western corn rootworm
I graduated from Oklahoma State University in May of 2014 with an M.S. in Entomology and Plant Pathology. My thesis is titled "Comparative Sampling Methods and Community Composition of Grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) in Northern Bobwhite Habitat." My research uncovered ways in which Acrididae subfamilies partition resources (food and oviposition space) and how that may impact northern bobwhite that rely on them for prey.
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 characterizing the genetics of western corn rootworm strains that have been selected for survival on maize expressing the Cry34/35Ab1 insecticidal proteins. I also work full time for DuPont-Pioneer.
Ryan completed a master's degree studying interactions of western corn rootworm with Bt corn. He measured that standing level of genetic variation for larval survival on CryBb1 corn and corn that was pyramided to produce both Cry34/35Ab1 and Cry3Bb1. He also quantified the level of survival for western and northern corn rootworm on Bt and non-Bt corn in the field.
I assist graduate students and postdoctoral scientists with various research projects such as bioassays and maintaining western corn rootworm strains.