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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection » People » Tracy Leskey

Tracy C Leskey

Director


 

Dr. Tracy C. Leskey 
Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection 
Entomology Research Leader / Director     
Tracy.Leskey@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (304) 725-3451 ext. 329 
Fax: (304) 728-7232
Room 310

2217 WILTSHIRE ROAD 
APPALACHIAN FRUIT RS 
KEARNEYSVILLE, WV 254302771

Curriculum Vitae

Education and Degrees

2000 Ph.D.  Entomology.  The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003.  Dissertation: Olfactory and Visual Stimuli Guiding Adult Plum Curculios, Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), to Host Plants.

1995 M.S. Ecology. The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802. Thesis: Influence of flowering of Acer saccharum Marsh. on reproduction of Taeniothrips inconsequens (Uzel) (Thysanoptera:Thripidae).

1990 B.S. Biology. Wilson College, Chambersburg, PA 17201.
Honors Project: Presence of concretions in Malphigian tubules in an unidentified species of cranefly (Diptera: Tipulidae): light and transmission electron microscopy studies.

Experience

2015-Present 

 

Research Leader / Director. USDA-ARS, Appalachian Fruit Research Station. Kearneysville, WV 25430. Duties include supervisory leadership and management of human resources including scientific staff, technicians, administrative, secretarial and maintenance personnel, and farm workers, physical resources including main laboratory building, greenhouses, growth chambers, farm center and 500 acre research farm, and associated fiscal resources.

2002-Present 

Adjunct Faculty. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Department of Entomology, Blacksburg VA 24061

2000-Present 

Research Entomologist. USDA-ARS, Appalachian Fruit Research Station. Kearneysville, WV 25430. Duties include conducting research concerning behavioral and chemical ecology of key insect pests associated with deciduous tree fruit production.

Laboratory Personnel 

Brent Short 
Torri Hancock
John Cullum
Sharon Jones
Lee Carper
Tony Rugh
Chris Hott
Kevin Rice

Leskey Laboratory Publications

Google Scholar http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=u5lhGfgAAAAJ&hl=en

ResearchGate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tracy_Leskey

Current Projects

  Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys (StÃ¥l), 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 utilizing woodlands for host and overwintering habitat.  Since its introduction into the USA, BMSB has been detected in 43 states, with the most severe problems in the mid-Atlantic.  In 2010, $37 million in crop losses to apple occurred in this region and many other specialty and row crops including peaches, nectarines, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn and soybeans incurred severe damage.

To better manage damaging BMSB populations in the mid-Atlantic, we are developing IPM tactics for BMSB in tree fruit including decision support tools and behaviorally based management tactics including border sprays and attract and kill.  We are assisting other countries in the development of surveillance programs.  We are tracking the spread and impact of the Asian parasitoid, Trissolcus japonicus, and we are learning more about BMSB dispersal throughout agroecosystems

 

 

 

 

Spotted Wing Drosophila

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii Matsumura, is an invasive, polyphagous fruit fly that attacks soft-skinned fruits including raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and cherries. Originally from Asia, SWD has successfully invaded the United States and the European and South American countries. At present, calendar-based insecticide applications are used to combat SWD.  

We have been developing an attract-and-kill system for SWD based on its visual ecology and foraging behavior.  The system is known as ‘attracticidal spheres’ and is being developed for both organic and conventional systems and for use in a variety of small fruit crops.  This system has been used successfully against apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella, in apple orchards.  Currently, we are evaluating attracticidal spheres in both raspberry and blueberry plantings with collaborators across the United States