Insects constitute a tremendous model system for studying diverse biological fields, but their direct impact on us in everyday life remains one of the primary reasons for studying them. Research at Cornell that focuses on the entomology of managed systems addresses the basic questions of “What problems do insects cause (or solve), and how can we better understand and respond to the processes involved?” At the core of our subdiscipline, applied entomology is firmly grounded in fundamental insect biology and ecology. For example, when directing attention to why a certain insect attacks a certain crop or commodity, we are guided by basic aspects of that insect’s biology, including its ecology, physiology, behavior, predator-prey and disease interactions, and dispersal capability. This results in a mission-oriented and problem-solving perspective on research that ultimately leads to translational application of the knowledge gained.
Managed systems entomologists at Cornell study insects and their interactions with horticultural crops (fruits and vegetables), field crops, turf grass, floriculture, livestock, and the conservation and management of natural systems. We interact with many other disciplines including economics, plant biology and breeding, medical and veterinary sciences, ecology and systematics, agronomy and horticulture, molecular biology, and natural resources. We have forged strong connections domestically and internationally that enable students to work in a global context. Cornell has an illustrious history in apiculture and in the development of biological control and integrated pest management (IPM).
Field Faculty in the Area
The following faculty are active in research area of Managed Systems Entomology.
- Arthur M. Agnello (IPM, tree fruit insect management, extension entomology)
- Ann E. Hajek (Invertebrate pathology, biological control and population ecology)
- Gregory Loeb (Pest management of grape and small fruit crops, plant/insect interactions, biological control)
- John E. Losey (Integrated pest management, agroecology, biological control, insect conservation biology)
- Lindsey Milbrath
- Brian A. Nault (Landscape ecology and vegetable entomology)
- Jan P. Nyrop (Insect population ecology, biological control, pest risk assessment and crop protection decision making)
- John P. Sanderson (Biology and management of greenhouse crop pests, IPM, biological control, agricultural acarology)
- Elson J. Shields (Integrated pest management, population ecology, biological control of soil insects, aerobiology)
- Denis S. Willett (Insect Chemical Ecologist)