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Jose Negron

Research Entomologist

Research Entomologist

240 West Prospect
Fort Collins, CO 80525
Contact Jose Negron

Current Research

Jose’s current research includes reconstructing historical mountain pine beetle outbreaks in the Colorado Front Range. He is also developing field-based developmental models for mountain pine beetle and the Douglas-fir beetle. These will be used to develop predictive models and examining changes in population dynamics under climate change scenarios. Other studies include biological aspects of mountain pine beetle in Colorado, which has been very little studied, such as the role of parent adults in population biology, flight under different stand conditions, phloem consumption, and quantification of brood production from trees growing under different densities. His studies also address the ecology of endemic populations.

Research Interests

Future direction of Jose’s work is the biology, ecology, and management of western bark beetles under climate change, how past disturbances shape our forests, and how to incorporate research findings into forest management strategies.

Past Research

There is abundant literature on many aspects of the biology and ecology of the major bark beetles, such as mountain pine beetle and Douglas-fir beetle in the Intermountain West. Very little known about these insects in the Colorado Front Range. Past research has focused on the development of simple models to estimate the probability of infestation and extent of mortality caused by bark beetles. Target species include mountain pine beetle, Douglas-fir beetle, pinyon ips beetles, and the roundheaded pine beetle in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and the Black Hills. Other work addressed little know aspects on the biology of the western balsam bark beetle, and the flight periodicity and sampling of populations of Douglas-fir beetle. Fire and insect interactions are also part of Jose’s research portfolio.

Why This Research is Important

Bark beetles are integral components of the ecology of western forests. Insect-caused mortality often comes in conflict with land manager objectives and impact other ecosystem services. Bark beetles, particularly the mountain pine beetle, have been the subject of research for decades. Still large gaps exist in our knowledge on how these insects operate and shape our forests and how to use the information in forest management. Climate change is challenging knowledge from the past as insects are responding to climate change by expanding distributions, exhibiting different overwintering ecology, and influencing developmental patterns to name a few. In order to better manage disturbances as climate change continues to manifest, our knowledge has to be updated to offer proper management responses.


  • University of Puerto Rico, B.S., Biology, 1982
  • Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, M.S., Entomology, 1985
  • Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Ph.D., Entomology, 1988
  • Professional Experience

    Research Entomologist, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
    1993 to present

    Entomologist, USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Protection
    1988 to 1993

    Professor in Entomology, University of Puerto Rico
    1990 to 1991

    Graduate student and research assistant, Louisiana State University
    1983 to 1988

