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Christopher M Ranger

Research Entomologist


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Christopher M. Ranger, Ph.D.
Research Entomologist
Horticultural Insects Research Lab
Application Technology Research Unit
USDA-Agricultural Research Service
1680 Madison Ave
Wooster, OH 44691

Research Program

Dr. Ranger’s research addresses broad and complex research problems to identify and exploit biological weaknesses of horticultural insect pests, especially exotic ambrosia beetles. The overall objective is to discover new concepts and develop or optimize existing methodologies to establish integrated pest management strategies for exceptionally difficult insect pests, especially ambrosia beetles. Dr. Ranger conducts research to: (1) collect, bioassay, isolate, and identify plant chemical defenses, (2) elucidate mechanisms of host-insect-microbe interactions, including the impact of abiotic stressors, (3) identify and implement attractant and repellent semiochemicals, and (4) develop botanically-based, user-friendly insecticides. Dr. Ranger reports via peer-reviewed publications on hypothesis-driven research, leads research proposals and extramural grants, supervises visiting scholars and postdoctoral research associates, and ensures proper interpretation and reporting of scientific results. This research directly supports the goals of ARS National Program 305-Crop Production.

Recognition in Popular Press

Educational Background

2000−2004 University of Missouri-Columbia; major: Entomology; Ph.D.
1997−1999 The Pennsylvania State University; major: Entomology; M.S.
1992−1997 The Ohio State University; major: Entomology; B.S.

Research Experience

2006−present  Research Entomologist (GS-15, 2019), USDA-ARS, Application Technology Research Unit, Wooster, OH
2004−2006 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Philip E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension, Rutgers University, Chatsworth, NJ
2000−2004  Life Sciences Predoctoral Fellow, Department of Entomology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
1997−1999 Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Entomology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Academic Affiliation

1/2007−Present  Adjunct Professor, Department of Entomology, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH

Supervisory Responsibilities

Dr. Ranger currently supervises a full-time ARS technician (Jenny Barnett) and two postdoctoral scholars (Dr. Ruchika Geedi and Dr. Nisha Patwa), and co-supervises a postdoctoral scholar (Dr. Carlos Esquivel)

Offices and Committee Assignments

Recent Awards

Host Laboratory for International Scholars

Dr. Ranger has hosted and trained the following international visiting scholars:

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  1. Ranger, C.M., and Hower, A.A. Glandular morphology from a perennial alfalfa clone with reference to potato leafhopper (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) resistance. Crop Science. 41:1427-1434. 2001.
  2. Ranger, C.M., and Hower, A.A. Role of the glandular trichomes in resistance of perennial alfalfa to the potato leafhopper (Homoptera: Cicadellidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 94:951-957. 2001.
  3. Ranger, C.M., and Hower, A.A. Glandular trichomes on perennial alfalfa affect host-selection behavior of Empoasca fabae. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 105:71-81. 2002.
  4. Ranger, C.M., Backus, E.A., Winter, R.E.K., Rottinghaus, G.E., Ellersieck, M., and Johnson, D.W. Glandular trichome extracts from Medicago sativa deter settling by the potato leafhopper Empoasca fabae. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 30:921-937. 2004.
  5. Ranger, C.M., Winter, R.E.K., Rottinghaus, G.E., Backus, E.A., Ellersieck M.R., and Johnson, D.W. Bioactivity of lipophilic metabolites from glandular trichomes of Medicago sativa against the potato leafhopper. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 30:1969-1983. 2004.
  6. Ranger, C.M., Winter, R.E.K., Rottinghaus, G.E., Backus, E.A., and Johnson, D.W. Mass spectral characterization of fatty acid amides from alfalfa trichomes and their deterrence against the potato leafhopper. Phytochemistry. 66:529-541. 2005.
  7. Ranger, C.M., Winter, R.E.K., Rottinghaus, G.E., Backus, E.A., Ellersieck M., and Johnson, D.W. Discrimination by the potato leafhopper (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) of host volatiles from resistant and susceptible alfalfa, Medicago sativa L. Environmental Entomology. 34:271-280. 2005.
  8. Backus, E.A., Serrano M., and Ranger, C.M. Mechanisms of hopperburn: an overview of insect taxonomy, behavior, and physiology. Annual Review of Entomology. 50:125-151. 2005.
  9. Casteel, C.L., Ranger, C.M., Backus, E.A., Ellersieck, M., and Johnson, D.W. Influence of plant ontogeny and abiotic factors on resistance of glandular-haired alfalfa to the potato leafhopper (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 99:537-543. 2006.
  10. Ranger, C.M., Johnson-Cicalese, J., Polavarapu, S., and Vorsa, N. Evaluation of Vaccinium spp. for blueberry aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) performance and phenolic content. Journal of Economic Entomology. 99:1474-1482. 2006.
  11. Ranger, C.M., Singh, A., Johnson-Cicalese, J., Polavarapu, S., and Vorsa, N. Intraspecific variation in aphid resistance and constitutive phenolics exhibited by the wild blueberry Vaccinium darrowi. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 33:711-729. 2007.
  12. Derksen, R.C., Frantz, J., Ranger, C.M., Locke, J.C., Zhu, H., and Krause, C. Comparing greenhouse handgun delivery to poinsettias by spray volume and quality. Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. 51:27-33. 2007.
  13. Oliver, J.B., Fare, D.C., Youssef, N., Halcomb, M.A., Reding, M.E., and Ranger, C.M. Evaluation of systemic insecticides for potato leafhopper control in field-grown red maple. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 27:17-23. 2009.
  14. Ranger, C.M., Singh, A.P., Frantz, J.M., Cañas, L., Locke, J.C., Reding, M. E., and Vorsa, N. Influence of silicon on resistance of Zinnia elegans to the green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Environmental Entomology. 38:129-136. 2009.
  15. Ranger, C.M., Reding, M.E., Oliver, J.B., Moyseenko, J.J., and Youssef, N.N. Toxicity of botanical formulations to nursery-infesting white grubs (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 102:304-308. 2009.
  16. Youssef, N.N., Oliver, J.B., Ranger, C.M., Reding, M.E., Moyseenko, J.J. Klein, M.G., and Pappas, R.S. Field evaluation of essential oils for reducing attraction by the Japanese beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 102:1551-1558. 2009.
  17. Ranger, C.M., Reding, M.E., Persad, A.B., and Herms, D.A. Ability of stress-related volatiles to attract and induce attacks by Xylosandrus germanus and other ambrosia beetles. Agricultural and Forest Entomology. 12:177-185. 2010.
  18. Reding, M.E., Oliver, J., Schultz, P., and Ranger, C.M. Monitoring flight activity of ambrosia beetles in ornamental nurseries with ethanol-baited traps: influence of trap height on captures. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 28:85-90. 2010.
