Urban Center

Ants Research Program



Research Associate Professor, Urban Entomology

Research Areas

Dr. Buczkowski’s main research focus is on the ecology, behavior, and genetics of urban pest species, with emphasis on ants. Ants provide both an excellent model system for basic research in entomology as well as a formidable subject for research on innovative strategies toward the implementation of integrated approaches (IPM) in the management of infestations. Dr. Buczkowski is working at the interface of fundamental and applied entomology and strives to provide a dynamic balance between these two approaches. To accomplish his research goals Dr. Buczkowski uses an integrative approach, addressing questions at the molecular, biochemical, behavioral, and ecological levels. Dr. Buczkowski’s major research interests include: (1) behavioral and chemical ecology of urban pest ants, (2) population genetics of ants using molecular genetic markers, and (3) biology and integrated management of urban pests, with emphasis on social insects.

Current Research Projects

  • Use of immunomarking techniques to study nutrient distribution, foraging behavior, and spatial colony structure in ants
  • Interspecific competition and nutritional ecology in the odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile
  • Colony and population genetic structure in the black carpenter ant, Camponotus pennsylvanicus using microsatellite markers
  • Behavioral, life history, and evolutionary shifts associated with the transition of native ant species into urban pests (model system: odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile)
  • Horizontal transfer of insecticides in urban pests (ants, termites, cockroaches)
  • Sponsored (applied) research in the lab and field on various urban pests including ants, cockroaches, and termites.

Long-Term Research Goals

Dr. Buczkowski’s long-term research goal is to develop an innovative, practical, and sustainable integrated approach (IPM) for the management of urban pest ants and other key pests including cockroaches, termites, and bed bugs. This will be accomplished by:

  • Increasing the understanding of pest basic biology, behavior, and ecology
  • Utilizing the understanding of pest basic biology to develop innovative ways to target urban pests effectively
  • Testing new pest management approaches in a real world environment in collaboration with leading industry partners
  • Communicating the results of research endeavors to stakeholders (e.g. pest management professionals) so that innovative pest management practices can become more widely adopted
  • Identifying and responding to new and emerging pest problems

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