Dr. Russell Groves
Professor, Department Chair, and Vegetable Extension Specialist
Ph.D. Entomology – N.C. State University, 2001
M.S. Entomology – University of Arkansas, 1992
B.S. Forestry – Iowa State University, 1989
As a Vegetable Extension Specialist (65%) and Applied Insect Ecologist (35%) in the Department of Entomology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, my responsibilities include the development, implementation, and delivery of a research-based, extension program to support integrated pest management of insect and mite pests affecting fresh-market and processing vegetable production in Wisconsin.
My extension and research program is centered on the ecology and management of insects of commercial and fresh market vegetable crops. To meet current and emerging challenges, novel research approaches are formulated in response to the stated needs of Wisconsin vegetable growers and producers, cooperating statewide and regional Extension Specialists, County Extension Agricultural Agents, pest management practitioners, crop consultants, and other agribusiness stakeholders in order to assess immediate and developing pest problems. Next, my research program tests hypotheses that further the understanding of pest population biology based on sound ecological principles derived from a combination of both field and laboratory research. Here, it is essential to balance the development of short-term solutions to these immediate and emerging problems, which out of necessity may require purely empirical and at times ad-hoc approaches, with research to develop fundamental concepts and knowledge that will lead to the development of long-term sustainable solutions. Solutions and strategies developed for the commercial and fresh-market vegetable industry must be durable, economical and both environmentally and socially acceptable to remain effective against key, vegetable pest species affecting the industry.
As an extension educator, it is my goal to create an environment conducive to learning and information exchange where vegetable industry stakeholders can be motivated to acquire new information, concepts and skills. A successful extension and research program is most often the result of a team of collaborators working together. My extension and applied research-based program collaborates with research and extension faculty within the departments of Entomology, Horticulture, Plant Pathology, and Crop Science at the University of Wisconsin as well as scientists from other institutions.
Scott has long been associated with the Department of Entomology here at the University of Wisconsin where he received by a M.S (1998) and a PhD (2003) under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Wyman. After completion of his advanced degree, Scott continued to work in the Vegetable Entomology program and soon thereafter also assumed responsibilities in the Field and Forage Crops Plant Pathology program.
He is responsible in part for planning, conducting, evaluating, analyzing, and reporting field research on the management of insect pests and plant pathogens on vegetable and field cropping systems, as well as recruiting, training, and managing summer hourly employees. Scott is also responsible for planning and conducting residue trials for minor crop registrations using IR4, GLP protocols.
Ph.D. Entomology – University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2003
M.S. Entomology – University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1998
B.S. Biology – University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 1995
Ben completed his M.S. degree in the Groves Lab and is continuing on in the lab working on a variety of projects, including the upkeep of this website. During his time as a graduate student, he explored the problem of groundwater contamination by neonicotinoid insecticides, specifically thiamethoxam, by surveying high-capacity irrigation wells in the Central Sands vegetable growing region of Wisconsin. In addition to describing the spatial extent and magnitude of this contamination, his thesis explored of the relationship between neonicotinoid contamination and landscape composition in the vicinity of sampled wells. Prior to moving to Wisconsin to pursue a degree in Entomology, Ben worked with the USDA-ARS Aquatic and Invasive Weeds Research Unit in Davis and Albany, CA.
M.S. Entomology – University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2016
B.S. Biology – University of California, Davis, 2008
Chris is currently a Ph.D. student in the Groves Lab. He is researching the genetics of corn rootworm and how resistance to insecticides and transgenic Bt corn is influenced by landscape and agronomic factors.
Victoria is a M.S. entomology student co-advised by Dr. Jeri Barak and Dr. Russell Groves. Her current research concerns the characterization and influencing factors responsible for the survival and spread of Salmonella enterica in fresh produce crops, primarily through an entomological perspective. Analyzing the relationships between Salmonella persistence in fresh produce and a variety of phytophagous insects holds potential to aid in the development of food protection strategies in the future.
M.S. Entomology – University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ongoing
B.A. Biology – Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, 2017
B.A. Environmental Studies – Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, 2017
Shannon is a PhD student jointly advised by the Departments of Entomology and Plant Pathology. Her research focus is studying the role of microbial associates in the transmission of aster yellows phytoplasma, a bacterial plant pathogen that has a wide host range, including many economically important crops. She will begin by investigating the microbial associates of its insect vector, the leafhopper Macrosteles quadrilineatus. Outside of the lab, she enjoys water skiing, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities.
B.S. Biology – Saint Louis University, 2017
Megan is a M.S. student in the Groves Lab. She is investigating neonicotinoid contaminants in surface water streams in central Wisconsin and how the surrounding landscape composition may alter neonicotinoid concentrations. In the future, she hopes to investigate the effects of neonicotinoid contaminants on aquatic invertebrates.
B.A. Conservation Biology – University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2019
In her role here, she assists with field, greenhouse and laboratory experiments, collection and analysis of data for reports, assisting with extension and research manuscript preparation, updating and revising UW Extension booklets and fact sheets related to the Vegetable Entomology program as well as general laboratory management.
Prior to joining the Groves Lab, Linda was employed as a Research Technician in the UW Horticulture Department with the USDA-ARS Vegetable Crops Research Unit for more than 30 years. This work in the plant breeding and genetics program focused on the development and evaluation of cucumber and melon germplasm.
B.S. Horticulture – University of Wisconsin, 1981
As the GIS (geographic information system) specialist in the Groves lab, Emily’s duties include compiling, extracting and analyzing GIS landcover data, managing and analyzing complex entomological databases, and conducting field surveys, as well as manipulative field and lab experiments on disease host plants and vector insects. In additions to these duties, she also enjoys driving the tractor during potato harvest season.
