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Robert Progar

Robert Progar
National Program Lead, Entomology & Pathology
Sustainable Forest Management Research
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250-0003
United States
Current Research

Position Statement:
Rob Progar serves as the National Program Lead for USDA Forest Service Research for entomology, pathology, invasive species and pollination ecology on the Sustainable forest Management Team within the national headquarters. He develops and maintains communications and relationships between researchers and leadership, identifies the need for new science, and is a subject matter expert on related topics. He usually works in collaboration with other agencies, universities and formal or informal teams. Current activities include serving on the USDA Pollinator Working Group Steering Committee, USDA Invasive Species Working Group, National Invasive Species Issues Team, Joint Committee for Biological Control, and compiling a National Forest Insect and Pathogen Assessment.

Past Research

Some past research projects include: 1) Development of reliable semiochemical or ecological methods for predicting, detecting, monitoring or mitigating unwanted or desirable disturbances by insects or disease to support existing management strategies or help create new strategies that can insure productive and sustainable forest ecosystems. 2) Evaluating the relationship between fire caused injury and tree survival, and methods to increase tree survival following controlled burning. 3) The use of biological control to mitigate the impacts of invasive plants and insects. 4) Modeling response of arthropod species and feeding guilds to climate patterns.



  • West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, Ph.D. Plant And Soil Science, Entomology, 1995
  • Frostburg State University, Frostburg MD, M.B.A., Business, 1991
  • West Virginia University, M.S. Entomology, Entomology, 1987
  • West Virginia University, B.S. Plant Science, Plant Science, 1985
  • Potomac State College, A.A. Horticulture, Plant Science, 1983
  • West Virginia University, B.S. Business, Business, 1982
Professional Organizations
  • Member,  Entomological Society of America,  1996 - Current
    meeting attendance
  • Chair Of The D5 Insect And Disease Committee,  Society of American Foresters (SAF),  2009 - 2012
    Activities include addressing questions of national importance to the Society of American Foresters; organize and moderate a symposia for the annual national meeting; and address national concerns for the Society regarding forest insects.
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Use of insects tested to control invasive riparian weed

Year: 2011
Leafy spurge is an invasive weed that has appeared along streams throughout much of the country. Resource managers need way to control leafy spurge without use herbicide that might damage other components of the riparian ecosystem. This study found that releasing 50 beetles per flowering stem reduc...

Natural Pheromone Found to Repel Mountain Pine Beetles When Outbreak Builds Gradually

Year: 2013
Forest Service scientists found that applications of verbenone reduced mountain pine beetle infestation of lodgepole pine trees in treated areas when populations built gradually. Verbenone did not protect trees when mountain pine beetle populations rapidly increased.