Pest Management & Biological Control Research Unit
USDA-ARS, Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center
B.S. Biochemistry, Kansas State University 1995
Ph.D. Biochemistry, Kansas State University 2003
My research interests include understanding various molecular, biochemical and physiological functions in insects, including Bt mode-of-action and receptor function, insecticide/Bt resistance, digestive biochemistry and physiology, immunity, and parasitoid/host interactions. I am interested in understanding the properties and function of Bt-binding cadherin receptor proteins from various insects, including the cotton pest insect Pectinophora gossypiella (pink bollworm) and the stored product beetle Tenebrio molitor (yellow mealworm) and how specific peptide fragments can enhance or synergize the activity of Bt toxins. Furthermore, I am currently working to characterize an intact transposable element that disrupts a pink bollworm cadherin Bt receptor and is responsible for r3 cadherin resistance allele. My laboratory is also currently active in understanding the digestive physiology and water transport proteins (aquaporins) in other cotton pests, including Bemisia tabaci and Lygus hesperus.