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Van Driesche, Roy

Professor of Entomology

Tel: +1 (413) 545-1061
Room: Ag. Eng. 320


Primary interests

I am an entomologist, with a specialization in biological control of invasive species (insects and plants), with current work all centered on the impact of these pests on natural communities, mostly forests. I am interested in the impacts of invasive species on natural communities and the process of using introduced natural enemies from their native ranges to lower their population densities on the landscape. Topics of interest include parasitoid biology, evaluation of invader suppression by experimental and lifetable methods, assessment of nontarget impacts of biological control agents and ecological restoration of invader-damaged ecosystems, communities or species.

Current Projects

Currently, I have two active projects, one investigating the effects of Japanese knotweed on forest regeneration on river bars and the potential for biological control of this weed via introduction of specialized herbivorous insects from its native Japan.  The other project is focused on the regulation of emerald ash borer populations by native and introduced parasitoids using life table estimations of population growth rates over time, with the purpose of evaluating changes in the insect’s life system and effects of three introduced Chinese parasitoids that attack the pest.

Courses Taught

I teach a science Gen Ed for non-biology majors called Insects and Human Society (every spring) that explores insect diversity and effects of insects on human concerns and natural systems.  I also teach two advanced classes, one being Restoration Ecology (odd springs) that examines all aspects of restoration of damaged natural systems or areas (rebuilding destroyed habitat, restoration of missing processes such as fire or flood, reintroduction or augmentation of extirpated or threatened native species, and management or eradication of damaging exotic invasive species. My second advanced course is Biological Control (even springs),which covers the use of natural enemies to manage invasive species at the landscape level.  Finally, I teach a 1 credit course for graduate students on how to write scientific papers.

Selected Recent Publications

Representative journal articles

1.Duan, J. J., M. D. Ulyshen, L. S. Bauer, J. Gould, R.G. Van Driesche. 2010. Measuring the impact of biotic factors on populations of immature emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). Environmental Entomology 39: 1513-1522.

2. Mausel, D. L., R.G. Van Driesche and J.S. Elkinton 2011. Comparative cold tolerance and climate matching of coastal and inland Laricobius nigrinus (Coleoptera: Derodontidae) for biological control of hemlock woolly adelgid. Biological Control 58: 96-102.

3. Duan, Jian J., L. Bauer, Kristopher J Abell, an R. Van Driesche. 2012. Population responses of hymenotperan parasitoids to the emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) in recently invaded areas in Michigan. BioControl 57: 199-209.

4. Van Driesche. 2012. The role of biological control in natural areas: why is this tool unlike all others and future steps for safer use. BioControl 57: 131-137.

5. Calderón Alvarez, C., C. E. Causton, M. S. Hoddle, C. D. Hoddle, R. Van Driesche and E. J. Stanek. 2012. Monitoring the effects of Rodolia cardinalis on Icerya purchasi populations on the Galapagos Islands. BioControl 57:167-179.

6. Van Driesche, R. G. and G. Japoshvili. 2012. Comparative densities of beech scale, Cryptococcus fagisuga (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae) in the country of Georgia and Massachusetts (USA), parts of its native and invaded ranges. Florida Entomologist (in press)

Books or Book chapters

Van Driesche, R. G. and T. Center. Use of biological control to suppress invasive plants in protected natural areas.  Invited chapter in preparation for Alien Plant Invasions in Protected Areas: A Global Assessment Foxcraft, L. C et al (eds). Springer.

Van Driesche, R. G., M. S. Hoddle, Ted Center. 2008. Control of Pests and Weeds by Natural Enemies, Blackwell Pub, UK.

Van Driesche, R. G., M. S. Hoddle, Ted Center. 2008. Control de Plagas y Malezas por Enemigos Naturales. USDA FSFHTET-2007-02 (Spanish translation of item above).

Van Driesche, R. G. Saving Trees, Saving Forests: Use of classical biological control to preserve native US and Canadian forests USDA Forest Service (in final preparation, publication expected, late 2012.)

Van Driesche, R. G.  et al. Integrating Biological Control into Conservation Practice Wiley (under contract) in early development, expected publication 2014

Updated: September 28, 2012