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Our program is focused on developing best practices for integrated pest management of controlled environment agriculture (high tunnels, greenhouses, vertical farms, and other protected structures). As a research and extension program, we conduct both basic and applied research to provide science-based solutions for managing arthropod pests to the CEA industry.
One of our primary research efforts aims to better understand how various factors contribute to the success or failure of biological control programs targeting arthropod pests in controlled environments. We utilize a multifaceted approach ranging from elucidating the basic biology of species to understanding production-level impacts on insect populations. Ongoing studies include using supplemental food resources for generalist predators to promote their establishment and persistence in the crop; developing banker plant systems to support predators= and parasitoid populations; using LED lighting to manipulate pest behavior and increase their mortality; and understanding unique pest management challenges associated with horizontally and vertically grown hydroponic lettuce.
Our program aims to provide stakeholders with ecologically sound and reliable pest management strategies to maximize the returns of their horticultural enterprises and increase food safety. We actively engage with growers and other industry clientele using a variety of platforms from grower meetings and workshops to using online media to deliver the most current pest management information.
Opportunities for Participation in the Schoeller Lab
Graduate Students: Graduate student education is a high priority for our program. We are currently looking for a Ph.D. student to join the lab in the Spring of 2024. Prospective students are encouraged to contact Dr. Schoeller to discuss research opportunities.
Student Research Assistants: Undergraduate student workers also play an important part in helping our program achieve its research and extension goals. Students will have the opportunity to learn about controlled environment agriculture, integrated pest management, biological control, and insect ecology. Interested individuals in the Griffin area can contact Dr. Schoeller.
Post-Doctoral Associates: Position announcements will be posted when openings are available.