  19. Derksen, R.C., Ranger, C.M., Cañas, L.A., Locke, J.C., Zhu, H., and Krause, C.R. Evaluation of handgun and broadcast systems for spray deposition in greenhouse poinsettia canopies Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. 53:5-12. 2010.
  20. Oliver, J.B., Fare, D.C., Youssef, N., Scholl, S., Reding, M.E., Ranger, C.M., Moyseenko, J.J., and Halcomb, M.A., Evaluation of a single application of neonicotinoid and multi-application contact insecticides for flatheaded borer management in field grown Acer rubrum L. cultivars. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 28:135-149. 2010.
  21. Derksen, R.C., Ranger, C.M., Zhu, H., and Krause, C., Greenhouse evaluation of air-assist delivery parameters for mature poinsettias. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 26:947-953. 2010.
  22. Ranger, C.M., Winter, R.E., Singh, A.P., Reding, M.E., Frantz, J.M., Locke, J.C., and Krause, C.R. Rare excitatory amino acid from flowers of zonal geranium responsible for paralyzing the Japanese beetle. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108:1217-1221. 2011.
  23. Ranger, C.M., Reding, M.E., Gandhi, K.J.K., Oliver, J.B., Schultz, P.B., Cañas, L., and Herms, D. A. Species dependent influence of (-)-α-pinene on attraction of ambrosia beetles to ethanol-baited traps in nursery agroecosystems. Journal of Economic Entomology. 104:574-579. 2011.
  24. Ranger, C.M., Reding, M.E., Oliver, J.B., Schultz, P.B., Moyseenko, J.J., and Youssef, N. Comparative efficacy of plant-derived essential oils for managing ambrosia beetles and their corresponding mass spectral characterization. Journal of Economic Entomology. 104:1665-1674. 2011.
  25. Reding, M., and Ranger, C.M. Systemic insecticides reduce feeding, survival and fecundity of adult black vine weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on a variety of ornamental nursery crops. Journal of Economic Entomology. 104:405-413. 2011.
  26. Castrillo, L., Griggs, M.H., Ranger, C.M., Reding, M.E., and Vandenberg, J.D. Virulence of commercial strains of Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium brunneum (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) against adult Xylosandrus germanus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and impact on brood. Biological Control. 58:121-126. 2011.
  27. Reding, M.E., Schultz, P.B., Ranger, C.M., and Oliver, J.B. Optimizing ethanol-baited traps for monitoring damaging ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae) in ornamental nurseries. Journal of Economic Entomology. 104:2017-2024. 2011.
  28. Ranger, C.M., Reding, M.E., Schultz, P.B., and Oliver, J.B. Ambrosia beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) responses to volatile emissions associated with ethanol–injected Magnolia virginiana. Environmental Entomology. 41:636-647. 2012.
  29. Derksen, R.C., Canas, L.A., Ranger, C.M., Reding, M.E., and Ozkan, H.E. Implications for pesticide delivery and insecticide selection using chemical analysis of plant tissue and efficacy. International Advances in Pesticide Application – Aspects of Applied Biology. 114:279-286. 2012.
  30. Zhu, H., Ozkan, E., Derksen, R.D., Reding, M.E., Ranger, C.M., Canas, L., Krause, C.R., Locke, J.C., Ernst, S.C., Zondag, R.H., Fulcher, A., Rosetta, R., Hong, J., Chen, Y., Gu, J., Liu, H., Shen, Y., and Rios, A.A. Development of smart spray systems to enhance delivery of pesticides in field nursery production. Phytopathology. 102:144-145. 2012.
  31. Reding, M.E., Ranger, C.M., Oliver, J.B., and Schultz, P.B. Monitoring attack and flight activity of Xylosandrus spp. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae); the influence of temperature on activity. Journal of Economic Entomology. 106:1780-1787. 2013.
  32. Ranger, C.M., Reding, M.E., Schultz, P.B., and Oliver, J.B. Influence of flood-stress on ambrosia beetle host-selection and implications for their management in a changing climate. Agricultural and Forest Entomology. 15:56-64. 2013.
  33. Ranger, C.M., Reding, M.E., Oliver, J.B., Moyseenko, J.J., Youssef, N., and Krause, C.R. Acute toxicity of plant essential oils to scarab larvae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) and their analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Journal of Economic Entomology. 106:159-167. 2013.
  34. Ranger, C.M., Tobin, P.C., Reding, M.E., Bray, A.M., Oliver, J.B., Schultz, P.B., Frank, S.D., and Persad, A.B. Interruption of the semiochemical-based attraction of ambrosia beetles to ethanol-baited traps and ethanol-injected trap trees by verbenone. Environmental Entomology. 42:539-547. 2013.
