Rufus Isaacs

Professor

Rufus Isaacs

isaacsr@msu.edu
Telephone: 517-355-6619


Location:

Center for Integrated Plant Systems
578 Wilson Rd. Room 202B
East Lansing, MI 48824


Department of Entomology


AgBioResearch Experts


See a list of Rufus Isaacs's publications on Google Scholar.

Berry Crops Entomology Lab

Bio

Overview

Over the past decade, our research has supported pest management in Michigan berry crops with greater adoption of monitoring and use of selective insecticides. This progress has been undermined to some extent by the recent arrival of spotted wing Drosophila, but the Early Detection Rapid Response that we put in place has helped develop an effective approach to SWD management in the affected crops, with a ~$20 million reduction in the economic impact of this pest during 2014 compared to the years before. In the crop pollination arena, development of the Integrated Crop Pollination concept, and its development into a national project is changing the dialogue about honey bees vs. native bees and helping to foster a more holistic view of farm management for pollination.

Current assignment: Teaching 10% | Research 45% | Extension 45%

Program Description

Teaching

I provide guest lectures for some colleagues' classes and train postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students in lab and field research techniques.

Research

My research program explores insect ecology and behavior to develop insect pest management practices for sustainable crop production. Most of this is done in berry crop systems including blueberry, grape, raspberry, and strawberry. Pest management challenges in these crops are addressed by testing new reduced-risk insecticides, developing new pest control tools and tactics, and integrating them into established IPM programs. This is coupled with longer-term studies to understand the ecology and behavior of arthropod pests and their natural enemies. A recent focus has been on the rapid response to spotted wing Drosophila, a new invasive pest of berry crops and the blueberry stem gall wasp which is a native pest. We also study crop pollination, with an emphasis on the biology and conservation of native bees particularly in blueberry farms. My lab is currently leading a national project to develop sustainable crop pollination practices for specialty crops. This involves four MSU programs and is a nationwide effort with fifteen institutions participating

Extension

My research program explores insect ecology and behavior to develop insect pest management practices for sustainable crop production. Most of this is done in berry crop systems including blueberry, grape, raspberry, and strawberry. Pest management challenges in these crops are addressed by testing new reduced-risk insecticides, developing new pest control tools and tactics, and integrating them into established IPM programs. This is coupled with longer-term studies to understand the ecology and behavior of arthropod pests and their natural enemies. A recent focus has been on the rapid response to spotted wing Drosophila, a new invasive pest of berry crops and the blueberry stem gall wasp which is a native pest. We also study crop pollination, with an emphasis on the biology and conservation of native bees particularly in blueberry farms. My lab is currently leading a national project to develop sustainable crop pollination practices for specialty crops. This involves four MSU programs and is a nationwide effort with fifteen institutions participating.

Concentrations

  • Pest Management
  • Pollination
  • Berry Crops
  • Grape
  • Berry Crops IPM
  • Pollinator Conservation
  • Crop Pollination

Professional Experience

  • 2010-Present - Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 2007-2008 - Sabbatical Leave, Carl Hayden Bee Lab, USDA-ARS
  • 2004-2010 - Associate Professor, Dept of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 1999-2004 - Assistant Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 1997-1999 - Visiting Assistant Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 1994-1997 - Postdoc, Dept. Of Entomology, University of Arizona
  • 1990-1994 - Graduate Student, Department of Biology, Imperial College, Silwood Park
  • 1990 - Biocontrol technician, Dept. of Entomology, ICI, Jealott’s Hill
  • 1988 - Field Trials Biologist, Product Development, American Cyanamid

Selected Publications

  • *Isaacs, R., Blaauw, B., Williams, N.M., Kwapong, P., Mader, E., and Vaughan, M. (2016) Farm-tailored measures to sustain and enhance pollination services. Pp. 113-130. In: Toward Sustainable Crop Pollination Services. Ed: Barbara Gemmill-Herren. Routledge, Oxford, UK.
  • Matlock, J., Isaacs, R. and Grieshop, M. (2016) Tillage reduces survival of grape berry moth, Paralobesia viteana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), via burial rather than mechanical injury. Environmental Entomology doi: 10.1093/ee/nvw149.
  • Leach, H., Van Timmeren, S., and Isaacs R. (2016) Exclusion netting delays and reduces Drosophila suzukii infestation in raspberries. Journal of Economic Entomology. Tow 157.
  • Wiman, N.G., Dalton, D.T., Anfora, G., Biondi, A., Chiu, J.C., Daane, K.M., Gerdeman, B., Gottardello, A., Hamby, K.A., Isaacs, R., Grassi, A., Ioriatti, C., Lee, J.C., Miller, B., Rossi Stacconi, M.V., Shearer, P.W., Tanigoshi, L., Wang, X., and Walton, V.M. (2016) Drosophila suzukii population response to environment and management strategies. Journal of Pest Science, 1-13.
  • Mason, K.S., Roubos, C., Teixeira, L.A.F., and Isaacs, R. (2016) Spatially-targeted applications of reduced-risk insecticides for economical control of grape berry moth, Paralobesia viteana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 109 (5), 2168-2174.
  • Gibbs, J., Elle, E., Bobiwash, K., Haapalainen, T., and Isaacs, R. (2016) Contrasting pollinators and pollination in native and non-native regions of highbush blueberry production. PLOS One 11(7): e0158937.
  • *Blaauw, B. and Isaacs, R. (2014). Larger patches of diverse floral resources increase insect pollinator density, diversity, and their pollination of native wildflowers. Basic and Applied Ecology 15, 701-711.
  • Garibaldi, L., Carvalheiro, L., Leonhardt, S., Aizen, M., Blaauw, B., Isaacs, R., Kuhlmann, M., Kleijn, D., Klein, A.-M., Kremen, C., Morandin, L., Scheper, J., and Winfree, R. (2014) From research to action: practices to enhance crop yield through wild pollinators. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12, 439–447.

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