Education and Degrees
2018 Ph.D. Plant, Insect and Microbial Sciences (emphasis in Entomology). University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211. Dissertation: Partial characterization of Bt resistance and the bacteriome of western corn rootworm
2014 B.S. Plant Sciences (emphasis in Plant Protection). University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO, 65211.
June 2018 -Present
Post-doctoral Associate. USDA-ARS/Virginia Tech, Appalachian Fruit Research Station. Kearneysville, WV 25430.
- Re-discovered Trissolcus japonicus in West Virginia
- Developed colonies of T. japonicus from West Virginia collections
- Conducted a survey of arthropods interacting with brown marmorated stink bug egg masses in West Virginia
- Document behavioral responses of T. japonicus to brown marmorated stink bug egg masses stored at several conditions
- Document suitability of brown marmorated stink bug egg masses stored at several conditions for mass rearing of T. japonicus
- Document impact of insecticides on T. japonicus in field and lab situations
- Identify and quantify arthropods associated with different orchard management systems
- Mentor and manage undergraduate students
August 2014 - May 2018
Graduate Research Assistant. University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211.
- Evaluated plant-based bioassays of western corn rootworm for resistance detection
- Evaluated wild type populations of western corn rootworm for resistance to corn expressing Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bt) proteins
- Evaluated laboratory colonies of western corn rootworm for Bt resistance via diet toxicity assays
- Evaluated Bt proteins on new artificial diet for screening of western corn rootworm larvae
- Surveyed microbiota present in all life stages of laboratory western corn rootworm colonies and evaluated the effect of soils on the insect microbiome
- Determined effects of temperature and length of exposure to cold temperatures on non-diapausing strains of western corn rootworm
- Evaluated various factors associated with northern corn rootworm rearing
- Developed a non-diapausing strain of northern corn rootworm
- Mentored undergraduate students in the laboratory for professional development, graduate school applications, and research
- Ludwick, D.C. and R.W. Sites. 2015. Descriptions of the female and nymphal instars of Decarloa darlingtoni La Rivers (HEMIPTERA: HETEROPTERA: NAUCORIDAE). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 117 (1): 14-21.
- Ludwick, D.C., L.N. Meihls, K.R. Ostlie, B.P. Potter, L. French, and B.E. Hibbard. 2017. Minnesota field population of western corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) shows incomplete resistance to Cry34Ab1/Cry35Ab1. Journal of Applied Entomology. 141: 28-40.
- Ludwick, D.C. and B.E. Hibbard. 2016. Rootworm Management: Status of GM Traits, Insecticides, and Potential New Tools. CAB Reviews. doi: 10.1079/PAVSNNR201611048.
- Huynh, M.P., L.N. Meihls, B.E. Hibbard, S.L. Lapointe, R.P. Niedz, C. Ludwick, and T.A. Coudron. 2017. Diet improvement for western corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) larvae. PLoS ONE. 12 (11): e0187997.
- Ludwick, D.C., A. Zukoff, M. Higdon, and B.E. Hibbard. 2017. Protandry of the western corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) partially due to earlier egg hatch of males. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society. 90 (2): 94-99.
- Ludwick, D.C., L.N. Meihls, M.P. Huynh, A.E. Pereira, B.W. French, T.A. Coudron, and B.E. Hibbard. 2018. A new artificial diet for western corn rootworm larvae is compatible with and detects resistance to all current Bt toxins. Scientific Reports. 8: 5379. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-23738-z.
- Meihls, L.N., M.P. Huynh, C. Ludwick, T.A. Coudron, B.W. French, K. Shelby, A.J. Hitchon, A.W. Schaafsma, A.E. Pereira, and B.E. Hibbard. Comparison of six artificial diets for support of western corn rootworm bioassays and rearing. Journal of Economic Entomology. In Press.
- Ludwick, D.C., A.C. Ericcson, L.N. Meihls, M.L. Gregory, T.A. Coudron, B.E. Hibbard, and K.S. Shelby. Survey of microbes associated with all western corn rootworm life stages reveals no difference between insects reared on different soils. Submitted to PLoS ONE.
- Geisert, R.W., D.C. Ludwick, and B.E. Hibbard. Effects of cold storage on non-diapausing eggs of the western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera). Submitted to Journal of Economic Entomology.
Brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), is a non-native, invasive species now widespread throughout the United States. Brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive species introduced to the USA from Asia in the mid-1990s. BMSB is a severe agricultural and nuisance pest that feeds on over 170 host plants, including economically important fruit, vegetables, row crops, and ornamentals while also using woodlands for host and overwintering habitat.
The samurai wasp, Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead), is a wasp that lays its eggs in the eggs of the brown marmorated stink bug, resulting in the death of the stink bug. Trips to Asia revealed more than 70 percent of brown marmorated stink bug eggs were attacked by the samurai wasp. Efforts have been made to understand the impact of the wasp on native insect species in quarantine settings. This wasp preferentially attacks brown marmorated stink bug egg masses over egg masses from other native species. This wasp has been found in more than 10 states to date, including West Virginia.
We are currently investigating the impact of insecticide use in orchards on these wasps. We are also currently evaluating the behavior of this wasp to brown marmorated stink bug egg masses held at different temperatures for multiple lengths of time. This research may lead to improved monitoring programs for this wasp, better rearing methods for those wishing to release it as a management tool, and better orchard management practices to support this wasp in addition to the use of insecticides.
Spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula White, is an invasive, polyphagous plant hopper that attacks apple, peach, walnut, and many other tree species, as well as many vegetative plants, including grapes. Originally from Asia, spotted lanternfly has invaded five states. At present, late-season applications of insecticides are used to prevent or minimize damage.
We have deployed several trap designs to understand which trap(s) may lead to improved monitoring programs for this insect. We have also surveyed portions of West Virginia and Virginia where spotted lanternfly is not currently known to exist.