For her master's degree, Amanda tested whether the ecological important variables of host-plant resistance and entomopathogens could affect the magnitude and dominance of fitness costs associated with resistance to Cry3Bb1 in western corn rootworm.
During her time as a postdoctoral scientist at Iowa State University, Dr. Maxwell studied a diversity of topics, including fitness costs of Bt resistance in western corn rootworm and European corn borer, tritrophic interactions among soil-borne entomopathogens, corn and western corn rootworm, and the application of integrated refuges and Bt pyramids to manage the evolution of resistance.
Melissa completed a master's degree in entomology. She studied tritrophic interactions among western corn rootworm, soil-borne entomopathogens and Bt corn.
Dunbar, M. W., O’Neal, M. E. and Gassmann A. J. In Press. Increased risk of insect injury to corn following rye cover crop. Journal of Economic Entomology.
Gassmann, A. J. In Press. Resistance to Bt maize by western corn rootworm: insights from the laboratory and the field. Current Opinion in Insect Science. Read more about Publications
My research interests are in the areas of plant-insect and tritrophic interactions, with a focus on insects that attack corn Zea mays L. General themes include applications of ecological and evolutionary principles to improve integrated pest management and insect resistance management. Most of my work addresses questions concerning adaptation by pests to genetically modified crops that produce insecticidal toxins derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), and tritrophic interactions among insects, plants and entomopathogens.