It is Our Mission is to increase forest health in the southeastern states through increasing scientific understanding of forest insects and the roles they play in forest ecosystems.
Forest insects play vital roles in maintaining forest health and succession patterns in natural forest landscapes. However, many insects have earned the moniker of "pest" due to their activities in modern agroforestry settings.
As land ownership patterns and forest management goals and techniques continue to evolve, it grows increasingly important to understand forest insect activities. Forests are one of the worlds most threatened habitats. As human populations continue to build across the globe, agriculture and other developmental activities are increasingly encroaching on the worlds forests. Understanding of the biodiversity and ecological roles of insects in forests, as well as how human disturbances effect them, will help to preserve important natural ecosystems, the services they provide, and the renewable resources they contain.
Additionally, non-native forest insects are continually being introduced into the U.S. from other continents. These invaders can drastically alter ecosystems due to a lack of natural enemies, diseases, and host resistance.
We use a combination of traditional field ecology, cutting-edge geospatial techniques, molecular biology, physiology, and microbiology to answer questions of high importance to forest health in the Southeast.
We are an energetic, fun loving, close-knit group of researchers who love our job, as well as the forests (and of course the fascinating insects that live within them) we are trying to learn about and protect.