We are now on Twitter and Instagram…

Follow our lab adventures this summer on Instagram and Twitter! We are active this year in US, Mexico, and Canada.

Lab Instagram: @InsectAgroEco
Twitter: @Yolanda_H_Chen

  • Jorge Ruiz-Arocho will spend the next 6 months studying if arthropod diversity differs between crops and their wild relatives in Mexico.
  • Elisabeth Hodgdon and Andrea Swan will be working in Vermont and Canada studying pheromone mating disruption for swede midge.
  • Chase Stratton is studying the possibility of managing swede midge using a push-pull system.
  • Kristian Brevik (absent) will be exploring the “geography’ of transposable elements in the genome of the Colorado potato beetle (CPB).
  • Erika Bueno is starting geographic Colorado potato beetle colonies as she begins as Ph. D. student this fall.
  • Emma Schoeppner is studying if different ground covers can reduce swede midge success.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Colorado potato beetle genome published in Scientific Reports

Photo: Swarm of Colorado potato beetles

Photo: Zach Cohen

The Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, genome paper has just been published in Scientific Reports. Sean Schoville, University of Wisconsin and I coordinated a group of 58 scientists from 33 institutions to manually annotate the genome.

Although the beetle has been notorious for its ability to rapidly evolve to a range of different types of environmental conditions, climates, host plants and insecticides, we were surprised that we did not find that the beetle had more genes for detoxifying pesticides compared to other more innocuous beetle species.


University of Madison Press release

Colorado potato beetle genome gives insight into major agricultural pest

UVM Communications Story


Science Daily Coverage



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Swede midge fact sheet now available online!

We are excited to announce that our swede midge fact sheet, titled, “Organic Management of Swede Midge,” is now posted online via Cornell University. We developed this document with our collaborators Christy Hoepting (Cornell) and Rebecca Hallett (University of Guelph) to aid and inform vegetable growers on swede midge identification, monitoring, biology, and organic management strategies.

You can find the fact sheet at the following permanent link:


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lab Holiday party! And celebrating the 100th birthday for Finland!

We celebrated Finland’s 100th birthday and the holidays with the McKay lab! Leena will sadly be leaving us soon.

IAEL lab members at the party (Front: Sean, Jorge, Chase, Kristian, and Leena; Back: Andrea, Yolanda, and Lance).

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gund Institute Funded PhD Opportunitie

Gund Institute Funded PhD Opportunities


POSITION: The Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont (UVM) is recruiting exceptional PhD students for Fall 2018 to conduct interdisciplinary research on major global environmental challenges as part of a competitive PhD Research Assistantship program. Students will have considerable latitude and assistance in developing the direction of their work, but it must be related to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Students will be advised or co-advised by one or more of our Gund Institute Fellows.


The Gund Institute is a newly expanded campus-wide center for interdisciplinary research, where more than 100 faculty, global affiliates, post-docs, and graduate students collaborate widely to understand the interactions among ecological, social, and economic systems. Consistent with the mission of the Institute, we seek students interested in both advancing research frontiers and addressing concrete environmental issues.


OFFER: Students will receive three full years of funding to be spent over four years. These funds cover an annual stipend of $27,000, tuition, and UVM’s student health insurance. Students will work with home departments to augment this support with Teaching Assistantships or additional grants. Funded students may also apply for student enrichment funds to support conference participation and research costs.



  • Student must be starting year 1 of a PhD program
  • Competitive GPA and GRE scores
  • If applicable, minimum TOEFL score of 100 or IELTS score of 7.0
  • Preference given to applicants who have not previously studied at UVM, and who already have a Master’s degree, but all qualified candidates will be considered.


APPLICATION: Interested candidates should:

  1. Contact potential advisors directly to discuss your interests. Identify a Gund Fellow who can serve as your advisor.
  2. Apply to the appropriate UVM college or school by its deadline (deadlines vary among schools). Indicate in your statement of purpose that you are applying for a Gund Institute Research Assistantship.
  3. Complete the separate Gund Institute Research Assistantship Application by February 1, 2018.


Applications from women and people from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds are encouraged.


Read/share this posting online: http://go.uvm.edu/phd

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment