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Entomology


Administrative Unit:Entomology
College/School: College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Admitting Plans:M.S., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:M.S., Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Ph.D. Minor

Faculty: Professors Hogg (chair), Goodman, Lindroth, Paskewitz, Raffa, Young, Zhu; Associate Professors Cullen, Gratton, Lan, Williamson; Assistant Professors Brunet, Groves, Steffan

Overview

Research in the department is as diverse as the faculty and students. Areas in which the department is engaged cut across suborganismal, organismal, and applied entomology. The research programs of many faculty are broadly interdisciplinary and span two or more of these areas. Faculty research aims to understand the basic biology of how insects perceive and adapt to the environment and how and why their populations grow. Research examines how they affect crops and forests, influence ecosystem processes such as nutrient and carbon cycling and the “services” they provide in natural and managed ecosystems such as pollination and pest suppression. Research studies their diversity and conservation and how humans are affected by them. Individual faculty web pages provide in-depth descriptions of the diversity of research in entomology.

Suborganismal research in the department focuses on insect physiology with specialization on insect hormones, cholesterol metabolism, and insect parasite interactions. Studies of gene flow utilize various molecular methods.

Organismal: Entomology faculty have been leaders in the the areas of basic Harmoniaecology of insects in a variety of natural and managed systems, such as forests, lakes and agroecosystems. Studies in taxonomy, chemical ecology pollination biology, gene flow, spatial analysis, vector biology, behavioral ecology and landscape ecology have strong representation in the department.

Applied/Extension: Faculty in the department extend a long tradition of research on insects as they impact humans.  Excellence in agricultural research continues in vegetable crops, field and forage crops and the turf and ornamental "green industry" where work has continued to advance the application of integrated pest management in agricultural systems. Basic research conducted by faculty in cropping systems also has implications for pest management, conservation and bioenergy, resource management and risk of transgene escape. Suborganismal studies on mosquitoes and tick-borne diseases have advanced novel management strategies for insect-vectored diseases.

Research in the department explores the interconnections across scales of biological organization, from molecular and cellular interactions to ecosystem-level studies, in both managed and natural systems, and from basic to applied research. Faculty collaborate with colleagues in other departments in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and beyond the college and university.

Graduate education in the Department of Entomology provides many opportunities for collaborative research. Faculty members participate in joint projects with other departments on campus and with scientists at other universities, in federal and state agencies, and in industry. Because several entomology faculty members are also adjunct professors in zoology, forest and wildlife ecology, molecular and environmental toxicology, and other departments, they can serve as primary advisers to graduate students majoring in those fields. Opportunities exist to conduct research in a variety of distant tropical and temperate regions, to gain experience in classroom instruction and individual mentoring, and to participate in outreach activities such as addressing K–12 classes, naturalist groups, and commodity producers.

For more information: Department of Entomology, 237 Russell Laboratories, 1630 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-3227; rodock@wisc.edu; www.entomology.wisc.edu