Most of the projects in my lab focus on host-parasitoid interactions and biological control. Investigations range from genetics to community ecology with an emphasis on behavioral, population and evolutionary ecology of parasitoids within the context of biological control. Current projects include classical and conservation biological control of the soybean aphid in the United States, classical biological control of a parasite of Darwin’s finches in the Galapagos Islands, and classical biological control of the imported cabbageworm in the United States. More generally, interests in the lab focus on aspects of host specificity in parasitoids, indirect interactions in natural and agricultural systems, sex determination in parasitoid wasps, evolution of parasitoid reproductive strategies, and ecosystem services (biological control) associated with biofuel cropping systems.
I am currently involved in research on the avian parasite Philornis downsi (Diptera: Muscidae) that has invaded the Galapagos Islands where it is attacking Darwin’s Finches. This work takes place in the Galapagos as well as mainland Ecuador and Trinidad & Tobago. I have also done research on naturally-occurring biological control of soybean aphid in its native Asia in Japan and China on a number of occasions since 2001.
- March 2017: 'Biological Control: Ecology and Applications' by George Heimpel & Nicholas Mills, from Cambridge University Press
- Google scholar link.