Dr. Shirk has more that 26 years of professional experience, primarily in the entomological sciences. Dr. Shirk has authored a number of publications and developed several new concepts and techniques that have been of considerable interest in areas of reproduction and genetic manipulation of insects, both nationally and internationally.
He has served on the Editorial Board of Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology, an international journal published by the Entomological Society of America, from 1991 to present.
Dr. Shirk and technician Richard Furlong
Dr. Shirk has worked extensively on female reproduction and germ cell development in insects and conducted pioneering work on gene vector systems for germline and somatic transformation of insects. This work on somatic transformation allows the phenotyic expression of candidate genes to be examined prior to the laborious task of creating germ-line modified strains. As these studies mature they will be a valuable compliment to the research of Drs. Handler and Nagoshi into transposable elements and the creation of conditional-lethality.
Dr. Shirk's work on the gene transfer system was featured in the September 2006 issue of Agricultural Research Magazine, For Innovative Pest Control, a New Gene-Transfer Technique
Collaborators at USDA, ARS, CMAVE, Gainesville, Florida: