Urban Center

Cockroaches & Bed Bugs Research Program



Research Assistant Professor, Urban Entomology

Research Areas

My research focuses on basic biology and integrated management of indoor urban insects (viz., cockroaches and bed bugs). Research on basic biology of indoor urban pests concentrates on understanding various aspects of nutritional, reproductive, developmental and stress-response physiology. I follow a multidisciplinary approach that utilizes multitude of techniques in molecular biology, biochemistry, analytical chemistry and basic entomology.

The scope of the second aspect of my research - i.e., integrated management of cockroaches and bed bugs - includes following topics:

  • Insecticide resistance monitoring and management
  • Identifying insecticide resistance mechanisms using a multidisciplinary approach
  • Research on non-chemical insect control strategies
  • Integrated Pest Management in multi-family housing

Current Research Projects

  • Cockroach insecticide resistance management (PI: Michael Scharf)
  • Understanding mechanisms of insecticide resistance in cockroaches and bed bugs
  • Impacts of heat exposure on bed bugs
  • Toxicology of plant essential oils
  • Sub-lethal impacts of ozone-exposure on bed bugs and cockroaches
  • German cockroach tergal gland and allergen biology

Long-term Research Goals

  • The ultimate goal of the basic biology research on indoor urban pests is to identify physiological weak links in insect development that can be targeted to improve current control strategies or devise novel control methods
  • The long-term goals of cockroach and bed bug management research are to reduce pesticide use in urban environments, develop non-chemical technologies for use in urban IPM and improve current IPM techniques

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