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David H Branson (Dave)

Research Entomologist


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David H. Branson (Dave)

Research Entomologist | PMRU Research Leader


Phone: 406.433.9406
Fax: 406.433.5038

EducationCurrent Research • Research Experience • Related Web Pages • Selected Publications •  

Additional Pages: Research Projects,*Publications*

*Taken from the Agricultural Research Information System (ARIS) database.  




  B.S. Biology 1988 Bryan College, Dayton, TN
  M.S. Biology 1992 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  Ph. D. Ecology 2001 Utah State University, Logan, UT



Grasshoppers are an important native component of biodiversity in grassland ecosystems. However, periodic grasshopper outbreaks cause significant economic impact to the grazing industry, with grasshoppers consuming an estimated $1.25 billion per year in forage in Western U.S. rangelands. Grasshoppers are often the dominant rangeland herbivore, both in terms of biomass and vegetation consumed. Despite their economic and ecological importance, relatively little is known about the ecological processes that generate outbreaks. In addition, the direct, indirect, and interacting effects weather, host plants, predation and other biotic factors have on population fluctuations remain poorly understood. Although pesticides have been the primary tools used to combat outbreaks, increased public concern over non-target effects, combined with high costs of spraying, has made it important to develop ecologically-based sustainable grasshopper management tactics. Habitat management techniques, such as burning or livestock grazing on rangeland, hold promise as a method of manipulating the quality of habitat available for grasshoppers and/or their predators, thus reducing grasshopper outbreaks. (See Branson et al. 2006, BioScience [pdf available below] for a comprehensive overview) Grasshoppers also likely make positive contributions to grassland health, impact grazing system sustainability, influence the relationships between native and exotic plants, and serve as a food supply for wildlife. My research primarily focuses on:




I joined the USDA-Agricultural Research service as a Research Entomologist in 1998. Prior to joining ARS, I conducted my dissertation research at Utah State University on grasshopper ecology.




Grasshoppers: Their Biology, Identification and Management Website 

Homing In on Hopper Hordes (AgResearch Magazine, Oct-2004)

U.S. Rangeland Grasshopper Collection 

Grasshopper Research at NPARL 



Please note: The most recent publications by this scientist may not yet be listed here. Please check the ARIS "Publications" page for possible new titles.