2019 LAB TEAM

lab folks end of 2019

CURRENT PERSONNEL

ABOUT

David Held Headshot
Dr. David Held
Designation: Lab Leader
Lab: Turfgrass, Ornamental and Landscape Entomology lab

EDUCATION

2003
Ph.D. Entomology, University of Kentucky
2000
M.S. Entomology, University of Kentucky
1994
B.S., Horticulture (Pest Management Minor) University of Kentucky

APPOINTMENTS

  • Professor of Entomology (Oct 2019-present) 75% Research, 25% Teaching
  • Associate Professor of Entomology (Oct 2012-present) 75% Research, 25%
  • Assistant Professor of Entomology (Aug 2008-Oct 2012) 75% Research, 25%
  • Assistant Professor of Entomology (Dec 2003-July 2008) 75% Extension, 25% Research, Mississippi State University; Coastal Research and Extension Center, and the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology

LEADERSHIP AND RECOGNITION

Faculty Awards
  • Auburn University College of Agriculture Dean’s Grantsmanship Award, 2010.
Graduate Student Awards
  • 2003 J. H. Comstock Award for Graduate Student Achievement, Entomological Society of America, Winner from North Central Branch
  • Graduate Student Award for Leadership in Applied Entomology, Entomological Society of America, 2000
  • 2000 University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Outstanding Master’s Student Award.
  • President’s Prize, Entomological Society of America, 2000.
  • University of Kentucky Outstanding Staff Award, College of Agriculture, 1999.
  • Gamma Sigma Delta, Inducted 1998, University of Kentucky
LEADERSHIP

at Auburn University

  • Director of IPM programs, Oct 2019 to present
  • Assistant Director of IPM Programs, 2017 to 2019
  • Team Leader, Alabama Agric. Exp. Station, 2017 to 2019
  • College of Agriculture Committees: Distance Education Steering, Instructional Advisory, Promotion and Tenure
  • Faculty Senator for Entomology and Plant Pathology, 2016 to present

in professional societies

  • Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America: Local arrangements committee chair, 2018-2019; Auditing Committee (Member: 2007-2010); Membership Committee (Chair: 2015-2016; Co-Chair 2014-2015).
  • Entomological Society of America: Chair, Education and Outreach 2017-2018; Nominations Committee member, 2011-2014.

on reviews/advisory panels

  • Invited Member, California Dept. Food & Agriculture Japanese Beetle Ad Hoc Science Advisory Panel (Dec. 2015).
  • Grant Panels: USDA-NIFA (ad-hoc), T-STAR program, North Central Region Pest Management Center

GRANTS AND EXTRAMURAL FUNDING

Along with his three current and 12 previous graduate students, Dr. Held has worked on projects totaling about $2 million in grants and contracts and is co-inventor on several pending patent applications.

HOBBIES AND INTERESTS (AKA things to do when I retire)

  • Fishing
  • Percussion instruments (set drum, steel drums, hammer dulcimer)
  • Landscape horticulture (AKA Yard work)

ABOUT

Cora with beetles
CORA YATES BAGGETT
Professor: Dr. David Held
Degree: M.S. Student
Designation: Diagnostician in the ACES Plant Diagnostic Lab
Research: Crape myrtle bark
Scale: crawler hatch and physiology

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

Development and validation of a detection test kit for pest ambrosia beetles.

Research Summary:
Ambrosia beetles are small pest beetles that attack trees as wood borers. The small size and diversity of beetles that can be trapped makes it difficult to determine when species of concern are present. This project builds on technologies developed in an USDA-SCRI funded project. A test kit would enable nursery producers, foresters and urban foresters to rapidly determine the species of beetles present without microscopy or expertise in insect taxonomy. This technology can help reduce pesticide inputs in the environment and save money for tree nurseries.

ABOUT

DANIEL OLUWATOMI
Degree: M.S.
Professor: Dr. Held
Research: Biological control of crape myrtle bark scale using lady beetles

ABOUT

BRYANT BYRD
Degree: M.S.
Professor: Dr. Held
Research: Parasitoid behavior and underground host detection in turf grass

ABOUT

Kayla-Sullins-Headshot
KAYLA SULLINS
Degree: M.S. Student
Professor: Dr. Held
Research: Plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria for sustainable management of growth and pests in southern pastures. Project supported by Southern SARE.

ABOUT

KENDRA CARSON
Degree: M.S. Environmental Science
Professor: Dr. Held
Research: Parasitoid behavior and underground host detection in turf grass
Designation: Lab Technician

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Elijah Carroll
Degree:
BS Biological Sciences-Organismal Biology
Max Cavassa
Degree:
BS Horticulture

FORMER PERSONNEL

ABOUT

murphey with CO2 sprayer
R. MURPHY COY
Professor: Dr. David Held
Degree: Ph.D. Student
Research: Determine PGPR that provide growth promotion in bermudagrass

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

Impacts of Plant-growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) on Bermudagrass

Control vs pgpr impacts on bermudagrass
Identify blends for growth promotion

parasitoid pgpr field tests
Evaluate those blends for impacts on FAW and associated parasitoids

bermuda drought
Evaluate the impacts of PGPR on abiotic (drought mitigation) and biotic stress (root feeding) in turfgrass

ABOUT

head with bug
C. SCOTT CLEM
Professor: Dr. David Held
Degree: M.S. Student
Research: Caterpillars and Sawflies on native and non-native plants in the Southeastern US

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

Impacts of Native and Non-native Suburban Plant Species on Insects

Research Summary:
Many regions of the United States are now occupied by a large variety of non-native plant species both invasive and non-invasive. While it is well known that most non-native plants produce fewer herbivores than natives, most suburban landscapes are artificially planted with a mixture of natives and non-natives. This begs the question: is the abundance of herbivorous insects influenced by associational interactions between native and non-native plants occurring in suburban landscapes?

rosy maple
saddleback
schizura

banded tussock
american dagger
Finding cats

Associational Resistance (AR) and Association Susceptibility (AS) are widely cited concepts in ecology and are used to better understand the relationship between an herbivore and its host plant in various plant community contexts. In this study, I am investigating the roles that AR and AS play in mediating herbivore and natural enemy abundance and diversity on the native red maple (Acer rubrum), when either native or non-native neighbor plants are present.

plot

This is being achieved in a multi-year field experiment in which eruciform larvae and their natural enemies are being monitored on native plants when provided neighboring plants that vary in origin (native vs. non-native) and relatedness (congener vs. non-congener).

ABOUT

Kunle profile for webpage
ADEKUNLE ADESANYA
Professor: Dr. David Held
Degree: M.S. Student
Research: Activities of detoxification enzymes across different life stages

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

Activities of detoxification enzymes in a generalist herbivore in response to host plants and diet mixing.

Our lab is collaborating with Dr. Nannan Liu, worldwide expert in insect enzyme systems on this project. What are the enzymes involved, and their roles in successful utilization of chemically defended host plants by the generalist insect herbivore?
Cytochrome P450, Glutathione S transferase and Carboxylesterase.
Model insect: Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica

JB research images

RESEARCH CONCEPTS

  • Changes in the activities of detoxification enzymes across different life stages
  • Monophagy Vs Polyphagy; the role of detoxification enzymes in generalism by insect herbivore.
  • Host Preference
  • Tissue specific activities of detoxification enzymes
  • The Achilles heel; the Geranium intoxication of Japanese beetle.

lab work

ABOUT

AUGUSTA THURMOND
Degree: M.S.
Professor: Dr. Held
Research: Effects of crape myrtle bark scale infestation and control on visiting pollinators