Dr. Julie Peterson

Dr. Julie Peterson
Insect Ecology, Field Crops Entomology, Integrated Pest Management, Biological Control

Faculty Profile


Dr. Julie Peterson leads the Agroecosystems Entomology Lab at the West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte, NE. She researches and answers questions about ecology and management of agricultural pests while emphasising practical applications for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and resistance management in field crops.


  • B.A. in Zoology, Ohio Wesleyan University, 2007
  • Ph.D. in Entomology, University of Kentucky, 2012

Professional Responsibilities and Activities

  • The Agroecosystems Entomology Lab, located at the West Central Research & Extension Center in North Platte, pursues research questions addressing the ecology and management of agricultural pests with an emphasis on practical applications for integrated pest management in field crops. Current research projects may address a variety of themes, such as food web dynamics, insect behavior, compatibility of pest control strategies (including biological control by natural enemies), and resistance management. Our research supports extension programming to develop proactive educational programs in IPM and IRM of arthropod pests of field crops grown in west central Nebraska.


Refereed Journal Publications:

  • Oliveira Hofman C, VS Victor, LJ Meinke & JA Peterson. 2020. Molecular gut-content analysis of adult ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) provides no evidence of predation of western corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in a Nebraska corn agroecosystem. Journal of Entomological Science, 55: 448-461.

  • Coates BS, CA Abel, KA Swoboda Bhattarai, DE Palmquist, DG Montezano, SN Zukoff, JD Bradshaw, CD DiFonzo, E Shields, KJ Tilmon, TE Hunt & JA Peterson. 2020. Geographic distribution of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1F toxin resistance in western bean cutworm, Striacosta albicosta (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), populations in the United States. Journal of Economic Entomology, 113: 2465-2472.