    Featured Publications


    Negron, Jose; Cain, Robert; Cadenhead, Andy; Waugh, Brian, 2019. A test of lethal trap trees for control of spruce beetles
    Malesky, Danielle M.; Bentz, Barbara J.; Brown, Gary R.; Brunelle, Andrea R.; Buffington, John M.; Chappell, Linda M.; DeRose, R. Justin; Guyon, John C. II; Jorgensen, Carl L.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Lowrey, Laura L.; Lynch, Ann M.; Matyjasik, Marek; McMillin, Joel D.; Mercado, Javier E.; Morris, Jesse L.; Negron, Jose; Padgett, Wayne G.; Progar, Robert A.; Randall, Carol B., 2018. Effects of climate change on ecological disturbances [Chapter 8]
    Foster, Adrianna C.; Shuman, Jacquelyn K.; Shugart, Herman H.; Negron, Jose, 2018. Modeling the interactive effects of spruce beetle infestation and climate on subalpine vegetation
    Williams, Howard; Hood, Sharon M.; Keyes, Christopher R.; Egan, Joel M.; Negron, Jose, 2018. Subwatershed-level lodgepole pine attributes associated with a mountain pine beetle outbreak
    West, Daniel R.; Briggs, Jennifer S.; Jacobi, William R.; Negron, Jose, 2016. Mountain pine beetle host selection between lodgepole and ponderosa pines in the southern Rocky Mountains
    Zhou, Haifeng; Zhu, Junyong; Gleisner, Roland; Qiu, Xueqing; Horn, Eric; Negron, Jose, 2016. Pilot-scale demonstration of SPORL for bioconversion of lodgepole pine to bioethanol and lignosulfonate
    Negron, Jose; McMillin, Joel; Sieg, Carolyn H.; Fowler, James F.; Allen, Kurt K.; Wadleigh, Linda L.; Anhold, John A.; Gibson, Ken E., 2016. Variables associated with the occurrence of Ips beetles, red turpentine beetle and wood borers in live and dead ponderosa pines with post-fire injury
    Dudley, M. M.; Negron, Jose; Tisserat, N. A.; Shepperd, W. D.; Jacobi, W. R., 2015. Influence of climate on the growth of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) in Colorado and southern Wyoming
    Fettig, Christopher J.; Gibson, Kenneth E.; Munson, A. Steven; Negron, Jose, 2014. A comment on “Management for mountain pine beetle outbreak suppression: Does relevant science support current policy?"
    Fettig, Christopher J.; Gibson, Kenneth E.; Munson, A. Steven; Negron, Jose, 2014. Cultural practices for prevention and control of mountain pine beetle infestations
    Frank, John M.; Massman , William J. , Jr; Ewers, Brent E.; Huckaby, Laurie Kay Stroh; Negron, Jose, 2014. Ecosystem CO2/H2O fluxes are explained by hydraulically limited gas exchange during tree mortality from spruce bark beetles
    Hoeger, Ingrid; Gleisner, Rolland; Negron, Jose; Rojas, Orlando J.; Zhu, J. Y., 2014. Mountain pine beetle-killed lodgepole pine for the production of submicron lignocellulose fibrils
    Mercado, Javier E.; Hofstetter, Richard W.; Reboletti, Danielle M.; Negron, Jose, 2014. Phoretic symbionts of the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins)
    Gillette, Nancy E.; Wood, David L.; Hines, Sarah J.; Runyon, Justin B.; Negron, Jose, 2014. The once and future forest: Consequences of mountain pine beetle treatment decisions
    Zhou, Haifeng; Zhu, J.Y.; Luo, Xiaolin; Leu, Shao-Yuan; Wu, Xiaolei; Gleisner, Roland; Dien, Bruce S.; Hector, Ronald E.; Yang, Dongjie; Qiu, Xueqing; Horn, Eric; Negron, Jose, 2013. Bioconversion of Beetle-Killed Lodgepole Pine Using SPORL: Process Scale-up Design, Lignin Coproduct, and High Solids Fermentation without detoxification
    Moore, David J. P.; Trahan, Nicole A.; Wilkes, Phil; Quaife, Tristan; Stephens, Britton B.; Elder, Kelly J.; Desai, Ankur R.; Negron, Jose; Monson, Russell K., 2013. Persistent reduced ecosystem respiration after insect disturbance in high elevation forests
    Bright, Benjamin C.; Hudak, Andrew T.; McGaughey, Robert; Andersen, Hans-Erik; Negron, Jose, 2013. Predicting live and dead tree basal area of bark beetle affected forests from discrete-return lidar
    Withrow, John R.; Lundquist, John E.; Negron, Jose, 2013. Spatial dispersal of Douglas-fir beetle populations in Colorado and Wyoming
    Schoennagel, Tania; Veblen, Thomas T.; Negron, Jose; Smith, Jeremy M., 2012. Effects of mountain pine beetle on fuels and expected fire behavior in lodgepole pine forests, Colorado, USA
    Hudak, Andrew T.; Bright, Ben; Negron, Jose; McGaughey, Robert; Andersen, Hans-Erik; Hicke, Jeffrey A., 2012. Predicting live and dead basal area in bark beetle-affected forests from discrete-return LiDAR
    Jolly, William M.; Parsons, Russell A.; Hadlow, Ann M.; Cohn, Gregory M.; McAllister, Sara S.; ; Hubbard, Robert M.; Negron, Jose, 2012. Relationships between moisture, chemistry, and ignition of Pinus contorta needles during the early stages of mountain pine beetle attack
    Lee, Jana C.; Negron, Jose; McElwey, Sally J.; Williams, Livy; Witcosky, Jeffrey J.; ; Seybold, Steven J., 2011. Biology of the invasive banded elm bark beetle (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) in the western United States
