Bangasternus fausti

ABOUT US

The Exotic Plant Invasion bio-Control (EPIC) Laboratory is located in the Plant, Soils, and Entomological Sciences Department on the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Idaho. The EPIC Laboratory conducts research on developing and implementing effective biological control for noxious weeds to protect natural resources in Idaho and the western U.S. Invasive plants are considered among the greatest threat to non-agricultural lands in the western U.S. Exotic plant invasions significantly impair the ecological integrity through loss of native plant communities, increased soil erosion, degradation of wildlife habitat, and alteration of ecosystem functions. READ MORE...
Larinus minutus

RESEARCH

My research program focuses on insect-plant interactions, specifically on those between host-specific (specialist) herbivore insects used as biological weed control agents and their respective exotic invasive host plants or noxious weeds. I have focused on three major research areas. The first addresses the need for development and establishment of new biological control agents. The second addresses the similarly important need for quantitative data on the impact of biological control agents. This includes assessments of the efficiency of biological control agents in controlling target weed populations but also of potential adverse effects on nontarget plant species. The third builds on my interest in plant invasion mechanisms. READ MORE....

OUTREACH

My extension outreach program focuses on the consolidation of weed biocontrol education, technology transfer, and outreach in one synergistic deliverable: technology transfer workshops. Developed training materials for the one-day workshop include weed specific PowerPoint slideshows, field guides for the identification of biocontrol agents and comprehensive biocontrol manuals for the office. I also provide expertise to state and/or regional clientele groups in the form of presentations and discussion panels on various biological weed control subjects. Particularly of interests are presentations on controversial subjects such as the risks of nontarget effects of biological control agents or more recently the potential of native insects for the biological control of aquatic species. READ MORE...