Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois


Catherine Eastman


Survey entomologist George Decker acknowledged the difficulties in managing insect pests when he wrote in 1958, "Insects are dynamic creatures subject to constant change in characteristics. Because of their great mutability, insects have survived in an ever-changing world for millions of years and are still capable of making the necessary adjustments to many of the important changes in their environment." "Pest" is an arbitrary term; only a very small percentage of insect species require management. However, challenges such as new agricultural crops, urbanization, behavioral changes in old pests, and the arrival of new ones, insect management programs cannot remain static. The emergence of crop rotation-resistant western corn rootworm populations in Illinois is a case in point. Rapid expansion in the use of genetically engineered crops is yet another area commanding the attention of Survey scientists. One project is investigating how crop residues from "Bt corn" varieties may affect soil processes and nontarget soil invertebrates.

A continuing strength of the Survey is its focus on interdisciplinary research teams. For example, Survey and University of Illinois researchers are leading a multistate investigation of causes of declining persistence of forage alfalfa stands. Their work will determine the roles of insect pests, diseases, weeds, weather, soil characteristics, and management practices so that an integrated plan to improve stand persistence can be developed. Additional multidisciplinary projects include evaluation of rootworm transmission of soybean diseases and the potential of high-glucosinolate varieties of crucifers to reduce insect pest and weed problems. Survey entomologists continually recognize the critical nature of interdisciplinary approaches to science and insect management.



Habitat selection and species diversity of migratory aphids in adjacent agricultural and natural habitats
C. Favret, D. Voegtlin


Ticks and tick-borne diseases in Illinois 
J. Bouseman, J. Nelson (North Park University and Rush Medical College)


Host-parasite physiological interactions
R. Wiedenmann, M. Alleyne, C. Helm, R. Kfir (Plant Protection Research Institute, Pretoria, South Africa)

Pest management with glucosinolate-rich crucifers 
C. Eastman, C. Velasquez (UIUC), J. Masiunas (UIUC), M. Kushad (UIUC), E. Wahle (UIUC), J. Aguyoh (UIUC)


Horseradish pest management and productivity
C. Eastman, W. Chen


Statewide dispersal of rootworms into soybeans
E. Levine, J.L. Spencer, S.A. Isard (UIUC), E.A. Adee (Monmouth, IL), R.A. Hines (Dixon Springs, IL), L.E. Paul (DeKalb, IL), G.A. Raines (Perry, IL)


Response of rootworms to different soybean lines
E. Levine, J.L. Spencer, M.E. Gray (UIUC), R.L. Nelson (USDA), R.B. Hammond (Ohio State Univ.), C. Pierce (UIUC), S.A. Isard (UIUC)


Rootworm transmission of soybean diseases
E. Levine, S.A. Isard (UIUC), T.R. Mabry (UIUC), J.L. Spencer, H.A. Hobbs (UIUC), G.L. Hartman (USDA), W.L. Pedersen (UIUC)


 Rootworms that oviposit in soybeans
E. Levine, N. Mihelcic (Univ. of Guelph, Canada), A. Schaafsma (Univ. of Guelph, Canada), J.L. Spencer


Movement and mating of adult western corn rootworms in east-central Illinois cornfields
J. Spencer, D. Onstad (UIUC), E. Levine, S. Isard (UIUC)


Soybean foliage consumption reduces vigor of adult western corn rootworms
J. Spencer, T. Mabry (UIUC), S. Isard (UIUC), E. Levine


 Abundance and daily patterns of WCR flight between corn, soybeans, and other crops
J. Spencer, T. Mabry (UIUC), S. Isard (UIUC), E. Levine


 Evaluation of Kairomone traps for western corn rootworm monitoring
J. Spencer, T. Mabry (UIUC), E. Levine, S. Isard (UIUC)

 Western corn rootworm adult mortality following consumption of transgenic corn
J. Spencer, T. Mabry (UIUC)

 Insecticide evaluation of field, forage, fruit, and vegetable crops
J. Shaw, M. Gray (UIUC), K. Steffey (UIUC), R. Weinzierl (UIUC), C.E. Eastman


Using transgenic corn tissue as a novel marker for dispersal studies
J. Spencer, T. Mabry (UIUC)


Influences of insecticides and transgenic corn in soil ecosystems
E. Zaborski


Fungus gnats and their natural enemies in greenhouses
E. Zaborski, R. Cloyd (UIUC)



Favret, C., and D.J. Voegtlin. 2001. Migratory aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) habitat selection in agricultural and adjacent natural habitats. Environmental Entomology 30:371-379.


Irwin, M.E., W.G. Ruesink, S.A. Isard, and G.E. Kampmeier. 2000. Mitigating epidemics caused by non-persistently transmitted aphid-borne viruses: the role of the plant environment. Virus Research 71:185-211.


Isard, S.A., J.L. Spencer, M.A. Nasser, and E. Levine. 2000. Aerial movement of western corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae): diel periodicity of flight activity in soybean fields. Environmental Entomology 29:226-234.


Onstad, D.W., C.A. Guse, J.L. Spencer, E. Levine, and M.E. Gray. 2001. Modeling the dynamics of adaptation to transgenic corn by western corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 94:529-540.

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