  35. Persad, A., Siefer, J., Kirby, S., Montan, R., Rocha, O.J., Reding, M.E., and Ranger, C.M. Effect of emerald ash borer on structure and material properties of ash trees. Arboriculture and Urban Forestry. 39:11-16. 2013.
  36. Reding, M.E., Oliver, J.B., Schultz, P.B., Ranger, C.M., and Youssef, N.N. Ethanol injection of ornamental trees facilitates testing insecticide efficacy against ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 106:289-298. 2013.
  37. Oliver, J.B., Ranger, C.M., Reding, M.E., Moyseenko, J.J., Youssef, N.N., and Bray, A.M. Preharvest quarantine treatments of chlorantraniliprole, clothianidin, and other imidacloprid-based insecticides for larval Japanese beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) control in field-grown nursery trees. Journal of Economic Entomology. 106:1190-1199. 2013.
  38. Gorzlancyk, A., Held, D.H., Kim, D.J., and Ranger, C.M. Capture of Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Motschulsky) and other Scolytinae (Coleoptera, Curculionidae) in response to visual and volatile attractants. Florida Entomologist. 96:1097-1101. 2013.
  39. Gorzlancyk, A., Held, D.H., Ranger, C.M., and Barwary, Z. Capture of Cnestus mutilatus (Blandford), Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Motschulsky), and other Scolytinae (Coleoptera, Curculionidae) in response to green light emitting diodes, ethanol, and conophthorin. Florida Entomologist. 97:301-303. 2014.
  40. Ranger, C.M., Gorzlancyk, A.M., Addesso, K.M., Oliver, J.B., Reding, M.E., Schultz, P.B., and Held, D.W. Conophthorin enhances the electroantennogram and field behavioral response of Xylosandrus germanus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) to ethanol. Agricultural and Forest Entomology. 16:327-334. 2014.
  41. Ranger, C.M., Tobin, P.C., and Reding, M.E. Ubiquitous volatile compound facilitates efficient host location by a non-native ambrosia beetle. Biological Invasions. 17:675-686. 2015.
  42. Zhu H., Thistle H.W., Ranger C.M., Zhou H., and Strom B.L. Measurement of semiochemical release rates with a dedicated environmental control system. Biosystems Engineering. 129:277-287. 2015.
  43. Derksen, R.C., Cañas, L.A, Ranger, C.M., and Reding, M.E. The effect of application technique on the temporal and spatial distribution of neonicotinoid insecticides in greenhouse Zinnia and impact on aphid populations. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 31:211-216. doi: 10.13031/aea.31.10609. 2015.
  44. Reding, M.E., Ranger, C.M., Sampson, B.J., Werle, C.T., Oliver, J.B., and Schultz, P.B. Movement of Xylosandrus germanus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) ornamental nurseries and surrounding habitats. Journal of Economic Entomology. doi: 10.1093/jee/tov174. 2015.
  45. Ranger, C.M., Schultz, P. B., Frank, S.D., Chong, J.H., and Reding, M.E. Non-native ambrosia beetles as opportunistic exploiters of living but weakened trees. PLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131496. 2015.
  46. Oliver, J.B., Reding, M.E., Ranger, C.M., Klein, M.G., Youssef, N.N., Moyseenko, J.J., and Dennis, S. O. Insecticides evaluated as regulatory immersion treatments to eliminate third-instar Japanese beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) from small-diameter field-grown nursery plants. Journal of Entomological Science. 51:9-28. 2016.
  47. Ranger, C.M., Reding, M.E., Schultz, P.B., Oliver, J.B., Frank, S.D., Addesso, K.M., Chong, J.H., Sampson, B. Werle, C., Gill, S., and Krause, C. Biology, ecology, and management of nonnative ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) in ornamental plant nurseries. Journal of Integrated Pest Management. 7:1-23. 2016.
  48. Frank, S.D., and Ranger, C.M. Developing a media moisture threshold for nurseries to reduce tree stress and ambrosia beetle attacks. Environmental Entomology. 45:1040-1048. 2016.
  49. Reding, M.E., Ranger, C.M., Oliver, J. Schultz, P., Youssef, N., and Bray, A. Ethanol-injection induces attacks by ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) on a variety of tree species. Agricultural and Forest Entomology. doi:10.1111/afe.12178. 2016.
  50. Ranger, C.M., Schultz, P.B., Reding, M.E., Frank, S.D., and Palmquist, D.E. Flood stress as a technique to assess preventive insecticide and fungicide treatments for protecting trees against ambrosia beetles. Insects. 7:1-11. doi:10.3390. 2016.
  51. Ranger, C.M., Horst, L., Barnett, J., Reding, M.E., Anderson, B., and Krause, C.R. Comparative morphology and distribution of antennal sensilla on Xylosandrus germanus and Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 110:172-188. 2017.