  • Souza D, JA Peterson, RJ Wright & LJ Meinke. 2020. Field efficacy of soil insecticides on pyrethroid resistant western corn rootworms (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte). Pest Management Science, 76: 827-833. https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.5586
  • Montezano DG, TE Hunt, D Souza, BC Vieira, AM Vélez, GR Kruger, SN Zukoff, JD Bradshaw & JA Peterson. 2019. Bifenthrin baseline susceptibility and evaluation of simulated aerial applications in Striacosta albicosta (Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Journal of Economic Entomology, 112: 2915-2922. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toz237
  • Montezano DG, TE Hunt, A Specht, PM Colombo da Luz & JA Peterson. 2019. Survival and development of Striacosta albicosta (Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) immature stages on dry beans, non-Bt, Cry1F and Vip3A maize. Insects, 10: 343. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10100343
  • Montezano DG, TE Hunt, A Specht, PM Colombo da Luz & JA Peterson. 2019. Life cycle parameters of Striacosta albicosta (Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) under laboratory conditions. Journal of Insect Science, 19: 14; 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/iez073
  • Montezano DG, A Specht, DR Sosa-Gómez, VF Roque-Specht, JV Malaquias, SV Paula-Moraes, JA Peterson & TE Hunt. 2019. Biotic potential and reproductive parameters of Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith, 1797) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Journal of Agricultural Science, 11: 240-252. https://doi.org/10.5539/jas.v11n13p240
  • Montezano DG, A Specht, DR Sosa-Gómez, V Ferreira Roque-Specht, SV Paula-Moraes, JA Peterson & TE Hunt. 2019. Developmental parameters of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) immature stages under controlled and standardized conditions. Journal of Agricultural Science, 11: 76-89. https://doi.org/10.5539/jas.v11n8p76
  • Souza D, BC Vieira, BK Fritz, WC Hoffmann, JA Peterson, GR Kruger & LJ Meinke. 2019. Western corn rootworm pyrethroid resistance confirmed by aerial application simulations of commercial insecticides. Scientific Reports, 9: 6713. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-43202-w
  • Schuster NR, JA Peterson, JE Gilley, LR Schott & AM Schmidt. 2019. Soil arthropod abundance and diversity following land application of swine slurry. Agricultural Sciences, 10: 150-163. https://doi.org/10.4236/as.2019.102013
  • Montezano DG, A Specht, DR Sosa-Gómez, V Ferreira Roque-Specht, JC Sousa Silva, SV Paula-Moraes, JA Peterson & TE Hunt. 2018. Host plants of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in the Americas. African Entomology, 26: 286-300.
  • Karp DS, et al. (Peterson JA author #113 of 157). 2018. Crop pests and predators exhibit inconsistent responses to surrounding landscape composition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 115: 7863-7870.
  • Stepanovic SV, C Burr, JA Peterson, D Rudnick, CF Creech & R Werle. 2018. Field peas response to seeding rate, depth and inoculant in west-central Nebraska. Agronomy Journal, 110: 1412-1419.
  • Peterson JA, EC Burkness, JD Harwood & WD Hutchison. 2018. Molecular gut-content analysis reveals high frequency of Helicoverpa zea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) consumption by Orius insidiosus (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) in sweet corn. Biological Control, 121: 1-7.
  • Archibald WR, JD Bradshaw, DA Golick, RJ Wright & JA Peterson. 2017. Nebraska growers’ and crop consultants’ knowledge and implementation of integrated pest management of western bean cutworm. Journal of Integrated Pest Management, 9(1): 1-7.
  • Bentivenha JPF, Montezano DG, Hunt TE, Baldin ELL, Peterson JA, Victor VS, Pannuti L, Vélez AM & Paula-Moraes SV. 2017. Intraguild interactions and behavior of Spodoptera frugiperda and Helicoverpa spp. on maize. Pest Management Science, 73(11): 2244-2251.
  • Peterson JA, PJ Ode, C Oliveira-Hofman & JD Harwood. 2016. Integration of plant defense traits with biological control of arthropod pests: challenges and opportunities. Invited review article for special issue “Crop traits for defense against pests and disease: durability, breakdown and future prospects.” Frontiers in Plant Science, 7: 1-23.
  • Peterson JA, JJ Obrycki & JD Harwood. 2016. Spiders from multiple functional guilds are exposed to Bt-endotoxins in transgenic corn fields via prey and pollen consumption. Biocontrol Science & Technology, 26: 1230-1248.
  • Eckberg, J.O., J.A. Peterson, C.P. Borsh, J.M. Kaser, G.A. Johnson, J.C. Luhman, D.L. Wyse and G.E. Heimpel.  2015, Field abundance and performance of hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) on soybean aphid. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 108: 26-34.
  • Schmidt, J.M., J.A. Peterson, J.G. Lundgren and J.D. Harwood. 2013. Dietary supplementation with pollen enhances survival and Collembola boosts fitness of a web-building spider. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 149: 282-291.
  • Johnson, D.M., J. Munzinger, J.A. Peterson and N.A. Murray. 2013. Taxonomy and biogeography of the New Caledonian species of Xylopia L. (Annonaceae). Adansonia, 35(2): 207-226.
  • Peterson, J.A., J.G. Lundgren and J.D. Harwood. 2011. Interactions of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal crops with spiders (Araneae). Journal of Arachnology, 39(1): 1-21.
  • Peterson, J.A., S.A. Romero and J.D. Harwood. 2010. Pollen interception by linyphiid spiders in a corn agroecosystem: implications for dietary diversification and risk-assessment. Arthropod-Plant Interactions, 4(4): 207-217. [Article featured on issue cover with photograph by JAPeterson]
  • Peterson, J.A., J.J. Obrycki & J.D. Harwood. 2009. Quantification of Bt-endotoxin exposure pathways in carabid food webs across multiple transgenic events. Biocontrol Science & Technology, 19(6): 613-625.

Select Extension Publications:


West Central Research, Extension and Education Center (WCREEC)
402 West State Farm Road
North Platte, NE 69101


50% Extension, 50% Research

Professional Society Memberships

  • Entomology Society of America (ESA)
  • ESA Annual Meeting Program Co-Chair, 2017
  • ESA International Congress of Entomology Student Competition Co-Chair, 2016
  • ESA Student Transition & Early Professionals Committee, 2013-2015
  • ESA North Central Branch Student Affairs Committee, 2009-2012
  • Ecological Society of America
  • International Organization for Biological Control
  • Central States Entomological Society (Kansas Entomological Society)

Notable distinctions

  • Excellence in Extension- Relevance Award, Nebraska Extension, 2018
  • Ohio Wesleyan University Young Alumni Achievement Award, 2017
  • Epsilon Sigma Phi Early Career Leadership Award, Nebraska Extension, 2016
  • J.H. Comstock Award, North Central Branch - Entomological Society of America, 2012
  • Robert J. O’Neil Outstanding PhD in Biological Control Award, International Organization for Biological Control- Nearctic Regional Section, 2011
  • Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award, University of Kentucky chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, 2011
  • Graduate Student Scholarship, North Central Branch- Entomological Society of America, 2011
  • Kentucky Women in Agriculture, Inc. Scholarship, 2009