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Chemical Ecology Research

Chemical ecology and insect pest management in changing landscapes

Our program is multifaceted. Interests include deciphering the chemically mediated interactions influencing transmission of insect-borne plant pathogens, host selection by insect pests and beneficials (especially weed biological control organisms). Work on vector-transmitted pathogens extends from developing tools to help farmers manage the diseases to studies on the specific biology and evolution of these tripartite systems. We also engage in collaborative research aimed to improve the resilience of agriculture and conservation of biodiversity on working landscapes under drivers of change including climates, markets and technology.

Interdisciplinary collaboration

Whenever research and intervention addresses problems at the system level, it is necessary to collaborate, not only with other scientists but with other partners including stakeholders. We have taken an active role in pursuing these collaborations and in developing approaches to maximize communication, efficiency and effectiveness of these teams. This is an area of scholarship we pursue on our own, but also affects all of the work we do in natural and managed systems.

Our study systems

Plant viruses affect crops worldwide. Our focus recently has been on aphid-vectored viruses of wheat and legumes, important crops in our region. Production landscapes include inland Pacific Northwest systems across the three states Idaho, Washington and Oregon. These are characterized by vast acreages of dryland farming with dispersed natural habitats and human settlement.

Current projects

For more information, please contact:

Sanford Eigenbrode

Distinguished Professor

Ag Science, Room 235


Research scientists

  • Ying Wu, research support scientist
  • Jessica Kalin, graduate student
  • Jake Hennessey, graduate student
  • Ali Paskus, undergraduate
  • Taylor Murphy, undergraduate

Recent alumni

M.S. & Ph.D. Entomology

Learn more

Assessing Aphid Damage

Read Story


University of Idaho

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Rm 242
606 S Rayburn St

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2329
Moscow, ID 83844-2329

Phone: 208-885-3776