  52. Zhu, H., Rosetta, R., Reding, M. E., Zondag, R., Ranger, C.M., Canas, L., Fulcher, A., Krause, C.R., Derksen, R.C., and Ozkan, E. Validation of laser-guided variable-rate sprayer for managing insects in ornamental nurseries. Transactions of the ASABE. 60:337-345. 2017.
  53. Mayers, C.G., Harrington, T., and Ranger, C.M. First report of a sexual state in an ambrosia fungus: Ambrosiella cleistominuta sp. nov. associated with the ambrosia beetle Anisandrus maiche. Botany. 95:503-512. 2017.
  54. Oliver, J.B., Ranger, C.M., Reding, M.E., Youssef, N.N., and Moyseenko, J.J. Single and combination insecticides evaluated as regulatory immersion treatments to eliminate third-instar Japanese beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) from small diameter field-grown and containerized nursery plants. Journal of Entomological Science. 52:274-287. 2017.
  55. Klingeman, W.E., Bray, A.M., Oliver, J.B., Ranger, C.M., and Palmquist, D.E. Trap style, bait, and height deployments in black walnut tree canopies help inform monitoring strategies for bark and ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). Environmental Entomology. doi: 10.1093/ee/nvx133. 2017.
  56. Reding, M.E., and Ranger, C.M. Residue age and attack pressure influence efficacy of insecticide treatments against ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 111:269-276. 2017.
  57. Frank, S.D, Ranger, C.M., and Anderson, A.L. Interaction of insecticide and media moisture on ambrosia beetle attacks in ornamental nurseries. Environmental Entomology. 46:1390-1396. 2017.
  58. Miller, D.R., Crowe, C.M., Ginzel, M.D., Ranger, C.M., and Schultz, P.B. Comparison of baited bottle and multiple-funnel traps for ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) in Eastern USA. Journal of Entomological Science. 53:347-360. 2018.
  59. Ranger, C.M., Biedermann, P.H.W., Phuntumart, V., Beligala, G.U., Ghosh, S., Palmquist, D.E., Mueller, R., Barnett, J., Schultz, P.B., Reding, M.E., and Benz, J.P. Symbiont selection via alcohol benefits fungus farming by ambrosia beetles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 115:4447-4452. 2018.
  60. Addesso, K., Baysal-Gurel, F., Oliver, J., Ranger C.M., and O’Neal, P. Interaction of a fungicide preventative treatment and root rot pathogen on ambrosia beetle attacks during a simulated flood event. Insects. 9, 83. doi: 10.3390/insects9030083. 2018.
  61. Werle, C.T., Ranger, C.M., Schultz, P.B., Reding, M.E., Addesso, K.M., Oliver, J.B., and Sampson, B.J. Integrating repellent and attractant semiochemicals into a push-pull strategy for ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Journal of Applied Entomology. doi: 10.1111/jen.12594. 2018.
  62. Ranger, C.M., Schultz, P.B., Frank, S.D., and Reding, M.E. Freeze stress of deciduous trees induces attacks by opportunistic ambrosia beetles. Agricultural and Forest Entomology. doi: 10.1111/afe.12317. 2018.
  63. Addesso, K.M., Oliver, J.B., Youssef, N., O’Neal, P.A., Ranger, C.M., Reding, M., Schultz, P.B., and C.T. Werle. Trap tree and interception trap techniques for management of ambrosia beetles in nursery production. Journal of Economic Entomology. doi: 10.1093/jee/toy413. 2018.
  64. Esquivel, C.J., Ranger, C.M., Phelan, L., Martinez, E.J., Hendrix, W.H., Cañas, L., and Michel, A.P. Weekly survivorship curves of soybean aphid biotypes 1 and 4 on insecticidal seed treated soybean. Journal of Economic Entomology. doi: 10.1093/jee/toy410. 2018.
  65. Galko, J., Dzurenko, M., Ranger, C.M., Kulfan, J., Kula, E., Nikolov, C., Zúbrik, M., and Zach, P. Distribution, habitat preference, and management of the invasive ambrosia beetle Xylosandrus germanus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae) in European forests with emphasis on the West Carpathians. Forests. 10. doi: 10.3390/f10010010. 2018.
  66. Rassati, D., Contarini, M., Ranger, C.M., Cavaletto, G., Rossini, L., Speranza, S., Faccoli, M., Marini, L. Fungal pathogen and ethanol affect host selection and colonization success in ambrosia beetles. Agricultural and Forest Entomology. doi: 10.1111/afe.12351. 2019.
  67. Reding, M. E. and Ranger, C.M. Attraction of invasive ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) to ethanol-treated tree bolts. Journal of Economic Entomology. doi: 10.1093/jee/toz282. 2019.
  68. Ranger, C.M., Werle, C.T., Schultz, P.B., Addesso, K., Oliver, J.B., Reding, M.E. Long-lasting insecticide netting for protecting tree stems from attack by ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytinae: Curculionidae). Insects. 11, 8. 2020.