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). I am using GIS to evaluate landscape and management parameters associated with the presence of resistance, and applying current and modified models of dispersal to evaluate evolution vs. spread of resistance.
I have been studying biological management in corn-soybean systems for over 5 years, and am interested in combining my experience with weed and insect management to provide well-rounded recommendations to farmers to efficiently manage their systems. I seek better integrated insect and weed management strategies that minimize inputs and promote greater stability of agroecosystems. I also have experience with outreach, extension, and sociological research that informs our management options and methods. My experience with insect diversity, insect control, seed predation as weed management, behavioral and evolutionary studies of crop-associated species, morphometrics of adaptation to agriculture, and sociological surveys combine to promote knowledge of agroecosystems and integrated management of all farm pests.