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LSU Today Flagship Faculty
What was your previous position and where?I was a professor and interim head of the Department of Entomology at Oregon State University. I had been at OSU for 22 years before coming to LSU.
What brought you to LSU?LSU offered an attractive position as head of entomology, along with an uncertain future for the department at OSU due to budget cuts and a need to be closer to my and my spouse's family members with medical issues.
What is your research interest?My research is focused on how insects respond to environmental changes, including hurricane, fire and drought disturbances, and how these responses in turn affect ecosystem conditions, including primary production, biogeochemical cycling and ecological succession, that affect ecosystem services on which humans depend.
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?I hope to continue to improve the visibility of the entomology department, which currently is a top 10 department and provides insect identifications and management recommendations statewide to agricultural, recreational, public health and urban stakeholders.
What do you enjoy most about LSU?I enjoy the beautiful campus, its diversity, the opportunity to pursue research on insect responses to hurricanes locally, the exciting mensí and womensí sports teams, and the proximity to cultural, historical and environmental attractions.
What are your major accomplishments?I have published four books: "Beetle-pathogen Interactions in Conifer Forests" (1993, co-editor with G. Filip), "Insect Ecology: an Ecosystem Approach" (2000, 2006, 2011, a major textbook now in its third edition), "Methods in Forest Canopy Research" (2012, with M.D. Lowman and J.F. Franklin) and "Insects and Sustainability of Ecosystem Services" (2013). In addition, I have 70 peer-reviewed journal papers and three invited reviews. I was the program director for ecosystem studies at the National Science Foundation from 1992-93; was a member of the National Research Council Committee on Environmental Issues in Pacific Northwest Forest Management from 1995-2000 for a report published in 2000; was a member of the Oregon Governorís Task Force on Forest Health from 1995-2003; was the vice president for Public Affairs at the Ecological Society of America from 1999-2002; am the associate editor for Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment; am a member of the Louisiana Structural Pest Control Commission, where I was appointed by the Governor and ratified by the Legislature; and I am a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America.
Iíd like to improve the visibility of agriculture and LSU statewide. We arguably have the widest range of engagement in the state, with all the insect identifications and pest management training that we do for agricultural, public health and pest management consultants, homeowners and gardeners; and we serve as a model for engagement by the LSU community.