MSU Entomology welcomes new faculty in biological control

Starting in January 2018, Marianna Szűcs will be joining the Michigan State University Department of Entomology as an assistant professor of biological control.

October 27, 2017 - Author: Joy Landis

Starting in January 2018, Marianna Szűcs will be joining the Michigan State University Department of Entomology as an assistant professor of biological control. She has most recently been a research scientist at Colorado State University in the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management. Her work there has explored the role of hybridization in biological control of weeds.

Originally from Hungary, Szűcs graduated with a university diploma in geography with specialization in geology from the University of Szeged. She earned her PhD in entomology from the University of Idaho in 2010.

Szűcs’ research lab will focus on biological control of invasive weed and insect pests. “Biological control is one of the only long-term solutions to problems with invasive species and crop pests,” Szűcs said. “It is crucial to understand the processes that lead to success or failure. We will study the role of rapid evolutionary processes and reciprocal interactions between ecology and evolution in biological control agents and their targets.”

Research areas of particular interest for Szűcs include: hybridization effects on fitness, efficacy and host-specificity of biological control agents; the importance of genetic diversity and its interaction with demography in mediating agent and pest establishment and persistence; and the mechanisms enabling biological control agents and pests to adapt to novel environments.

Szűcs’ appointment also includes teaching and extension. She looks forward to developing and implementing new biological control programs across Michigan with growers, natural area managers, landowners and the general public.


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