About Entomology

The mission of the Department of Entomology at The University of Arkansas is to conduct applied and basic research and provide related support and to conduct high-quality teaching and student research programs leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.

The Department of Entomology main office, AGRI 319, is located on the third floor of the Agriculture Building on the University of Arkansas main campus.


Visitor Parking Guide - The Agriculture Building is closest to Old Main. 

 

 Facilities

The University of Arkansas Arthropod Museum houses the largest research and reference collection of insects and other arthropods in the State of Arkansas. The Curator cares for the collection and makes annual efforts to increase the size and diversity of the collection so that it becomes ever more representative of the Arkansas fauna. Museum specimens in all groups of arthropods are professionally identified using specialized techniques, equipment, and literature; they are therefore priceless reference resources for comparison with unknown specimens. An extensive literature collection is at hand to facilitate timely identification of pests, beneficial species, and other species of concern. The Curator provides identification and information services to extension personnel, researchers, and the general public. Loans of specimens are sent to qualified researchers around the world. Auxiliary collections are maintained for demonstration and teaching purposes. A growing website is dedicated to assisting the Museum in its extension, research, and education missions.

The laboratories are well-equipped to conduct research in insect-plant interactions and physiology. We have equipment for preparation and analysis of plant natural products including a Waters HPLC system with photodiode array detection, a capillary electrophoresis system, photodiode array spectrophotometer, scintillation counter, and centrifuges.

We are also equipped for work with proteins and nucleic acids including a Phastelectrophoresis system, Biorad Rotofor and LC system for protein purification, mini-gel and full-size gel systems for electrophoresis of proteins and nucleic acids, and a thermal cycler for PCR. We also have ample growth chamber space for bioassays. We currently maintain a greenhouse unit in the containment wing of the RAPCC for work with transgenic plants.

The Insect-Plant Interaction Laboratory is comprised of two separate laboratories. Two are housed in the Agriculture Building (AGRI 328 & AGRI 329) and one is located in the newly constructed Rosen Alternative Pest Control Center (ROSE 105). Space is also utilized in the Greenhouse behind the Rosen Alternative Pest Control Center.

Laboratory Room 325B is dedicated to disease transmission studies.

It contains two Wild-Heerbrugg dissecting microscopes, phase/contrast/fluorescence, and a Nikon inverted microscope along with other equipment for dissection, photography, cell culture, specimen evaluation, etc. This lab has a biosafety hood, CO2 and standard culture ovens and autoclave. Laboratory Room 325C is dedicated to DNA studies. It contains a PCR, microcentrifuge, -80°C Freezer, chemistry hood, etc.

Computers and expertise necessary for data storage, statistical analysis, and modeling are provided. A pick-up truck and ATV are available for off-campus study.

In addition, the Veterinary Entomology Laboratory has the cooperative use of broiler houses and livestock facilities in the  Departments of Animal Science. Various animal and poultry species are available for cooperative studies at the University of Arkansas - Fayetteville and the Savoy Livestock and Poultry Facilities. Cooperative studies related to cattle production are conducted at the  Southwest Research and Extension Center, Hope, Arkansas, the Southeast Research and Extension Center, Monticello, Arkansas, the Livestock and Forestry Branch Station, Batesville, Arkansas and the USDA-ARS- Dale Bumpers Family Farms Research Center, Booneville, Arkansas.


Building A228 - Entomology Shop & Forestry Lab (ESFL)

The Biological Control with Insect Pathogens and Apiculture Laboratory is comprised of two laboratories (VIRO 19 & VIRO 21) in the Cralley-Warren Research Laboratory. It is operated by Dr. Don Steinkraus. The laboratories are well equipped with optical microscopes, computers, incubators, isolation hoods, and other equipment needed for research. Insect pathogens (Bts, baculoviruses, protozoa, nematodes, and fungi) are the main subject of our research, however, we also conduct research on other aspects of biological control, IPM, insect morphology and apiculture in our lab.

The focus of our research for the past 10 years has been to utilize natural enemies of the cotton aphid, particularly the fungus, Neozygitesfresenii, for IPM in cotton. Our studies on the biology, epizootiology, and aerobiology of this pathogen have helped us develop a unique service for cotton growers. We work with growers and extension agents to monitor natural enemy levels in cotton fields. By doing so, we can pinpoint when insecticides are needed and when they can be avoided. This service is estimated to save cotton growers millions of dollars in unneeded insecticides each year. We also have worked extensively with Beauveriabassiana, a fungal pathogen of the tarnished plant bug, and with nematodes, Bts, and viruses for control of armyworms.

Building A273 - Entomology Headhouse & Greenhouse (ENHG)

Our research laboratory is at the University of Arkansas Campus (AGRI 310).

We grow plants as needed in a greenhouse.

We also interact with Dr. Curt Rom (Horticulture) on insect susceptibility of apple cultivars in a couple of apple plots associated with the NE-183 Apple Cultivar Regional Group.

We use a 3'x3'x6' wind tunnel with a moving-striped floor to observe insect flight in response to odor or visual cues. We are learning to use a Solid-Phase Microextraction (SPME) device for collecting and measuring headspace concentrations of organic volatiles from plants and insects. An outdoor insectary is used to rear various fruit insects. Two mite brushing machines and two-70x stereomicroscopes with cool fiber optic lamps (one is a ring lamp) are used to estimate mite densities on leaves. We have access to Horticulture's walk-in cold rooms for various purposes.

We have the necessary equipment to apply pesticides for small orchard plot studies, e.g., 3-gallon solo hand pump sprayer, 5 HP piston pump sprayer. A truck is assigned to this program. 

Building A331 - Insect Rearing Facility (INRF)

The Margaret McClendon Rearing Laboratory was constructed in 1991 and provides outstanding facilities for rearing numerous insect species. The 3,360sq. ft. laboratory has five large temperature-controlled rooms which house aphids, corn earworm, soybean looper, thrips, and tobacco budworm. An independent HEPA-filter air exchange system controls two of these rooms. One laboratory is dedicated to diet preparation and another to handling the insects themselves. Two other small laboratories are dedicated to research programs working directly with culture insects.

Building A299 -Entomology Toxicology Lab(ETML) and

Building A273 -Entomology Headhouse & Greenhouse

Vegetable insect research is conducted at the University Farm. Included in these facilities is an insecticide toxicology lab where studies are conducted to determine the toxicity, movement, and persistence of insecticides. Insects commonly studied and often cultured include the green peach aphid, pea aphid, and the pepper weevil. Additional lepidopterous insects are available for testing from the McClendon Insect Rearing Building. Field plot studies are conducted in fields located adjacent to the lab at the University Farm. Additional facilities include a greenhouse and standard laboratory where field samples are evaluated.