11:40AM – 12:00PM ISE Lab Room 315
Keith R. Hopper, USDA Agricultural Research Service.
“The Role of Evolution in Management of Insect Pests and Crops”
Evolution plays a critical role in the management of insect pests of
crops. Mankind has molded the genomes of a limited number of plant
species to suit our needs for nutritious, highly productive crops. Some
species of herbivorous insects have evolved to exploit these crops,
while close relatives have not. Evolution to feed on plants that produce
various protective chemicals has enabled insects to rapidly evolve
resistance to insecticides. Parasitic wasps have evolved to attack
herbivores on crops, and such parasitoids are being introduced to
control exotic pests, like soybean aphid and Russian wheat aphid.
However, these parasitoids may evolve to attack non-target aphid
species. The likelihood of such evolution depends on the genetic
architecture of host specificity.
Bio: Dr. Keith R. Hopper received his B.A. in Biological
Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his Ph.D.
in Ecology from the University of California, Davis. After teaching as
a visiting lecturer at the University of California, Davis, Dr. Hopper
went to work for the Agricultural Research Service, United States
Department of Agriculture, first in Stoneville, Mississippi, then in
Behoust and Montpellier, France, and now in Newark, Delaware. Throughout
his career, Dr. Hopper has worked on the ecology and evolution of
parasitic wasps and their use in biological control of pest insects.