Dr. David W. Onstad

David's picture
Research Scientist,
Corteva Agriscience
Address: Corteva Agriscience, Johnston, IA 50131
Phone: 515-468-8638
Email(s): david.onstad@corteva.com, dwonstad@gmail.com


Appointment: Adjunct Faculty


  1. B.S. in Biological Science, California State University, Sacramento
  2. M.S. in Environmental Systems Engineering, Cornell University
  3. Ph.D. in Entomology, Cornell University (minor in plant pathology)


I work in Iowa at Corteva Agriscience where I create and analyze mathematical models to evaluate resistance management strategies for insect pests and plant pathogens. Before 2012, I was a professor at the University of Illinois where I taught applied ecology and focused on IPM. I have created models of more than 30 species of plants, insects, and diseases, including honey bees, predators, parasitoids, insect pathogens and plant diseases. I have performed research on alfalfa, maize, soybean, broccoli, apple orchards, woodlands, and a few other systems. I am Vice-President of the Plant-Insect Ecosystem Section of the Entomological Society of America and will become President in November 2020. The second edition of my book, Insect Resistance Management: biology, economics and prediction, was published by Academic Press in 2014. The third edition is in preparation. My latest book, The Economics of Integrated Pest Management of Insects, was co-edited with Phil Crain and published by CABI in 2019.

My long-term interests include promotion of entomology in museums, schools, universities, and many other facilities and institutions in society. I also expect to focus on forecasting how entomology and IPM should change to significantly contribute to society and agriculture as the world changes beyond 2040.


Breaking Entomological News...

  • Insect Science major Earl Agpawa (conducting undergraduate research with Joe Louis and Eileen Hebets) was named the 2020 winner of the ESA’s Plant-Insect Ecosystems Undergraduate Student Achievement Award.This is a national award that recognizes outstanding accomplishments in entomology by an undergraduate student working with insect-plant interactions. Congratulations, Earl!
  • PhD student Sajjan Grover (mentored by Joe Louis) was named the 2020 winner of the ESA’s Plant-Insect Ecosystems Kenneth and Barbara Starks Plant Resistance to Insects Graduate Student Award. This is a national award recognizing a graduate student for outstanding work in the area of host plant resistance. Congratulations, Sajjan!
  • Dr. Joe Louis receives a grant to study resistance in sorghum to fall armyworm
  • We are well-represented in ESA North Central Branch awards this year. Déia Montezano is the 2020 John Henry Comstock Outstanding PhD Student Award winner, Gary Brewer is the 2020 recipient of the Award of Merit, and Bob Wright is the 2020 recipient of the C.V. Riley Award. Congratulations, Déia, Gary, and Bob!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Troy Anderson on being elected Vice President Elect for the Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology Section of the Entomological Society of America!
  • Dr. Kyle Koch named new insect diagnostician
  • Check out the Emerald Ash Borer Resource Center, and our Emerald Ash Borer Look-Alike Insects Sheet - Be Sure Before You Treat!