Dr. Nagoshi is a recognized expert in insect genetics and reproduction with professional experience in both academic and government science. He has been awarded several nationally competitive research grants including those from the NIH and USDA, and has developed and taught numerous courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in genetics, molecular biology, and developmental biology. Dr. Nagoshi has worked extensively on the genetics of insect oogenesis and sexual differentiation. At present he is collaborating with unit ecologist, Dr. Meagher, on work that centers on describing the genetic structure of fall armyworm populations, a major international economic pest. The objectives are to develop tools to monitor and predict population movements, assess the probability and magnitude of infestations, and ultimately to modify these populations to mitigate future infestations.
The research entails the development of a novel application of haplotype analysis that can distinguish between different migrant fall armyworm populations. This methodology is being used to map migration from overwintering sites and will be part of collaborative efforts to identify the biological, behavioral, and environmental factors that dictate these distribution and movement patterns. The findings will be used to develop methods to predict the timing and severity of infestations in specific crops and suppress migrating populations at their overwintering source. The successful completion of the research plan will define the migratory pathways of fall armyworm in North America and identify indicators for predicting the timing and severity of the infestations. This will be of significant use to growers with respect to decisions about the timing of pest control efforts and be of broad interest to researchers studying insect migration. The extension of this study to include the Caribbean, and portions of Central and South America will be instructive for how migratory pests might enter the United States. The data obtained will define the geographical and temporal extent of any proposed area-wide management strategy and drive the development of techniques designed to disrupt or delay the northward migration of fall armyworm and thereby mitigate its economic consequences.