Dr. Joseph L. Spencer from Illinois Natural History Survey's Prairie Research Institute will be presenting his research on western corn rootworm as a part of the spring semester seminar series. Dr. Spencer's seminar is sponsored by the Entomology Graduate Student Organization (EGSO). The seminar will be located in E164 Lagomarcino Hall.
Abstract. When I came to Illinois in 1996, I was tasked with studying the puzzling adaption of the western corn rootworm (WCR) beetle to annual crop rotation. With no firsthand knowledge of WCR ecology, I decided to spend some quiet time in corn and soybean fields letting the WCR tell me their story. What I saw while learning to think like a WCR has colored my research ever since and it prepared me to appreciate new stories about WCR movement and mating, dispersal, and even Bt resistance among rotation-resistant WCR populations. In my presentation, I will connect insights from the past with recent findings about WCR movement and ecology. Lessons from the study of resistance to crop rotation can inform our approach to understanding WCR movement and resistance to Bt corn. I believe that engineering future management success against the formidable WCR depends on knowing what WCR really do and being willing to ask some good questions