Dr. Pett is a graduate of MSU, with an M.S. in Horticulture and a Ph.D. in Entomology focusing on honeybee foraging behavior. He has 20 years of experience as a Research Associate and fixed-term Assistant Professor in the MSU vegetable entomology program. He was involved in an international research project developing genetically engineered potatoes that control insect pests for developing countries. This was a collaborative project with the MSU potato breeding laboratory and scientists from Egypt, South Africa, Indonesia and Peru. Dr. Pett now has a 50% teaching and 50% extension appointment in the Department of Entomology. He teaches an undergraduate class (Pests, Society and the Environment) to non-science majors, and a beekeeping course (Apiculture and Pollination). As the Apiculture and Pollination Specialist, Dr. Pett present information on honey bee issues to lay, hobby and commercial beekeeping audiences.
Current assignment: Teaching 50% | Research 50%
I teach ENT 205 (Pests, Society and the Environment) in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. ENT 205 is a 3-credit service course that meets the University biology requirement for non-science majors in the Colleges of Engineering and Social Science. This course fulfills the student’s ISB requirement. I teach ENT 410 (Apiculture and Pollination) fall and spring semesters. I taught ENT 850 (Insect Physiology) which fulfilled a requirement for students in the Entomology Graduate Program.
I was involved with the potato team (Drs. Dave Douches and George Bird) part of the Central Asia IPM-CRSP Project and attended meetings regarding potato line selection for testing in Kyrgyzstan and Tajkistan. I completed a GREEEN Grant in 2012.
My extension program began March 2014 and I’ve met with both commercial and hobbyist beekeepers. My intent is to provide these groups with information regarding their beekeeping issues.
Apiculture and Pollination
1999-Present - Assistant Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
1993-1999 - Research Associate, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University
1992-1993 - Research Assistant, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University
1990-1992 - Visiting Specialist, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University
1986-1990 - Graduate Assistant, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University
1982-1986 - Graduate Assistant, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University
D. Visser, W. Pett and D. Douches. 2013. Developing Transgenic Bt-Potato in South Africa: Experiences with Field Trial Protocols. Acta Hort. 974:51-56
David S. Douches, Joseph J. Coombs, Lawrence A. Lacey, Kimberly J. Felcher and Walter L. Pett. 2011. Evaluations of Transgenic Potatoes for Resistance to Potato Tuberworm in the Laboratory and Field. Am. J. Pot Res (2011) 88:91–95
Quemada, Hector, Kelly Zarka, Walter Pett, Gurling Bothma, Kimberly Felcher, Holly Mirendil, Johan Brink, and David Douches. 2010. Safety Evaluations of the Cry1Ia1 Protein Found in the Transgenic Potato SpuntaG2. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 135(4):325–332. 2010.
Douches, David, Walter Pett, Diedrich Visser, Joseph Coombs, Kelly Zarka, Gurling Bothma, Johan Brink, Hector Quemada, Kimberly Felcher. 2010. Field and Storage Evaluations of SpuntaG2 for Resistance to Potato Tuber Moth (Phthorimaea opercullela) and for Agronomic Performance. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 135(4):333–340. 2010.
Douches, D.S., J. Brink, H. Quemada, W. Pett, M. Koch, D. Visser, K. Maredia and K. Zarka. 2009. Commercialization of potato tuber moth resistant potatoes in South Africa. In: Kroschel J and L Lacey (eds.) Integrated Pest Management for the Potato Tuber Moth, Phthorimaea operculella Zeller – a Potato Pest of Global Importance. Tropical Agriculture 20, Advances in Crop Research 10. Margraf Publishers, Weikersheim, Germany, 139-147.
Douches, D.S., J.A. Brink, H. Quemada, W. Pett, M. Koch, D. Visser, K. Maredia and K. Zarka. 2008. Commercialization of potato tuber moth resistant potatoes in South Africa. In: Kroschel J and L Lacey (eds.) Integrated Pest Management for the Potato Tuber Moth, Phthorimaea operculella Zeller – a Potato Pest of Global Importance. Tropical Agriculture 20, Advances in Crop Research 10. Margraf Publishers, Weikersheim, Germany, 139-147.
Pett, W. 2007. Connecting IPM Research with Extension. In K. M. Maredia and D. Baributsa (eds). Proceedings of the Central Asia Regional IPM Forum, Dushanbe, Tajikistan, May 2007.
Aitmatov, M., G. Bird, W. Pett, D. Baributsa. 2007. Developing and dissemination of IPM knowledge through outreach and university education programs in Central Asia. In K. M. Maredia and D. Baributsa (eds). Proceedings of the Central Asia Regional IPM Forum, Dushanbe, Tajikistan, May 2007.
Coombs J., D. Douches, S. Cooper, E. Grafius, W. Pett, and D. Moyer. 2005. Combining natural and engineered host plant resistance mechanisms in potato (Solanum tuberosum L) for Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say): choice and no-choice field studies. Journal of American Society for Horticultural Science 130: 857-864.
Douches, D., W. Pett, F. Santos, J. Coombs, E. Grafius, W. Li, E. Metry, T. Nasr El-Din, and M. Madkour. 2004. Field and storage testing Bt-potatoes for resistance to potato tuber moth (Lepidoptera: Gelichiidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 97: 1425 - 1431.