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Toby R. Petrice

Toby R. Petrice
Research Entomologist
Ecology and Management of Invasive Species and Forest Ecosystems
3101 Discovery Dr., Ste. F
Suite F
Lansing, MI 48910
United States
Current Research

My research is focused on the use of biological control for management of invasive forest insect pests.  I am interested in understanding and improving the efficacy of different biological control agents by studying their biology and ecology, genetic diversity, and overall fitness.  This work is accomplished using a combination of approaches including simulation models, laboratory assays, and field collected data.

Research Interest

Some of my research interests include:

  • Evaluating the establishment and impacts of biological control agents being released for managing emerald ash borer.
  • Developing phenological models for predicting herbivore and parasitoid life history based on current and changing climatic conditions.
  • Integrating biological control and systemic insecticides for area-wide emerald ash borer management.
  • Determining the impact of elongate hemlock scale on eastern hemlock and presence and abundance of its natural enemies.
Why This Research Is Important

Invasive insects are one of the most significant threats to forest ecosystems.  Our first line of defense is prevention and eradication of these pests, but despite efforts, new invasive species often become established.  Once established, invasive pests are challenging to manage at a landscape level.  Biological control is an effective, self-sustaining approach for managing many invasive species and when implemented properly it is very safe with no or negligible nontarget impacts.  Conducting sound research that focuses on improving biological control success and efficacy is very important for the long-term management of many invasive forest insect pests.

  • Michigan State University, PhD Entomology/Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior (Dual major), Effects of temperature and photoperiod on host-parasitoid synchrony and evaluation of sampling methods for Oobius agrili (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), an introduced egg parasitoid of emerald ash borer., 2020
  • West Virginia University, M.S. Entomology, Hymenopteran parasitoids of gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.) (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae), and native macrolepidoptera in Virginia and West Virginia: A baseline study., 1998
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