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Why study at Cornell?

Welcome to the Graduate Training program in Entomology at Cornell University

The Graduate Field of Entomology at Cornell includes a total of 43 faculty conducting research in all aspects of insect biology, including systematics, phylogenetics, evolution, ecology, behavior, conservation, climate change, citizen science, invasive species, genetics, genomics, physiology, biological control, medical entomology, and pesticide toxicology. Currently, our program includes 30 graduate students pursuing both MS and PhD degrees. Cornell Entomology is the oldest entomology program in the US and has a world-wide impact on entomological research.

Our graduate program has particular strengths in the following areas:

  • insect-plant interactions and chemical ecology
  • insect-microbe interactions
  • pest-management and biological control
  • outreach, public education, and citizen science
  • insect diversity and systematic entomology

We have outstanding resources for graduate students interested in insect biology:

Graduate level courses in insect biology -- we offer courses in a broad array of topics, including introductory courses on insect biology, as well as advanced courses in systematics, ecology, physiology, toxicology, medical entomology, pathology, insect conservation, insect behavior, and applied entomology. For a complete list of our courses, see the Cornell Courses of Study website.

Cornell University Insect Collection (CUIC) -- the CUIC is an outstanding research and teaching collection that includes over 7 million insects specimens representing about 200,000 species, or roughly 20% of the World's described insect fauna. Our collection is an important resource for Cornell students, staff and faculty, for the College of Agriculture, for residents of New York State, and for the broader systematics community. The CUIC supports basic research in insect biodiversity and evolution, agricultural research, detection and identification of invasive species, graduate and undergraduate education, and outreach and public education. The CUIC is the home of the Insect Diagnostics Laboratory (IDL) a resource for rapid identification of potential pest insects.

Dyce Laboratory for Honey bee research -- the Dyce Laboratory for Honey bee research is located on a beautiful 20 acre parcel of land three miles from the main Cornell campus. The Dyce Laboratory houses research programs on honey bee biology, bumble bee health, and the impacts of pesticides and pathogens on pollinators. Dyce lab also hosts beekeeping and pollinator health workshops and is open to the public for various extension activities. The 4000 square foot building provides excellent opportunities for outreach and field and laboratory research involving all things bees

Sarkaria Arthropod Research Laboratory (SARL) -- SARL, Cornell's quarantine facility, securely contains non‑native insects (and other arthropods) for experimentation on their biology and control. These insects include exotic pests as well as arthropods from other countries that might serve as biological control agents of pests. The ever increasing problems associated with invasive exotic pests, fueled by a rapidly changing climate, make this type of quarantine facility indispensable for research. The SARL has laboratories, greenhouses, and growth chambers in various sizes, and can be used by several researchers simultaneously. It has been constructed to comply with quarantine standards developed by USDA APHIS.

Cornell AgriTech (formerly New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (AgriTech) -- A number of Entomology faculty are housed at the Cornell University's AgriTech station in Geneva, NY. AgriTech has developed cutting‑edge technologies essential to feeding the world and strengthening New York economies. From developing safe and nutritious foods to pioneering means to preserve the environment, AgriTech serves millions of New York consumers, agricultural producers, food businesses and farm families throughout the state. Moving into the 21st century, New York must capitalize on new food and agricultural opportunities, and AgriTech is uniquely positioned to translate state‑of‑the art research into industry innovation and economic growth. Communication between Geneva-based faculty (and students) and Ithaca-based faculty (and students) is facilitated by teleconferencing facilities at both locations.

Comstock Memorial Library -- The Comstock Memorial Library of Entomology was established in 1914, when the students of John Henry Comstock created a book fund in his honor. Later, Professor Comstock increased the fund by personal contribution and donated his books to the library. The primary subjects of this library are general and applied entomology; related areas include parasitology, medical entomology, ecology, zoological nomenclature, and allied orders of arthropods. The library has an extensive number of reprints, a collection of the departmental theses, and rare books, such as Marcello Malpighi's original examination of insect internal anatomy, published in 1667! The Comstock Memorial Library is an unprecedented resource for graduate-level research. The Comstock Memorial Library is accessible online via the Cornell Library catalog.

Cornell Biotechnology Resource Center (BRC) -- The BRC provides cutting edge resources for life sciences research, including imaging facilities, bioinformatics resources, proteomic and genomic analysis. The core DNA sequencing facility on campus is housed adjacent to Comstock Hall. The BRC provides support to graduate students conducting Sanger and Next-gen sequencing (including Illumina MiSeq and Illumina HiSeq 2000/2500 instruments), microarray analysis, and real-time PCR. BRC staff provide consulting to graduate students and faculty interested in doing genomic research.

Small grants program -- The Department of Entomology has the resources to support graduate student research through an in-house, small grants program. Graduate students can compete for funding for research supplies through the Griswold Endowment fund. Griswold grants generally run in the $1000 to $2000 range and are meant to provided seed funding for projects that the thesis advisor does not currently have the funds to support. Students wishing to attend meetings or conferences can apply to the Graduate School as well as to the Rawlins Endowment (within Entomology) for travel-related expenses. A complete list of funding options is available under the Funding for graduate studies page.

For more detailed information on resources available to graduate students, see the Entomology Graduate Student Manual [Exuviae]