The Michigan State University Organic Pest Management Laboratory is run by Dr. Matt Grieshop and conducts research, teaching and extension in a variety of Michigan and Great Lakes agricultural commodities. Our overall goal is to provide economically viable pest management tactics for organic farming systems designed through a better understanding of agroecosystem dynamics, pest natural history, and behavior. We are particularly interested in pest management systems where off farm inputs are minimized and pest management services are derived from system components that provide multiple benefits (e.g. pollination services, nutrient management, additional salable products).
Although directly affiliated with the Department of Entomology, the OPM lab conducts collaborative research with labs in the MSU departments of Plant Pathology, Horticulture, Crop and Soil Science, and Animal Science.
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I began working in the field of pest management as an undergraduate in 2004, and have since found it to be a lifelong pursuit and career. In the past, I have worked on Lepidopteran pests of tree fruit and aided in the improvement of pheromone mating disruption technology.
I joined the Organic Pest Management Lab in the spring of 2008. I initially worked as the lab technician, where I assisted Matt with running all of his research projects. I enjoyed working with Michigan growers and researchers towards the goal of improving sustainable agriculture so much that I decided to pursue my graduate degree in the field. My current work focuses on reintegrating livestock into organic fruit orchards for the purpose of insect and weed management. I have mostly been investigating the use of hogs to eat dropped fruit containing insect pest larvae at different times in the growing season. Hogs have the potential to impact the populations of key pests such as Codling Moth, Plum curculio, and Oriental Fruit Moth. I soon hope to begin looking into the services miniature sheep can provide for organic fruit growers as well.
Selected Posters and Presentations (click on the title to download)
Poster: Krista Buehrer and Matthew Grieshop. 2011. “Bringing home the bacon: flash-grazing hogs for post-harvest organic orchard floor management.” (PDF)
Presentation: Krista Buehrer and Matthew Grieshop. 2010. “Post-harvest clean up crew: flash grazed hogs in organic fruit orchards.” (PowerPoint) Presented at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo. Grand Rapids, MI. December 09.
Poster: Ron Perry, Matthew Grieshop, and Krista Buehrer. 2010. “Implementation of strip cultivation in Michigan apple orchards: first year results.” (PDF)
Poster: Matthew Grieshop, Krista Buehrer, Annemiek Schilder, and Rufus Isaacs. 2008. “Friend or foe: blueberry pollinators as mummy berry vectors.” (PDF)
Krista Buehrer and Matthew Grieshop. “Potential of organic hogs as a tool for post-harvest orchard floor sanitation and pest management.” Sponsored by CERES Trust. $9,789. June 2010 – June 2011.
Insect Righting Behavior -this video was made for ENT 815: Insect Behavior
As an undergraduate, I attended Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo Michigan, where I earned a bachelor of arts in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Studies. This program included coursework in environmental economics, ecology, and history. Also while enrolled at Kalamazoo I participated in a 6 month study abroad program at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Cumbaya Ecuador. While in Ecuador, I studied tropical ecology, botany, and conservation. After competing my coursework at Kalamazoo, I was awarded a Beeler Fellowship for student projects abroad, which provided funding for a return trip to Ecuador where I completed a Senior Individualized Project (SIP) in Biology. During the four years that I attended Kalamazoo College I worked for their recycling department and worked on a project that used earthworms to compost waste from student housing.
I began my graduate study in the Berry Crops Entomology Lab at Michigan State University where I earned a Master of Science degree in Entomology. My graduate coursework has included Biological Control of Insect and Weeds as well as Insect Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation. In the Berry Crops Entomology Lab, I researched the impacts of native wildflower plantings on pollinators and other beneficial insects in blueberry fields. I presented the results of this research at grower meetings as well as professional conferences and in 2008 my poster was the runner-up in the Entomological Society of America’s competition for the President’s Prize. I was also awarded the Paul Wooley Award for outstanding achievement in a Master’s program from the Entomology Department at MSU. This work was partially funded by a USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Graduate Student Grant.
I am currently a graduate research assistant in the Organic Pest Management Lab at Michigan State University where I am working on biological control of codling moth in organic apple orchards. I also work part-time as a teaching assistant for ISB201L (Insects, Globalization, and Sustainability Laboratory).
Here is a link to my CV.
I joined the MSU department of Entomology in October of 2007 as the Organic Pest Management faculty member. My responsibilities include research (50%), extension (30%), and teaching (20%) in the areas of organic agriculture and pest management. Although I am housed in entomology, I also have a strong interest in the management of weeds and pathogens and have several ongoing projects exploring how plant, insect, and pathogen pests interact with each other or with specific pest management tactics. My appointment is especially broad in that I am not restricted to a specific commodity group (i.e. fruit, field crops, vegetables, animal science, floriculture, etc.). The overall goal of my research and extension efforts are to develop, refine, and deliver pest management technologies that minimize off farm inputs while preserving farm economic sustainability. An additional research interest is the identification, quantification, and optimization of arthropod mediated ecosystem services.
C.V. (Click Link to Download PDF)
Selected Publications (Click Link to Download PDF)
Selected Posters and Presentations (Click Link to Download PDF)
The OPM lab at Michigan State is lead by Dr. Matt Grieshop. Additional laboratory personnel include Emily Pochubay (Technician), Krista Buehrer (PhD Student), Nate Walton (PhD Student), John Pote (MS student), Bradley Baughman (MS student), and Joe Riddle (MS student). Our work takes us all over the great state of Michigan so not everyone made it into the photo. Individual webpages can be accessed under the personnel tab.
Are you interested in joining the OPM team? We typically hire 2-3 undergraduate assistants in April and are always looking for talented graduate students. Contact Matt Grieshop for more information.
The blueberry pathogen Monilinia vaccinii-coymbosi, aka mummy berry, can cause up to 30 – 40% loss of a crop without any intervention. The fungus attacks new shoots, spreads to flowers and infects developing fruit. The infected fruit “mummifies” and falls to the ground, where it lies dormant through winter. In the spring, mummy berries produce a mushroom like cup and release spores to continue the cycle.
Organic and conventional farmers need alternative strategies for dealing with this pathogen due to restrictions on fungicides and resistance development in some areas. In order to develop new strategies, we need to completely understand the pathogen’s cycle. Pollinators have been shown to transport secondary spores from shoot strikes to flowers, but how large of a role they play is unclear. Thus, we have set out to determine what insects could be transporting spores using a camera system to observe insect behavior in the field.
We are conducting this research along with MSU plant pathologist, Annemieke Schilder.
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