Management & Biological Control Research Unit
USDA-ARS, Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center
B.A. Biology, University of Chicago 1990
M.A. Biology, Boston University 1996
Ph.D. Biology, Boston University 2001
My areas of expertise include insect behavior, ecology and physiology. My research focuses on the mechanisms regulating development, dispersal and reproduction in a variety of insects. I examine the behavioral, hormonal and physiological changes in insects as they mature, and the endogenous and exogenous stimuli that regulate this transformation. I am particularly interested in how interactions with conspecifics are perceived and translated into developmental responses affecting reproductive dynamics. My principal study organism is the western tarnished plant bug, Lygus hesperus, which is a major pest of cotton. In order to develop new methods for controlling these insects, it is necessary to better understand their basic biology. Toward that end, I am currently investigating pre- and post-mating regulation of female reproductive behavior and physiology, use of a male produced anti-aphrodisiac as potential mating disruptor, the major endocrine changes accompanying maturation and egg production, and the effect of temperature on maturation and aging.
1. Biography (Current Page)