M.S. Forestry and Natural Resources – Clemson University, 2007
B.S. Forest Ecology and Management – University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2002
Broadly, I am interested in applying ecological and interdisciplinary research to further the sustainability of agricultural systems. I am particularly interested in pollination ecology, specifically understanding how local management and landscape features interact to influence wild pollinators and how pollinator behavior impacts the delivery of pollination services. My thesis project focuses on the ways in which pollinator plantings and habitat availability impact the richness, abundance, and nesting success of wild bees in pickling cucumber.
B.A. Biology and Environmental Studies – Swarthmore College, 2014
Marjorie is interested in molecular biology techniques applies to ecology, evolution, and genetics studies. Before joining the Groves Lab, she worked with eight research teams in French and Brazilian institutes. Her duties there were to develop lab protocols, generate and analyze genetic data, manage wet labs and sequencing platforms, and mentor students.
M.S. Biodetection, Biotraceability, and Biodiversity – University of Montpellier II, 2008
B.S. Biology of Organisms – University of Montpellier II, 2006
Justin recently completed his Ph.D. in the molecular and environmental toxicology program here at UW-Madison. His work focuses on understanding the underlying cause of the decrease in insecticide effectiveness on Colorado potato beetles in order to establish an effective pest management strategy for Wisconsin potato farmers.
Ph.D. Environmental Toxicology – University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2016
M.S. Molecular and Environmental Toxicology – University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013
B.S. Biology – New Mexico Tech, 2010
Mary is an agronomist by training with experience in commercial potato production and research in central Wisconsin. Her current interest is understanding the ways in which data management and evolving disease detection tools can aid commercial growers in detecting, diagnosing, and managing disease in potato cropping systems. She is pursuing a PhD in Plant Pathology, co-advised by Dr. Groves and Dr. Amanda Gevens.
B.S. Agronomy – University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2016
Benjamin was a M.S. student in the molecular and environmental toxicology program. His work focused on studying the adverse effects of pesticides on aquatic insects in Wisconsin tributaries. Ben tested these tributaries for the neonicotinoid insecticides Imidacloprid and Thiamethoxam. He enjoys outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, and snowboarding.
Ryan was a PhD student co-advised by Dr. Russell Groves and Dr. Jeri Barak. He took a genetic approach to discover colonization factors within the Salmonella enterica genome while in phytophagous insects and plants. Ryan’s objective was to further our basic understanding of how Salmonella spp. can persist in such a wide diversity of organisms and help to direct future protection strategies. Securing a safe food supply will be critical as food is in higher demand in the coming years.
Kat Prince completed her M.S. in entomology and agroecology in this lab. Her research took place in Wisconsin’s Central Sands growing region, where she studied the wild pollinator community in conventional vegetable crops. She also analyzed the concentration of neonicotinoid pesticides within plant tissues as these crops grow. The results from this project should help us learn which bees are present in this important agricultural region and the environmental risks they may be facing. Kat recently left the lab to start a job at the NRCS Field Office in Fresno, CA.
Natalie’s research focused on correlating which species of aphid are present in potato fields when potato virus Y (PVY) is first detected. By determining which species are actually spreading the virus, PVY management practices can be improved.
M.S. 2015. University of Wisconsin, Department of Entomology, Thesis title, “Monitoring Thrips (Thysanoptera) Dispersal in Wisconsin Soybean and Investigating Soybean vein necrosis virus, a New Pathogen in Soybean”.
Chen completed her M.S. in the Department of Plant Pathology (http://www.plantpath.wisc.edu/). She worked in our laboratory investigating host plant resistance to infection by Potato virus Y. She also successfully completed a dual major in the Biometry in the Department of Statistics here at the UW-Madison, and specifically investigated novel, analytical approaches for the accurate determination of infection using serological techniques.
Jose Pablo Dundore-Arias
PhD. 2015. University of Wisconsin, Department of Plant Pathology. Thesis title, “Investigating the mechanisms of how phytophagous insects enhance the epiphytic survival and transmission of Salmonella enterica in association with fresh produce”. Currently a Post-doctoral, Research Associate in the Soil Microbiome research program at the University of Minnesota.
Anders has several interests in sustainable vegetable production with an emphasis on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Insect Resistance Management (IRM). His research concentration focused upon coupling emerging geospatial techniques and primary research to further develop effective pest management strategies. Using Colorado potato beetle as a model, Anders’s project worked to document variable overwintering biology and crop colonization of the pest in Wisconsin. He is an Assistant Professor at NC State University.
Dr. Kenneth E. Frost earned his PhD in our laboratory in 2012 and was a post-doctoral, Research Associate in the Vegetable Pathology laboratory here at the UW-Madison. He is currently a tenure-track, Assistant Professor at Oregon State University, located at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, in Hermiston, Oregon. Ken is the Vegetable and Specialty Crops Pathologist and has responsibilities for plant diseases associated with high-valued, specialty crops in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest Region.
Shahideh’s Ph.D. thesis research in the Groves’ lab focused on the characterization of a novel satellite RNA associated with natural populations of cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) in Wisconsin snap bean fields and the comparison of genetic diversity of CMV populations in snap bean and pepper fields.
David’s M.S. thesis research in the Groves’ lab focused on how spatial heterogeneity and planting date affects the abundance and diversity of the native pollinator community in pickling cucumber.
Emily worked in both the Entomology and Plant Pathology departments during her time at the UW-Madison. Her work in the Groves’ lab focused on aphid identification and PVY detection in potatoes.
Sarah’s work in the Groves’ lab focused on generating Extension materials, such as fact sheets and other publications, and developing the Vegetable Crop Entomology website.