    Zhu, Junyong; Luo, Xiaolin; Tian, Shen; Gleisner, Roland; Negron, Jose; Horn, Eric, 2011. Efficient ethanol production from beetle-killed lodgepole pine using SPORL technology and Saccharomyces cerevisiae without detoxification
    Klutsch, Jennifer G.; Battaglia, Mike A.; West, Daniel R.; Costello, Sheryl L.; Negron, Jose, 2011. Evaluating potential fire behavior in lodgepole pine-dominated forests after a mountain pine beetle epidemic in north-central Colorado
    Negron, Jose, 2011. III. Insects
    Costello, Sheryl L.; Negron, Jose; Jacobi, William R., 2011. Wood-boring insect abundance in fire-injured ponderosa pine
    Bentz, Barbara J.; Regniere, Jacques; Fettig, Christopher J.; Hansen, Matt; Hayes, Jane L.; Hicke, Jeffrey A.; Kelsey, Rick G.; Negron, Jose; Seybold, Steven J., 2010. Climate change and bark beetles of the western United States and Canada: Direct and indirect effects
    Fowler, James F.; Sieg, Carolyn H.; McMillin, Joel; Allen, Kurt K.; Negron, Jose; Wadleigh, Linda L.; Anhold, John A.; Gibson, Ken E., 2010. Development of post-fire crown damage mortality thresholds in ponderosa pine
    Egan, Joel M.; Jacobi, William R.; Negron, Jose; Smith, Sheri L.; Cluck, Daniel R., 2010. Forest thinning and subsequent bark beetle-caused mortality in Northeastern California
    Lee, Jana C.; Hamud, Shakeeb M.; Negron, Jose; Witcosky, Jeffrey J.; Seybold, Steven J., 2010. Semiochemical-mediated flight strategies of two invasive elm bark beetles: A potential factor in competitive displacement
    Bentz, Barbara J.; Logan, Jesse; MacMahon, Jim; Allen, Craig D.; Ayres, Matt; Berg, Ed; Carroll, Allan; Hansen, Matt; Hicke, Jeff; Joyce, Linda A.; Macfarlane, Wallace; Munson, Steve; Negron, Jose; Paine, Tim; Powell, Jim; Raffa, Ken; Regniere, Jacques; Reid, Mary; Romme, Bill; Seybold, Steven J.; Six, Diana; Tomback, Diana; Vandygriff, James C.; Veblen, Tom; White, Mike; Witcosky, Jeff; Wood, David, 2009. Bark beetle outbreaks in western North America: Causes and consequences
    Lee, Janna C.; Aguayo, Ingrid; Aslin, Ray; Durham, Gail; Hamud, Shakeeb M.; Moltzan, Beruce D.; Munson, A. Steve; Negron, Jose; Peterson, Travis; Ragenovich, Iral R.; Witcosky, Jeffrey J.; Seybold, Steven J., 2009. Co-occurrence of the invasive banded and European elm bark beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) in North America
    Gibson, Ken; Negron, Jose, 2009. Fire and bark beetle interactions
    Zolubas, Paulius; Negron, Jose; Munson, A. Steven, 2009. Modelling spruce bark beetle infestation probability
    Allen-Reid, D.; Anhold, J.; Cluck, D.; Eager, T.; Mask, R.; McMillin, J.; Munson, S.; Negron, Jose; Rogers, T.; Ryerson, D.; Smith, E.; Smith, S.; Steed, B.; Thier, R., 2008. Pinon pine mortality event in the Southwest: An update for 2005
    Kaufmann, Merrill R.; Aplet, Gregory H.; Babler, Michael G.; Baker, William L.; Bentz, Barbara J.; Harrington, Michael; Hawkes, Brad C.; Huckaby, Laurie Kay Stroh; Jenkins, Michael J.; Kashian, Daniel M.; Keane II, Robert E.; Kulakowski, Dominik; McCaughey, Ward; McHugh, Charles W.; Negron, Jose; ; Romme, William H.; Shepperd, Wayne; Smith, Frederick W.; Sutherland, Elaine K.; Tinker, Daniel; Veblen, Thomas T., 2008. The status of our scientific understanding of lodgepole pine and mountain pine beetles - a focus on forest ecology and fire behavior
    Negron, Jose; Bentz, Barbara J.; Fettig, Christopher J.; Gillette, Nancy; Hansen, Matt; Hayes, Jane L.; Kelsey, Rick G.; Lundquist, John E.; Lynch, Ann M.; Progar, Robert A.; Seybold, Steven J., 2008. US Forest Service bark beetle research in the western United States: Looking toward the future
    Sieg, Carolyn H.; McMillin, Joel D.; Fowler, James F.; Allen, Kurt K.; Negron, Jose; Wadleigh, Linda L.; Anhold, John A.; Gibson, Ken E., 2006. Best predictors for postfire mortality of ponderosa pine trees in the Intermountain West
    Negron, Jose; Witcosky, Jeffrey J.; Cain, Robert J.; LaBonte, James R.; Duerr, Donald A. II; McElwey, Sally J.; Lee, Jana C.; Seybold, Steven J., 2005. The banded elm bark beetle: A new threat to elms in North America
    Schoettle, Anna W.; Negron, Jose, 2001. First report of two cone and seed insects on Pinus flexilis
    Negron, Jose; Shepperd, Wayne A.; Mata, Steve A.; ; Asherin, Lance A.; Schoettle, Anna W.; Schmid, John M.; Leatherman, David A., 2001. Solar treatments for reducing survival of mountain pine beetle in infested ponderosa and lodgepole pine logs
    Negron, Jose; Schaupp, Willis C. Jr.; Gibson, Kenneth E.; Anhold, John; Hansen, Dawn; Thier, Ralph; Mocettini, Phil, 1999. Estimating extent of mortality associated with the Douglas-fir beetle in the Central and Northern Rockies
    Geils, Brian W.; Lundquist, John E.; Negron, Jose; Beatty, Jerome S., 1995. Disturbance regimes and their relationships to forest health.
    Hiking trails in the Arapaho-Roosevelt NF in northern Colorado and surrounded by bark beetle–caused tree mortality, Arapaho-Roosevelt NF.
    This research presents synthesis of recent research on the effects of mountain pine beetle outbreaks in Colorado’s lodgepole pine forests. The work updates users, scientists, and the public on research finds on how mountain pine beetle has affected a suite of ecosystem services. 
    The mountain pine beetle is an important bark beetle associated with ponderosa pine in the Black Hills. Episodic outbreaks can result in extensive tree mortality compromising ecosystem services. Strategies are needed to mitigate mortality levels where appropriate. This study sampled stands ranging from 35 acres to 365 acres and were widely distributed across the 6,000 square miles of the Black Hills.  
    Typical attack by wood borers to fire-injured ponderosa pine showing galleries and bark wood residue.
    Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists are looking at tools aimed to respond to insect infestations after a fire occurs, particularly around large-scale conifer forests. Different types of fire injury and tree characteristics, such as the extent of bark damage, crown injury, and tree size were correlated to infestations by different bark beetles and wood-boring insects. Some of the insects occured jointly and were associated with both live and dead trees.
    Sign outside the Rocky Mountain Research Station headquarters.
    Disturbance processes such as insect outbreaks are natural disturbance agents in forests. The frequency and intensity of disturbances is expected to increase as the climate changes. Tools are needed to assist managers in determining how disturbances affect the sustainability of forests. RMRS scientists, in collaboration with the index developers, tested this new quantitative forest structural sustainability index on lodgepole pine forests in northern Colorado that had been heavily impacted by mountain pine beetles.
    Partially cut Engelmann spruce stand.
    Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists, partnered with Forest Service Forest Health Protection, initiated a project in Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) stands on national forests in Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming. This project was initiated to address entomologists' uncertainty about the success of partial cutting as a method to reduce bark beetle-caused tree mortality. Researchers discovered how implementing partial cutting of forests over a geographic area could help mitigate the spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) outbreaks, which have been anecdotally linked to the changing climate throughout western North America.
    Adult mountain pine beetle in a pitch tube (photo by William M. Ciesla,
    A series of ten papers prepared by experts on mountain pine beetles present a synthesis of the state of knowledge on selected aspects of beetle biology, ecology, and management. The synthesis was prepared primarily by Forest Service Research and Development entomologists who are members of the Western Bark Beetle Group. The papers were published in the June, 2014 edition of Forest Science.
    Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment in Support of Front Range National Forests and Colorado National Grasslands for Forest Plan Revision, Plan Amendments, and Project-Level Planning.
    Forest disturbance reconstructions provide a valuable record of factors leading up to change or stabilization in forest stands. Reconstructions in Colorado usually focus on fire effects, although a few have recorded beetle disturbances. Examining the evidence left by bark beetle disturbance and understanding interactions between insect disturbances and climate events may help guide management of post-disturbance forests.
    A number of native bark beetles can cause tree mortality in western forests and urban environments. These insects have co-evolved over thousands of years with their host trees and are an integral part of forest ecosystems. Researchers are conducting numerous studies to better understand beetle’s ecological role in shaping forest composition and structure.
    The development of ecological restoration treatment prescriptions based on historical forest structure is needed to inform management activities within the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) and other restoration efforts. Our goal is to provide managers with locally derived, historically realistic, and climatically sustainable targets for desired future stand and landscape conditions for the Colorado Front Range and South Dakota Black Hills. 

    National Strategic Program Areas: 
    Resource Management and Use
    National Priority Research Areas: 
    Forest Disturbances
    RMRS Science Program Areas: 
    Forest and Woodland Ecosystems