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Wee L Yee

Research Entomologist


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Dr. Wee Yee, Research Entomologist (GS-15)

B.S., 1986, George Mason University
M.S., 1989, Ohio State University
Ph.D., 1994, University of California, Berkeley

Research Interests:

Research Interests: All aspects related to the behavior, ecology, and management of tephritid fruit flies in temperate regions as well as export issues that could be affected by these flies.

 

Aims:

The general aims of my research are to (1) better understand the biology (ecology, behavior, physiology, genetics) of tephritid fruit flies, in particular western cherry fruit fly (Rhagoletis indifferens) and apple maggot fly (Rhagoletis pomonella), in order to reduce the risk of these flies threatening the tree fruit industry and its export of fruit to foreign markets; (2) examine organic and other newer insecticide options for suppressing or controlling fly populations; (3) develop trapping systems to better detect flies; (4) develop or evaluate existing post-harvest detection methods in order to reduce the threat of fly introductions or spread. 

Background:

I grew up in Fairfax County, Virginia where I majored in biology as an undergraduate student at George Mason University.  I then received M.S. and Ph. D. degrees in entomology from Ohio State University and the University of California, respectively.  As a Master’s student, I studied feeding behaviors of mosquitoes; as a Ph.D. student, I studied the effects of parasitism by a ciliated protozoan on flight and other behaviors of mosquitoes as well as physical cues used by black flies to locate feeding sites on horses.  As a Postdoctoral Researcher and Staff Research Associate at the University of California (Riverside, and Ventura County), I performed various studies on management of whiteflies on cotton as well as management of avocado thrips on avocado trees.   

Approach:

One of the overarching aims at USDA-ARS is to conduct research to help agricultural industries protect their products against pests while reducing reliance on broad-spectrum insecticides. My approach to achieving this aim is to conduct research on multiple components of fly biology that might reveal vulnerabilities that could be exploited for control and management of flies as well basic information such as host plant range that can be used to regulate movement of fruit that could harbor fly infestations.  

 

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