Current Research Interests
I am interested in both applied and fundamental aspects of plant-insect interactions. My program integrates relevant methods and concepts from diverse fields, including insect physiology, agronomy, plant pathology, plant biochemistry and physiology, and ecology. Most of my laboratory’s research involves the interactions of rice with its major insect pests in Louisiana: the rice water weevil, the rice stink bug, stem-boring Lepidopterans, and the fall armyworm. Current areas of active investigation include the following: biochemical and physiological mechanisms of rice resistance and tolerance to rice pests, induced resistance, plant-mediated interactions between insect herbivores and pathogenic microorganisms, the use of elicitors of plant resistance in pest management, chemical ecology of the rice stink bug, incorporation of cultural practices into pest management programs, and integration of rice and crawfish production via the use of reduced-risk insecticides. The ultimate applied goal of all research conducted in my lab is the development of cost-effective management programs for insect pests of rice.
I teach a graduate-level course on host-plant resistance to arthropods (ENTM 7002), and an undergraduate, non-majors biology course (AGRI 1005).