resistant traits in western corn rootworm (WCR) (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) throughout Iowa, and how the evolution and spread of resistance are impacted by field management and landscape characteristics. To this end, I am sampling sites throughout Iowa to detect resistance to the major lines of Bt toxins (mCry3A, Cry3Bb1, and Cry34/35Ab).
Postdoctoral Scientists and Staff
My current research projects are focused on characterization of field-evolved Bt resistance in western corn rootworm (WCR) (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera). I am involved in monitoring and quantifying evolution of Bt-resistance and cross-resistance (for Cry3Bb1, mCry3A, and Cry34/35Ab) in WCR field populations from various locations in Iowa. We use single plant bioassays, seedling mat bioassays, diet bioassays and field experiments to measure Bt resistance.
My research is focused on Bt resistance monitoring, molecular and biochemical level characterization of Bt resistance, cross-resistance patterns of Bt toxins, and fitness costs associated with resistance in lepidopteran and coleopteran insect pests. I am conducting research on transgenic crops expressing single or pyramided Bt toxins for effective management of insect pests.
I conduct field trials testing both commercial and pre-commercial products for management of insect pests of corn. Much of my work focuses on western and northern corn rootworm, but I also have studied products targeting corn earworm, European corn borer, fall armyworm, seedcorn maggot and wireworm. I conduct trials on Iowa State University Research farms and in farmers' fields.
I assist graduate students and postdoctoral scientists with various research projects such as bioassays and maintaining western corn rootworm strains.