I joined the Geneva Entomology department at Cornell in 1985 as an assistant professor, was promoted to associate professor in 1992, and full professor in 1999. I received a B.S. in wildlife ecology from the University of Maine in 1977, earned two master`s degrees from Michigan State University (entomology, 1979 and systems engineering, 1982). I earned my Ph.D. in entomology, also from Michigan State, in 1982. My research has three programmatic themes; biological control, pest control decision making, and quantitative population ecology. I have a strong commitment to teaching, extension and outreach. Recently, I have been co-teaching a course entitled Invasions: Trading Species in a Shrinking World, in collaboration with Ann Hajek on the Ithaca campus. My extension efforts focus on biological control and developing pest management guidelines that promote sustainability. I served as chair of the Ithaca entomology department for two and half years and am now a Senior Associate Dean in CALS.
The goal of my research is to develop the tools required for biologically-based management of arthropods in horticultural crops. I work towards this goal along three programmatic thrusts; biological control, pest control decision making, and quantitative population ecology. My biological control research focuses on improving the effectiveness of natural enemies in selected cropping systems. Pest control decision making is one of the foundations of pest management and this research addresses tools for measuring pest abundance, understanding pest impact on crops, and risk assessment for non-indigenous species.
Outreach and Extension Focus
I assist the producers and users of mass-produced biological control agents in understanding the issues surrounding quality control and in developing methods for assessing the quality of products. This is a world-wide group of constituents.
I make presentations on and help to develop recommendations based on my research in various horticultural cropping systems. Constituents are primarily in New York and the northeast.
I help to coordinate and staff entomological displays that strive to convey the importance and excitement of entomology to a wide constituency. Examples include Empire Farm Days, Fun on the Farm, and Insectapalooza, the annual entomology open house.
I currently teach a course on invasions with Dr. Ann Hajek. The purpose of this course is for students to learn about the biology and ecology of invasions, the expanding problems caused by invasive species and how invasions are mitigated and managed. These topics are grounded in biology; however, they have social, economic and philosophical implications. I enjoy teaching the course because it integrates fundamental biology, applications of biological understanding, and social and economic issues. This breadth lends itself to a variety of teaching styles and active, participatory learning.
- Nyrop, J. P., Loeb, G. M., & Roda, A. (1998). Conservation biological control of spider mites in perennial cropping systems. p. 307-333 Perspectives on the Conservation of Natural Enemies of Pest Species P. Barbosa (ed.), Academic Press.
Presentations and Activities
- Influence of predator-avoidance behavior on the movement patterns of whiteflies in greenhouse. 24th International Congress of Entomology. August 2012. International Congress of Entomology. Daegu, South Korea.