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Individual Faculty Research Programs

Departmental Research Areas

Behavior, Ecology, and Systematics

There is a wealth of interest and expertise in behavior, ecology and systematics associated with the Department of Entomology and Nematology. A particular area of strength exists in insect communication, made possible not only by the department-based authorities in pheromone, acoustic and visual communication, but also by the world-renowned staff of the USDA Insect Attractants Laboratory in Gainesville. Insect and nematode host–plant relations are another strong area, with research conducted on both fundamental and applied aspects of host location and suitability.

Expertise also exists in a wide range of insect and nematode taxa, made possible not only by in-house expertise but also through cooperation with taxonomists working at the Division of Plant Industry, the Allyn Museum of Entomology, the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera Research, the University of Florida Department of Zoology, and at Florida A&M University.

Biological Control

The Department of Entomology and Nematology is committed to developing and implementing biological control programs and to providing educational opportunities for future biological control specialists. We recognize the need to protect humans and the environment from chemical pollutants, to maintain a rapidly changing and diverse agricultural economy, and to provide insect and nematode management within the context of increasing urbanization.

The department has a large, highly qualified team of biological control specialists. We have established critical program components such as quarantine facilities that allow importation and evaluation of exotic biocontrol agents. We also have instituted procedures and agreements with other agencies and nations that allow importation of beneficial organisms. Other agreements with private companies allow rapid commercialization of biological control products. Additional resources and personnel are available at United States Department of Agriculture and Florida Department of Agriculture facilities in Gainesville. Research opportunities exist at the main campus in Gainesville, at several research and education centers throughout Florida, and abroad.

Medical, Veterinary and Urban Entomology

The department has a major commitment to conduct research in medical, veterinary and urban entomology and to provide educational opportunities for future specialists in these fields. Medical, veterinary and urban pests are especially severe in Florida’s subtropical and tropical conditions, so there is a special need to develop significant efforts in research, education and extension.

A large contingent of faculty works at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory in Vero Beach, and many others work in association with the USDA Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology Laboratory in Gainesville. Outstanding research opportunities exist at the main campus in Gainesville and at several research and education centers throughout the state.


All aspects of nematology may be studied. Subjects may include plant-parasitic, free-living, marine, and animal-parasitic nematodes. The Department of Entomology and Nematology seeks to improve the quality of a rapidly changing agricultural economy by providing safe and effective methods for managing nematodes. These pests, along with insects, cause significant losses to agricultural food, feed, and fiber crops, as well as problems in the urban environment.

The department offers unexcelled opportunities to study and conduct research in nematology. The University of Florida contains one of the largest concentrations of nematologists and nematology courses in the world. Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs are available in nematology.

Pest Management

The subtropical climate of Florida is favorable for insect survival and reproduction, which results in a considerable number of pest problems. Also, numerous exotic pest species are accidentally introduced and successfully establish, resulting in a growing number of pests. Compounding the problem is the nature of Florida’s economy. It is based primarily on tourism and horticultural crops, neither of which are very tolerant of insects and their damage. In addition, Florida’s diverse climate cropping systems create a challenging environment for pest management research and its application. The University of Florida employs many entomologists and nematologists to conduct research and educate the public on the subject of pest management. Most of the authorities in pest management work at the research and education centers throughout the state in close proximity to pest problems, but many reside in Gainesville.

Physiology, Biochemistry, and Genetics

Knowledge of the fundamental regulatory processes governing insect growth and reproduction is useful in developing new strategies and tactics for pest population regulation, and in advancing our basic knowledge of science. Research conducted in the Department of Entomology and Nematology includes:

Scientists from the department also work cooperatively with the USDA Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville.

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