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Richard Humber
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Richard Humber
Insect Mycologist and Curator, (RETIRED)
ARSEF Collection of Entomopathogenic Fungal Cultures 

Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology, Cornell University (RETIRED)





Ph.D., University of Washington (Botany/Mycology), 1975

Fungal pathogens of arthropods and other invertebrates

Curates the USDA-ARS Collection of Entomopathogenic Fungal Cultures (ARSEF), the world's largest and most taxonomically diverse germplasm repository for fungal pathogens of insects, mites, spiders, nematodes, and other invertebrates. This collection currently comprises nearly 9000 isolates from almost 600 fungal taxa isolated from 1160 different hosts and 1800 locations on every continent. Provides identifications of specimens and cultures on request. High resolution digital imaging is used to document the morphologies of the specimens and cultures maintained by the laboratory. Research seeking improved techniques for the isolation, maintenance, and preservation of fungal pathogens from invertebrates is an important activity for the ARSEF collection and its staffing.

Research centers on the organismal biology, systematics, and taxonomy of fungal pathogens of invertebrates. The rich resources of the ARSEF culture collection provide much of the material for these studies. The major current projects include moving to improve the taxonomies of Beauveria and Metarhizium by combining molecular characters (in cooperation with USDA-ARS collaborators at Beltsville) with morphological, developmental, biogeographic, and other traditional characters, and to improve the understanding of the flora of fungi affecting insects in central  Brazil.

While most current research effort is placed on conidial fungal entomopathogens and their ascomycete sexual states, this laboratory has had a historic interest and emphasis on the zygomycete fungi of the Entomophthorales. The Humber laboratory has been an active center for revising the taxonomy of the Entomophthorales, especially at the familial and generic levels, and has clarified numerous poorly understood aspects of the life histories of entomophthoraleans. The ARSEF culture collection has developed techniques for culturing a diverse range of these fungi, and maintains either the first and still, in some instances, only cultures of several especially fastidious pathogens.




Toledo AV, Humber RA, L?pez Lastra CC. 2008. First and southernmost records of Hirsutella (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) and Pandora (Zygomycota: Entomophthorales) species infecting Dermaptera and Psocoptera. J. Invertebr. Pathol 97: 193-196.

Scorsetti AC, Humber RA, Garc?a JJ, L?pez Lastra CC. 2007. Natural occurrence of entomopathogenic fungi (Zygomycetes: Entomophthorales) of aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) pests of horticultural crops in Argentina. BioControl 52: 641-655.

Hibbett DS, Binder M, Bischoff JF, et al. 2007. A higher-level phylogenetic classification of the Fungi. Mycol. Res. 111: 509-547.

Huang B, Humber RA, Hodge KT. 2007. A new species of Conidiobolus from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Mycotaxon 100: 227-233.

Bischoff JF, Rehner SA, Humber RA. 2006. Metarhizium frigidum sp. nov.: a cryptic species of M. anisopliae and a member of the M. flavoviride complex. Mycologia 98: 737-745.

James TY, Kauff F, Schoch C, et al. 2006. Reconstructing the early evolution of Fungi using a six-gene phylogeny. Nature 443: 818-822.

Toledo AV, Virla E, Humber RA, Paradell SL, L?pez Lastra CC. 2006. First record of Clonostachys rosea (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) as an entomopathogenic fungus of Oncometopia tucumana and Sonesimia grossa (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) in Argentina. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 92: 7-10.

L?pez Lastra CC, Siri A, Garc?a JJ, Eilenberg J, Humber RA. 2006. Entomophthora ferdinandii (Zygomycetes: Entomophthorales) causing natural infections of Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae) in Argentina. Mycopathologia 161: 251-254.

Onstad DW, Fuxa JR, Humber RA, Oestergaard J, Shapiro-Ilan DI, Gouli VV, Anderson RS, Andreadis TG, Lacey LA. 2006. An abridged glossary of terms used in invertebrate pathology, 3rd edition.
[Online only at]

L?pez Lastra CC, Siri A, Garc?a JJ, Eilenberg J, Humber RA. 2006. Entomophthora ferdinandii (Zygomycetes: Entomophthorales) causing natural infections of Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae) in Argentina. Mycopathologia 161: 251-254.

Huang B, Humber RA, Li S, Li Z, Hodge KT. 2006. Further notes on the molecular taxonomy of Metarhizium. Mycotaxon 94: 181-187.

Huang B, Li C, Humber RA, Hodge KT, Fan MZ, Li Z. 2006. Molecular evidence for the taxonomic status of Metarhizium taii and its teleomorph, Cordyceps taii (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae). Mycotaxon 94: 137-147.

Liu M, Rombach MC, Hodge KT, Humber RA. 2004. What's in a name? Aschersonia insperata: a new pleomorphic fungus with characteristics of Aschersonia and Hirsutella. Mycologia 97: 246-253.

Delalibera Jr. I, Humber RA, Hajek AE. 2004. Preservation of in vitro cultures of the mite pathogenic fungus Neozygites tanajoae. Can. J. Microbiol. 50: 579-586.

Delalibera Jr. I, Hajek AE, Humber RA. 2004. Neozygites tanajoae sp. nov., a pathogen of the cassava green mite. Mycologia 96: 1002-1009.

Benjamin RK, Blackwell M, Chapela IH, Humber RA, Jones KG, Klepzig KD, Lichtwardt RW, Malloch D, Noda H, Roeper RA, Spatafora JW, Weir A. 2004. Insect- and other arthropod-associated fungi. In: Biodiversity of fungi: Inventory and monitoring methods (Mueller GM, Bill GF, Foster MS, eds.), pp 395-433. Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press.

Delalibera Jr. I, Hajek AE, Humber RA. 2003. Use of cell culture media for cultivation of the mite pathogenic fungi Neozygites tanajoae and Neozygites floridana. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 84: 119-127.

Filotas MJ, Hajek AE, Humber RA. 2003. Prevalence and biology of Furia gastropachae (Zygomycetes: Entomophthorales) in populations of the forest tent caterpillar (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae). Canad. Entomol. 135: 359-378.

L?pez Lastra CC, Hajek AE, Humber RA. 2002. Comparing methods of preservation for cultures of entomopathogenic fungi. Canad. J. Bot.  80: 1126-1130.

L?pez Lastra CC, Hajek AE, Humber RA. 2001. Effects of two cryopreservation techniques on viability and pathogenicity of entomophthoralean fungi. Can. J. Bot. 79: 861-864.

Benny GL, Humber RA, Morton JB. 2001. Zygomycota: Zygomycetes. In: The Mycota, vol. VII, Systematics and Evolution, Part A (McLaughlin DJ, McLaughlin E, Lemke PA, eds.), pp 113-146. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg.

Lee T, Yun SH, Hodge KT, Humber RA, Krasnoff SB, Turgeon GB, Yoder OC, Gibson DM. 2001. Polyketide synthase genes in insect-pathogenic fungi. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 56: 181-187.

Humber, R.A. 2000. Fungal pathogens and parasites of insects. In: Applied Microbial Systematics (Priest F, Goodfellow M, eds.), pp 199-227. Kluwer Acad. Publ., Dordrecht.

Humber, R.A. 1996. Fungi - Preservation. In: Biological Techniques in Invertebrate Pathology (Lacey LA, ed.), pp 269-279. Academic Press, London.

Humber, R.A. 1996. Fungi - Identification. In: Biological Techniques in Invertebrate Pathology (Lacey LA, ed.), pp 153-185. Academic Press, London. 1996.