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).
Bt resistance management
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.