Joe Elkinton is a professor of entomology in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. The Elkinton laboratory conducts research on population dynamics and biological control of invasive forest insects, with a current focus on winter moth, hemlock woolly adelgid, Japanese knotweed and emerald ash borer. All four projects involve introduction, release and evaluation of natural enemies of these four invasive species as biological control agents. We are also making important contribution to the understanding of winter moth population ecology. It is a famous species in Europe that has been subject of foundation research on insect population dynamics. Likewise, we are exploring the population ecology of hemlock woolly adelgid. Earlier research on gypsy moth elucidated the role of small mammal predators and viral and fungal pathogens in the dynamics of gypsy moth populations. Other earlier work with browntail moth, another invasive defoliator from Europe that was widespread in the northeastern United States in the early 20th century, showed that it was driven to near extinction at most places by the introduced parasitoid Compsilura concinnata. More recently our lab has taken a leading role in the application of DNA sequencing technology to a wide range of ecological problems.


From left to right: Ryan Crandall, Artemis Roehrig, Jeremy Andersen, Jennifer Chandler, Joe Elkinton, Rodger Gwiazdowski, Mary Apessos, Brian Griffin