FORA.tv Speaker - Kim Hoelmer

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Biography

The main objective of my research is to improve the biological control of crop pests important to agriculture in the mid-Atlantic region. I am currently working with three target pests, assisted by Kathy Tatmanin collaboration with Roger Fuesterand Keith Hopper. Ongoing research at BIIR on natural enemies of tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris, and alfalfa plant bug, Adelphocoris lineolatus, in the eastern U.S. includes evaluating the benefits of biocontrol of Lygus on fruit crops in the northeastern U.S. by the previously introduced parasitoid Peristenus digoneutis; and working to establish additional natural enemies that will improve the biological control of alfalfa plant bug and of tarnished plant bug in the mid-Atlantic region. Our research on the Chinese soybean aphid, Aphis glycines, involves assessing the impact of indigenous natural enemies that attack soybean aphid populations in the mid Atlantic area and conducting foreign exploration in Asia for effective natural enemies of the aphid for importation to the U.S. These explorations also support interagency soybean aphid biocontrol programs in the Mid-West . We are also investigating the potential for classical biological control of the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, a polyphagous pest of many fruits and ornamentals that has established in the mid Atlantic region. We are collecting baseline data on the natural enemies that attack it in North America and in Asia. If warranted, we will screen Asian candidates for biocontrol introductions and introduce promising species into the mid Atlantic states.

1 Program