Welcome new vegetable entomologist, Zsofia Szendrei!
Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.
I am excited to join MSU as the new vegetable entomologist and look forward to meeting and working with growers, colleagues, extension educators and industry personnel. My goal in this position is to provide research support to solve vegetable insect problems in Michigan and to help implement new pest management methods. I am dedicated to tackling problems that growers are facing in their production and would like to maintain an active dialogue between the vegetable industry and academia. My current appointment is 50% extension, 30% research, and 20% teaching, and my office and laboratory are located in the Natural Science Building on MSU’s main campus in East Lansing.
I have a Master’s degree in Horticulture (2001) and a Ph.D. in Entomology (2005) from MSU. My Ph.D. research looked at Japanese beetle management in highbush blueberry in Michigan, combining both basic and applied research approaches to understand the role of cover crops to suppress populations of this devastating pest. Prior to accepting my current position as the vegetable entomologist, I spent two years (2005-2007) at the USDA-ARS in Beltsville, Maryland, working on Colorado potato beetle pest management, investigating cultural and biological control methods; and 1.5 years (2007-2009) at Rutgers University, New Jersey, focusing on highbush blueberry pest management using plant and insect volatiles. I am particularly interested in the effective combination of multiple pest management approaches to target a particular pest problem. These approaches include biological, cultural control and behavioral manipulation with plant and insect produced volatiles, along with traditional pest control methods.