Affiliates: Invertebrates

The 2023 IPBES Invasive Species Assessment indicates that more than 3,500 invasive species with documented negative impacts have been recorded worldwide. Although their numbers are likely to be underestimated and expected to increase, 1,852 invertebrate species contribute to that statistic, including insects, spiders, mollusks, worms, and more.

Dr. Warren Booth

Associate Professor
Department of Entomology

Dr. Booth’s research explores how organisms adapt and evolve within urban environments, using invasive indoor urban pest insects (most notably bed bugs) as model systems of study.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication
  • Genetics, genomics, & community/population structure

Dr. Bryan Brown

Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences

Dr. Brown’s research focuses on aquatic ecology, particularly community assembly, symbioses, and metacommunity theory.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Genetics, genomics, & community/population structure

Dr. Jonathan Czuba

Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Systems Engineering

Dr. Czuba’s research focuses on the transport of water and sediment in streams and rivers and how that affects the distribution of invasive and native aquatic species, including fish, macroinvertebrates, freshwater mussels, and plants.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Restoration ecology

Dr. Jonathan Eisenback

Professor
School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Eisenback’s research focuses on plant-parasitic nematodes.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication
Luis Escobar

Dr. Luis Escobar

Assistant Professor
Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

A key component of Dr. Escobar’s research is developing theory and methods to study the biogeography of infectious diseases, disease ecology, and invasion biology. Current projects include bat-borne rabies, chronic wasting disease, spatial epidemiology in the Anthropocene, and disease-biodiversity relationships.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics

Dr. Carrie Fearer

Dr. Carrie Fearer

Assistant Professor
Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Dr. Fearer’s research explores the micro- and macro- level impacts of nonnative pathogens on forest ecosystems. She has studied laurel wilt disease, beech bark disease, beech leaf disease, and walnut witches’ broom.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication
  • Restoration ecology

Dr. Thomas Kuhar

Professor
Department of Entomology

Dr. Kuhar has over twenty years of experience working on various invasive species of agricultural importance including brown marmorated stink bug, kudzu bug, spotted lanternfly, Asian jumping worm, Asian longhorned tick, and others.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication

Dr. Angela Larsen-Gray

Adjunct Faculty
Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Dr. Larsen-Gray’s research focuses on wildlife ecology in private, working forests throughout the eastern United States.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics

Harrison Miles

Ph.D. Student
Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Miles studies the biological control of tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) with a soil-borne fungus (Verticillium nonalfalfae) and their interaction with spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula).

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication

Mitch Miller

Adjunct Drawing Professor
School of Visual Arts

Miller believes art and science work well together, when they work together, which is not often enough. He has interests in all drawing, sustainable design and systems, international art fairs, bugs, and art/science collaborations.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Arts and humanities

Dr. Ksenia Onufrieva

Research Scientist
Department of Entomology

Dr. Onufrieva coordinates and manages research on the optimization of mating disruption tactics against spongy moths (Lymantria dispar) in support of the national “Slow the Spread Program”.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication

Brian Ruether

Ph.D. Student
Department of Biological Sciences

Ruether studies chemically-mediated interactions between spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) and its host plants, tree-of-heaven and wine grapes.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication
Scott Salom

Dr. Scott Salom

Professor and Graduate Program Director
Department of Entomology

Dr. Salom researches forest insect and weed pests, with an emphasis on developing tools and strategies to improve management for those pests. His main area of focus is the biological control of hemlock woolly adelgid and tree of heaven.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication

Jordan Thompson

M.S. Student
Department of Entomology

Thompson’s research explores the ecological impact of Asian jumping worm (Amynthas agrestis) on soil ecosystems through analyses of soil properties, microbial enzymes, and microarthropod communities.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication

Dr. Esra Buyuktahtakin Toy

Associate Professor
Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Dr. Buyuktahtakin Toy’s research explores optimal management of invasive species with mathematical modeling and artificial intelligence. Past species of interest include the emerald ash borer in North America, Sericea Lespedeza in the Great Plains, and buffelgrass in the Sonoran Desert.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication
  • Social science, economics, & policy

Dr. Scotty Yang

Assistant Professor
Department of Entomology

Dr. Yang studies invasive ants through an integrated approach combining genetics & genomics, behavior ecology and microbial interactions with a goal of developing biorational invasive ant management strategies that mitigate their impacts.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication
  • Genetics, genomics, & community/population structure