Training in insect ecology with specific research and extension responsibilities for grapes and small fruit crop. I also co-teach a course on grape pest management.
The overall goal of my research program is to understand the principal forces that influence species interactions involving plants, herbivores, natural enemies and more recently microbes with the specific applied goal of developing novel approaches to pest management with a focus on grapes and small fruit crops. Currently, considerable research effort is being directed at developing a better understanding of the biology and management of the invasive species spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii), a significant pest of soft-skinned fruit crops throughout much of North America and abroad. Projects include chemical ecology and behavior of host finding as basis for behavioral management, overwintering and spring biology, monitoring and decision making, interactions with microbes, including biological control with entomopathogens, mechanical control using netting, and optimizing chemical control. Other research projects ongoing in the lab include vector-pathogen interactions (e.g. grape leafroll disease and mealybug and soft scale insect vectors, fire blight in apples and interactions with insect vectors, sour rot in grapes and Drosophila) and understanding and enhancing ecosystem services (pollination and biological control) in strawberries. The program utilizes a number of different research tools to achieve objectives such as gas chromatography coupled with electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) and GC-mass spectrophotometry, wind tunnel and other behavioral laboratory bioassays, growth chamber, greenhouse and field cage experiments and open field experiments on research and commercial farms. In addition, the lab has important collaborations with researchers within Cornell entomology and outside of the department and University.
Outreach and Extension Focus
My goal is to translate and transfer results of applied research to our grower clientele so that they will be better informed and better able to make sound pest management decisions. Moreover, I also strive to communicate to the wider public about insect biology, agriculture, and environmental stewardship. My activities include authoring the insect and mite pest management sections for the small fruit and grape pest management guidelines, preparing newsletter articles including a major review each spring for both grapes and small fruit crops, giving talks at annual grower meetings as well as summer field meetings, directly answering phone calls and emails from growers and extension educators and farm visits. I work closely with extension educators and NYS IPM Fruit Coordinator in developing extension programming. In the past several years I have also developed webinars on important pest management themes that are presented and archived on the internet. As part of my outreach effort I help set up and man exhibits at local and regional events such as Fun on the Farm at various sites in Ontario County, Empire Farm Days, and Insectapalooza, the annual entomology open house in Ithaca, NY.
I participate in the undergraduate major in viticulture and enology, co-teaching a course on grape pest management. My emphasis is on grape entomology. This is an integrated course that combines insect and disease management with spray technology. Our emphasis is on providing practical knowledge that will help prepare students for the real world of viticulture.
Awards and Honors
- Excellence in Integrated Pest Management (2016) Eastern Branch of Entomological Society of America
- New York Wine & Grape Foundation Award for major contributions in research and education (2011) New Yrork Wine & Grape Foundation
- Excellence in IPM (2010) New York State IPM Program, Cornell University
- Wallingford, A., Lee, J., & Loeb, G. M. (2016). The influence of temperature and photoperiod on the reproductive diapause and cold tolerance of spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura). Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 159:327-337.
- Wallingford, A., Connelly, H., Brind'Amour, G., Boucher, M., Mafra-Neto, A., & Loeb, G. M. (2016). Field evaluation of an oviposition deterrent for management of spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii Matsumura, and potential non-target effects. Journal of Economic Entomology. 109:6.
- Connelly, H., Poveda, K., & Loeb, G. M. (2015). Landscape simplification negatively affects wild bee pollination services to strawberry. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 211:51-56.
- Pozzebon, A., Loeb, G. M., & Duso, C. (2015). Role of supplemental foods and habitat structural complexity in persistence and coexistence of generalist predatory mites. Scientific Reports. 5:14997.
- Wallingford, A. K., Fuchs, M. F., Martinsion, T., Hesler, S., & Loeb, G. M. (2015). Slowing the spread of grapevine leafroll-associated viruses in commercial vineyards with insecticide control of the vector, Pseudococcus maritimus (Erhorn) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). Journal of Insect Science. 15:112.
- Wallingford, A. K., Hesler, S. P., Cha, D. H., & Loeb, G. M. (2015). Behavioral response of spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii Matsumura, to aversive odors and a potential oviposition deterrent in the field. Pest Management Science.
- Cha, D., Hesler, S., Cowles, R., Vogt, H., Loeb, G. M., & Landolt, P. (2013). Comparison of a synthetic chemical lure and standard fermented baits for trapping Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae). Environmental Entomology. 42:1052-1060.
- Cha, D., Hesler, S., Linn, C. E., Zhang, A., Teal, P., Knight, A., Roelofs, W. L., & Loeb, G. M. (2013). Influence of trap design on upwind flight behavior and capture of female grape berry moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) with a kairomone lure. Environmental Entomology. 42:150-157.
- Cha, D. H., Linn, C. E., Teal, P. E., Zhang, A., Roelofs, W. L., & Loeb, G. M. (2011). Eavesdropping on plant volatiles by a specialist moth: significance of ratio and concentration. PLoS One. 6:8.
- Loeb, G. M., Cha, D. H., Hesler, S. P., Linn, C. E., Zhang, A., Teal, P. E., & Roelofs, W. L. (2011). Monitoring grape berry moth (Paralobesia viteana: Lepidoptera) in commercial vineyards using a host plant based synthetic lure. Environmental Entomology. 40:1511-1522.