Research Programs

Dr. Joe M. Louis working with student studying insects on plants

Applied and basic entomology research programs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, are dynamic, award-winning, and nationally and internationally known.

Recent departmental research papersAreas of Faculty Research

Program Areas

Our programs can be divided into three broad areas.

taxonomy workers

Arthropod Biology, Diversity, and Conservation

Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth at all levels ranging from genes to species to ecosystems, and it is the foundation for all of the life sciences.

Learn more about the Arthropod Biology, Diversity, and Conservation program area
corn ear worm

Managing Arthropods

Entomology's efforts are directed toward managing insects and related arthropods associated with agriculture, our natural resources, residential and business spaces, and to questions of public health importance.

Learn more about the Managing Arthropods program area
photosynthesis meter

Stress Biology

As an outgrowth of our success in providing management solutions to agricultural and ecological problems posed by arthropods, Entomology faculty have adopted Stress Biology as a signature program that provides a foundation for addressing fundamental ecological, evolutionary, and molecular questions related to stress interactions.

Learn more about the Stress Biology program area

Research, Extension and Education Centers

Research facilities in the department are assigned to staff members on the basis of research programs. Graduate students have access to these facilities through their advisers. The Entomology Department conducts limited field research at the East Campus location. Most field research is conducted at the University of Nebraska Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center, located near Ithaca, or at district centers located at Ithaca, Scottsbluff, North Platte, and Concord. These district centers are staffed by both research and extension specialists from various disciplines.

Panhandle Research, Extension and Education Center (PREEC)

The Panhandle Research and Extension Center is unique from other centers by having three satellite field laboratories associated with it: the Scottsbluff, the High Plains, and the Northwest Agricultural Laboratories. Access to irrigated and dryland field plot areas is available at all locations. The center itself has 320 acres for research plots and has an entomology laboratory, insect rearing, and greenhouse space. Graduate student office space is available along with housing facilities at the Scottsbluff and High Plains Agricultural Laboratories. Recent research emphasis has been on pests associated with wheat and specialty crops such as sugar beets and dry beans.

West Central Research, Extension, and Education Center (WCREEC)

The West Central Research, Extension, and Education Center at North Platte has excellent facilities with workspace, equipment, housing, offices, and office equipment for graduate students and staff. The Center sets on 1,848 acres and includes greenhouses, feed mill, grain storage facility, equipment storage buildings, calving shed, cattle working facility, entomology lab, wind tunnels, shops, pastures, and feedlots. Other buildings at WCREC include residences for several employees and graduate students. The Agroecosystems Entomology Lab is housed in a building with approximately 3,000 sq. ft. of multipurpose laboratory space. The lab has standard wet lab equipment (e.g., fume hood, balances, stereo and light microscopes, and molecular bioassay tools). The lab houses three Percival reach-in plant growth chambers, Berlese funnels, freezers, refrigerators, and sample storage space. The Livestock Insect Laboratory supports insect research with focus on: biopesticide development, fly resistance monitoring, insecticide evaluations, the design and development of insecticide delivery systems, fly trap design and evaluation, and insect rearing facilities for three fly species.

Crop related research can be conducted on 383 acres of crop land at the Center, and on 1,120 acres at the Water Resources Laboratory near Brule and 640 acres at the Stumpf International Wheat Center near Grant, NE. WCREC also maintains the Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory, a 12,800-acre ranch near Whitman, Nebraska, where a cattle herd of 500 head is available for livestock studies.

South Central Agricultural Laboratory (SCAL)

The South Central Agricultural Laboratory Research Farm is well equipped for field research. Currently, 640 acres are being used for research, including both dryland and irrigated crop production. Entomology programs focus on insect pest management and biological control of corn and soybean insects.

Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension & Education Center (ENREEC)

The University of Nebraska Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension (ENRE) is headquartered at the Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center (ENREEC). ENREEC was formerly the University of Nebraska's Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead, Nebraska. ENRE also includes the University of Nebraska Southeast Extension District, Northeast Extension District, and the newly developed Metro Extension District, as well as the South Central Ag Lab, Haskell Ag Lab, Barta Brothers Ranch and Kimmel Education and Research Center. Approximately 80 acres of land, 20 of which can be irrigated, are currently assigned to the Entomology Department. Equipment and facilities include soil washing facilities, research laboratories, storage buildings, shop areas, and a full complement of small plot farm implements. Most of the entomology research conducted at the ENREC Ithaca location pertains to the biology, ecology, and management of field crop insects, turfgrass arthropods, apiculture, landscape entomology, and insect pests of livestock. The department also has limited access to large crop acreages on the 9,500-acre ENREC facility.

Haskell Agricultural Lab (HAL)

Haskell Agricultural Laboratory is well equipped to conduct applied entomological field studies. In recent years, research has primarily focused on European corn borer, soybean arthropods, and chemigation. The center houses several chemigation units, including a four-tower overhead center pivot and a six-tower lateral overhead irrigation system. The center also houses the necessary high clearance ground application equipment necessary for insecticide research. A modest rearing facility is operable, and a shop is available for equipment manufacture, storage, and upkeep. Graduate student workspace is limited but adequate for some students.