Research Areas


Entomology & Plant Pathology

We study insects and microbes to better understand interactions between organisms and to improve agricultural production systems. Core areas of research are plant-pest interactions, applied pest control, genetics of arthropods and microbes, and pest populations.

ENPL Research Highlights

Entomology & Plant Pathology Research Focus Areas

We strive to strengthen agriculture, communities and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices.

Plant Disease Management and Diagnosis

We serve farmers and gardeners by testing new methods of disease control for the production of healthy crops and horticultural plants; collaborations with plant breeders lead to development of new plant varieties with natural resistance; and application and development of disease diagnostic tools helps identify pathogens.

Faculty Researcher Expertise and Instrumentation: 
Travis Faske: fungal diseases and nematodes of soybean, corn, cotton and peanut
Amanda Greer: nematology
John Rupe: epidemiology, plant disease control, soybean pathogen ecology
Sherrie Smith: plant health diagnostics
J. Ples Spradley: pesticide safety education
Ioannis Tzanetakis: plant virus epidemiology, virus-vector interactions, molecular biology and epidemiology of emaraviruus\

Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity of Insects

This research includes insect anatomy, classification, and history focusing on systematics, evolution and biodiversity. Additionally we study morphology, ecology, population dynamics, genetics, phylogeny, nomenclature, biogeography, zoology and other specialties.

Faculty Researcher Expertise and Instrumentation: 
Ashley Dowling: arthropods in natural systems
Neel Joshi: pollinators; pesticide toxicology; native pollinator conservation; IPM; exotoxicology

Plant Pathogen and Host Biology

We apply tools of molecular and cellular biology to understand how microbial pests cause disease and how host plants fight back; infection strategies and host-pest interactions are target areas in studies of fungi, bacteria, viruses and nematodes; and genomic approaches help us understand pest population structures and microbiomes.

Faculty Researcher Expertise and Instrumentation: 
Burt Bluhm: fungal diseases of crop species; plant-fungal interactions; molecular genetics; functional genomics; metabolomics; mycology
Jim Correll: biology;  genetics and molecular biology of fungal and oomycete pathogens of vegetable and rice crop
Martin Egan: cell biology of plant and human pathogenic fungi
Ken Korth: molecular plant-insect interactions; pathogen and insect resistance pathways; cellular control of enzymes in isoprednoid metabolism
Alejandro Rojas: plant and root associated microorganisms and effect of plant growth and health
Ioannis Tzanetakis: plant virus epidemiology; virus-vector interactions; molecular biology and epidemiology of emaraviruses

Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology of Insects

We study insects at the cellular or molecular levels including biochemistry, microbiology, toxicology, endocrinology, cytology, molecular biology, allelo chemicals, pheromones, hormones, metabolism and others.

Faculty Researcher Expertise and Instrumentation:
Fiona Goggin: host-plant resistance to insects and nematodes
Allen Szalanski: molecular diagnostics; economically important arthropods

Plant-Insect Ecosystems

We research behavioral, ecological, and evolutionary relationships in natural landscapes, as well as integrated pest management (IPM) in agriculture, horticulture, forests, and lawn and garden. This includes aspects of crop protection, host-plant response, plant pathology/vectors, pollination, biological control and microbial control.

Faculty Researcher Expertise and Instrumentation:
Nick Bateman: rice and Grand Prairie crop IPM
Fiona Goggin: host-plant resistance to insects and nematodes
Rupesh Kariyat: Crop entomology and chemical ecology
Joanna "Asia" Kud: Molecular and biochemical plant-nematode interactions with emphasis on effector biology and effector networks
Neel Joshi: pollinators; pesticide toxicology; native pollinator conservation; IPM; exotoxicology
Glenn Studebaker: coordination of row crop IPM
Ben Thrash: IPM for row crop agriculture
Jon Zawislak: pollination; honey bee education and management

Medical, Urban and Veterinary Entomology

We study, develop, implement and evaluate best practices for the management of insects that affect humans, domestic and wild animals, and our urban environment. We work in the areas of medical entomology, urban entomology, veterinary entomology, epidemiology, integrated disease management, human and veterinary parasitology, public health pest management, mosquito control and management of structural pests like termites, ants, and others.

Faculty Researcher Expertise and Instrumentation:
Kelly Loftin: veterinary and medical entomology (livestock, poultry, forage pests, medically important arthropods); imported fire ant management
Emily McDermott: arthropod borne pathogens; virus-vector interactions