I worked in Dr. Gassmann's lab for three and a half years while obtaining my B.S. in Animal Ecology. I then spent a year as an intern at DM Crop Research Group, where I gained valuable experience in raising corn rootworm, raising fall armyworm, helping with soil sampling, collecting adult corn rootworm from tent studies, doing stand counts in corn and soybeans, and assisting with planting and harvesting of research plots. Currently I work in Dr. Gassmann's lab rearing corn rootworm for researching Bt resistance.
David's M.S. research focused on resistance of the western corn rootworm (WCR), Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, to transgenic corn plants producing the Bt toxin Cry3Bb1. He studied the genetic dominance and fitness costs of Bt resistance in two laboratory strains of WCR with field-derived alleles.
Paolino, A. R. and Gassmann, A. J. 2017. Assessment of inheritance and fitness costs associated with field-evolved resistance to Cry3Bb1 maize by western corn rootworm. Toxins 9(5):159; doi:10.3390/toxins9050159
Dunbar, M. W., Gassmann A. J. and O’Neal, M. E. 2017. Impacts of rye cover crop on beneficial arthropods. Environmental Entomology. 46:284-290 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.