John Sanderson

John Sanderson

Associate Professor

168 Insectary Building
(607) 255-5419

Research Focus

Because of intensive reliance on pesticide use for managing pests on greenhouse crops, arthropod resistance to pesticides has repeatedly left greenhouse growers with severe pest management challenges and few ready-to-use alternatives. Growers thus are actively seeking simple, cost-effective alternative solutions to pesticides. The Sanderson lab therefore seeks to develop integrated pest management tactics that are less likely to lead to resistance problems, emphasizing a biological control approach. Past research contributions for both the scientific community and eventually for growers have included studies on the biology, behavior, and applied ecology of important greenhouse arthropod pests, as well as of a range of arthropod predators and parasitoids, as well as fungal pathogens of insects. Some studies have evaluated the integration of pesticides with natural enemies. Fundamental studies of arthropod biology and behavior are always encouraged, but usually with a view toward some aspect of solving pest management challenges.

Outreach and Extension Focus

My individual extension program provides up-to-date information on IPM of greenhouse arthropod pests of controlled environment agriculture crops to growers in NY and the nation. This is done via in-service activities for extension educators (labs, presentations, conference calls, and collaborating on applied research projects), responding to questions via email or phone, speaking at and preparing informational handouts for national, regional and statewide grower programs, writing articles for newsletters and trade magazines, participating in webinars, and adding information to the Greenhouse Horticulture website. I also prepare the annual Cornell Guide For The Integrated Management Of Greenhouse Crops And Herbaceous Ornamentals. Collaborative extension programming with the NYS IPM Program Ornamentals Coordinator and specialists is a key part of my extension activities, as is participation in the Greenhouse Horticulture Program Work Team. Cornell faculty and staff who work on greenhouse crops are fortunate to have an active and supportive statewide Greenhouse Industry Advisory Board, who provides industry-based advice on our research and extension plans, and ensures our connection to the needs of the industry. Over the past decade they have encouraged us to plan and conduct dozens of regional hands-on workshops, using microscopes and live plants and arthropod specimens, to train growers across the state on identification and biology of greenhouse pests and beneficials. Instruction on biological control implementation is always a part of these workshops. Funding for much extension programming has come from Smith-Lever funds or from New York Farm Viability Institute competitive grants.

Outreach is very important to me. Insects are endlessly fascinating creatures! Enthusiasm for insects in the general public is often infectious, and I love to encourage that enthusiasm! My lab is very active at Insectapalooza (the annual Entomology Department open house), judging 4-H insect collections, giving talks about insects to Boy Scouts, home school groups, public school classes, church groups, and others.

Teaching Focus

Coursework teaching responsibilities include the introductory entomology course for entomology majors (Insect Biology ENTOM 2120) and for non-majors (Alien Empire ENTOM 2010/2011). A new course in Applied Entomology is under development. A 4-week modular course in Agricultural Acarology was taught twice. Guest lectures have been presented in Applied Entomology, Alien Empire, ENTOM 7670, and HORT 3100 (Production and Marketing of Greenhouse Crops), and guest labs presented in Applied Entomology and HORT 3100.

Awards and Honors

  • Excellence in IPM (2016) New York State Integrated Pest Management Program

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

Magazine Publications

  • Braun, S. E., Sanderson, J. P., Wraight, S. P., Castrillo, L., & Daughtrey, M. L. (2012). Fungus Gnats and Pythium: Conspirators or just Cohabitants? p. 53-55 GrowerTalks Ball Publishing, West Chicago, IL.
  • Jandricic, S., & Sanderson, J. P. (2011). Early Season Pest Threat. p. 12-14 Dave Harrison (ed.), Greenhouse Canada, Simcoe, Ontario, Canada.

Training Manuals

  • Sanderson, J. P. (2010). Aphid A-B-C's. E. Lamb (ed.), New York State IPM Program, Geneva, NY.

Presentations and Activities

  • Advances in the Management of some Global Pests in Greenhouses. Entomology 2012, ESA's 60th Annual Meeting. November 2012. Entomological Society of America. Knoxville, TN.
  • Pathogenicity of entomopathogenic fungi against the greenhouse pests green peach aphid (Myzus persicae Sulzer), cotton aphid (A[his gossypii Glover) and foxglove aphid (Aulacorthum solani Kaltenbach). Entomology 2012, ESA's 60th Annual Meeting. November 2012. Entomological Society of America. Knoxville, TN.
  • Supporting the Implementation of Greenhouse Biological Control with Cooperative Extension Programming in New York. Entomology 2012, ESA's 60th Annual Meeting. November 2012. Entomological Society of America. Knoxville, TN.
  • 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.
  • On the road again: Taking hands-on greenhouse IPM workshops to the growers. 7th International IPM Symposium. March 2012. Memphis, TN.