Peter B. McEvoy
Professor, Ecology and Biological Control
Ecology and Evolution of Plant-Insect Interactions, Ecology and Biological Control of Invasive Plant Species, Conservation of Plants and Insects
Description of Research
The research in my laboratory focuses primarily on the ecology of invasive plant species and their biological control using insects and pathogens. With support from NSF, USDA, and other sources, I have pursued a comprehensive program linking field observations, experiments, and mathematical modeling to test assumptions and predictions of ecological theories applied to biological invasions and biological pest control. In addition, I maintain a broad interest in population and community ecology and am involved in studies of plant population dynamics; ecology and evolution of plant life history features (dispersal, dormancy, perenniality, iteroparity); and host-plant selection by insects. I have worked closely with Eric Coombs (Oregon Department of Agriculture) and others to develop and implement biological control programs on state, regional, and national scales. My work extends to public policy issues surrounding invasions and release of new organisms into the environment, as reflected in studies conducted for the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), the National Research Council (NRC), and other government and non-government organizations.
Job Posting for Lab Manager/Research Assistant in Insect Ecology
For more information and to apply, please click here.
Application deadline 2/22/2016.
Current Research Group Members
(MS due 2016)
My research focuses on understanding the ecological risk of the cinnabar moth to non-target host plant arrowleaf groundsel (Senecio triangularis). In addition to analyzing long-term regional datasets for these two species, I am also conducting an experiment in the Willamette National Forest to determine how sensitive this non-target plant is to herbivory by cinnabar moth larvae at different timing and intensities.
Post Doctoral Fellow
I currently study rapid adaptation of the cinnabar moth to host plant and climate. Using field, greenhouse and lab studies I investigate changes in preference and performance of the moth larvae and adults towards the target (J. vulgaris, ragwort) and non-target (S. triangularis) host plants; and changes in performance under a mountain or valley climate. I’m also interested in knowing more about the speed of adaptation through (natural) selection experiments and comparing climate adaptation in populations along similar elevation gradients (regionally and abroad, including in my home country, Switzerland).
Past Research Group Members
Post Doctoral Fellow
Russell Messing (University of Hawaii)
BOT 341 Plant Ecology
ENT 420/520 Insect Ecology
My departmental affiliation is Department of Botany and Plant Pathology and I am also a member of the Graduate Faculty in Environmental Sciences and the Graduate Faculty in Entomology. I accept graduate students through these three programs.