Douglas Landis

Douglas Landis

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University Distinguished Professor



PhD - North Carolina State University (1987), Entomology
MS - North Carolina State University (1984)
BA - Goshen College, Biology (1981)

See a list of Doug Landis's publications on Google Scholar.

Web: Landis Lab


Doug received his BA in Biology from Goshen College and his MS and PhD in Entomology from North Carolina State University. In 1988 he joined the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University where he is currently a University Distinguished Professor with research and teaching responsibilities in insect ecology.  His research focuses on the role of landscape structure in shaping insect-insect and insect-plant interactions in working landscapes. He is the author of 180 peer-reviewed journal articles, 25 book chapters and 58 Extension bulletins, and has won numerous awards for his work including the Recognition Award in Entomology by the Entomological Society of America for outstanding contributions to agriculture, an MSU Distinguished Faculty Award, and was named a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America. 

Current assignment: Teaching 15% | Research 75% | Extension 10%

Program Description


My teaching program is focused on: 1) mentoring graduate students and post-docs, 2) teaching graduate and undergraduate students in classroom settings, and 3) mentoring of undergraduate research assistants in my lab. At any one time I typically have 5 to 10 graduate student mentees, split roughly equally between MS and PhD students, and 1-3 post-docs. My formal classroom teaching consists of teaching ENT 802 Nature and Practice of Science in the spring of every year, and providing guest lectures in other courses as requested. I typically have 3 to 6 undergraduate research assistants in my lab, of which one or two per year are conducting independent research projects.


My lab focuses on the ecology, conservation and management of insects in landscapes containing both natural and managed ecosystems. Research themes include: understanding the influence of landscape structure on insect ecology, design of sustainable landscapes to promote ecosystem services, invasive species ecology and management, and conservation/restoration of rare species and communities. I receive funding from: the US Department of Energy through the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, the US National Science Foundation as co-PI of the KBS Long-term Ecological Research project, and from the USDA NIFA AFRI program. In addition, I receive funding from Project GREEEN, and the MSU MacCready Reserve endowment.


My extension program focuses on invasive species ecology and management, and on the use of ecological restoration to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services. Current areas of outreach include: the biodiversity implications of bioenergy landscapes, prairie fen and oak savanna restoration, the use of native plants to enhance ecosystem services, and conservation of the monarch butterfly.


  • Insect ecology
  • Biological control
  • Landscape ecology
  • Ecosystem services
  • Invasive species
  • Natural areas stewardship
  • Restoration ecology
  • Habitat management

Professional Experience

  • 1988 – present     Assistant, Associate, Full Professor, Dept. of Entomology, and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, & Behavior Program, Michigan State University
  • 2013-2014            Interim Chairperson, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 1987-1988            Postdoctoral Research Fellow, North Carolina State University
  • 1987                     Visiting Assistant Professor, School of For. & Environ. Sci., Duke University

Selected Publications

  • Landis, D.A., S.D. Wratten & G.M. Gurr. 2000. Habitat Management to Conserve Natural Enemies of Arthropod Pest in Agriculture. Annual Review Entomology 45:173-201.
  • Costamagna, A.C., and D.A. Landis. 2006. Predators exert top-down control of soybean aphid across a gradient of agricultural management systems. Ecological Applications 16: 1619-28.
  • Landis, D.A., M.M. Gardiner, W. van der Werf, and S.M. Swinton. 2008. Increasing corn for biofuel production reduces biocontrol services in agricultural landscapes. PNAS. 105: 20552-20557.
  • Gardiner, M.M., D.A. Landis, C. Gratton, C.D. DiFonzo, M. O’Neal, J.M. Chacon, M.T. Wayo, N.P. Schmidt, E.E. Mueller and G.E. Heimpel. 2009. Landscape diversity enhances the biological control of an introduced crop pest in the north-central U.S. Ecological Applications 19: 143-154.
  • Ragsdale, D.W., D.A. Landis, J. Brodeur, G.E. Heimpel, N. Desneux. 2011. Ecology and Management of the Soybean Aphid in North America. Annual Review of Entomology 56: 375-99.
  • Meehan, TD, BP. Werling, DA. Landis and C. Gratton. 2011. Agricultural landscape simplification and insecticide use in the Midwestern U.S. PNAS. 108: 11500-1505.
  • Tscharntke, T, Jason M. Tylianakis, Tatyana A. Rand, Raphael K. Didham, Lenore Fahrig, Péter Batáry, Janne Bengtsson, Yann Clough, Thomas O. Crist, Carsten F. Dormann, Robert M. Ewers, Jochen Fründ, Robert D. Holt, Andrea Holzschuh, Alexandra M. Klein, David Kleijn, Claire Kremen, Doug A. Landis, William Laurance, David Lindenmayer, Christoph Scherber, Navjot Sodhi, Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, Carsten Thies, Wim H. van der Putten and Catrin Westphal1. 2012. Landscape moderation of biodiversity patterns and processes - eight hypotheses. Biological Reviews 87:661–685.
  • Werling, B.P., T.L. Dickson, R. Isaacs, H. Gaines, C. Gratton, K.L. Gross, H. Liere, C.M. Malmstrom, T.D. Meehan, L. Ruan, B.A. Robertson, G.P. Robertson, T.M. Schmidt, A.C. Schrotenboer, T.K. Teal, J.K. Wilson, and D.A. Landis. 2014. Perennial grasslands enhance biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services in bioenergy landscapes. PNAS 111: 41652–1657.
  • Rusch, Adrien, Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer, Mary Gardiner, Violetta Hawro, John Holland, Douglas Landis, Carsten Thies, Teja Tscharntke, Wolfgang Weisser, Camilla Winquist, Megan Woltz, Riccardo Bommarco. 2016. Agricultural landscape complexity enhances natural pest control: a quantitative synthesis. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment 221:198-204.16
  • Landis, D.A. 2017. Designing agricultural landscapes for biodiversity-based ecosystem services. Basic and Applied Ecology, Invited View. 18: 1-12.
  • GP Robertson, SK Hamilton, BL Barham, BE Dale, RC Izaurralde, RD Jackson, DA. Landis, SM Swinton, KD Thelen and JM Tiedje. 2017. Cellulosic Biofuel Contributions to a Sustainable Energy Future: Choices and Outcomes. Science 356:eaal2324.