Urban Center

Household & Structural Research Program


Professor, Urban Pest Management

Extension/Research Areas

Dr. Bennett’s research area focuses on the biology, behavior, and management of the German cockroach and other economically important groups such as ants, bed bugs, and termites (in collaboration with Dr. Buczkowski and Dr. Gondhalekar). The overall goal of our research is integrated pest management. Current research projects include developing a better understanding of foraging behavior, life history, colony structure, insecticide resistance, chemical ecology, least toxic management strategies, and IPM implementation. The Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management enables us to meet the need for expanded knowledge of pests and pest management in the urban environment. The Center provides the foundation for expanding our understanding of urban pest problems and promoting solutions through research and education programs. The Center is directed by Dr. Bennett. The Industrial Affiliates Program within the Center is directed by Dr. Buczkowski, and serves as a communications bridge facilitating increased interactions among industry, government and university researchers and educators working on pest problems of common interest.

Current Research Projects

  • Developing an IPM programs for bed bug and German cockroach management in public housing and other multiple-family housing units.
  • Developing educational videos on preventing and controlling bed bugs.
  • Managing grant programs for bed bug prevention and control and German cockroach management, sponsored by EPA and HUD, respectively
  • Revising the book Scientific Guide to Pest Management Operations.
  • Revising 3 correspondence courses in urban and industrial pest management.
  • Organizing the 74th Purdue Pest Management Conference.

Long-term Extension and Research Goals

  • Increase the use of our workshops, conferences and correspondence courses.
  • Increase adoption of IPM principles and practices in urban and industrial pest management.
  • Maintain Purdue’s Urban Center Programs as a premier Center for urban pest management research, extension, and education around the globe.


Professor, O. Wayne Rollins/Orkin Endowed Chair

Molecular Physiology and Urban Entomology

Research Areas

Research in my laboratory focuses on molecular physiology and toxicology of urban pest insects with emphasis on termites and cockroaches. I maintain collaborations within the broader Urban program at Purdue that focus on bed bugs, ants and turf insects. “Omics” approaches are central to my laboratory’s activities (i.e., genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics), but my research program is also integrative in that it simultaneously spans multiple levels of biological organization (i.e., organismal, organ, cellular, sub-cellular, DNA, RNA and protein). Information generated through my research program is delivered to the urban pest management industry through refereed scientific publications, trade publications and industry engagement activities. Engagement activities take the form of 1-on-1 interactions and invited talks at regional and national pest management conferences.

Current Research Projects

Termite research is divided among the three overlapping areas of digestion, symbiosis and caste differentiation. Primary objectives in termite research are to (1) develop new termiticide target sites and (2) explore new biomass-to-biofuel concepts. Cockroach research focuses on insecticide resistance, basic biochemistry and physiology, with the underlying objective of delivering viable pesticide resistance management strategies to the urban pest management industry.

Long-term Research Goals

To understand basic biochemical and physiological mechanisms in urban pest insects that

  • Confer selective advantages and drive evolutionary divergence
  • Facilitate pesticide susceptibility or resistance
  • Have practical biotechnological applications or significance in pest management.

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