- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
He will be hosted by colleague and collaborator Diane Ullman, professor of entomology at UC Davis.
"Thrips-transmitted, tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), which has an extremely broad host range and is transmitted exclusively by thrips, ranks among the most economically important plant viruses affecting crops worldwide," Kennedy says in his abstract.
"Effective management of this virus in commercial crop production systems requires an understanding of the factors that determine the timing and magnitude of virus spread. This seminar will discuss the ways in which seasonal weather events influence the dispersal dynamics of vector thrips populations, the abundance of virus inoculum sources in the landscape, and ultimately the timing and magnitude of TSWV spread into susceptible crops. It will further provide an illustration of how efforts to model these relationships improved understanding of the epidemiology of TSWV and led to the development of a TSWV risk prediction tool that is now being used in pest management decision making."
Kennedy, past president of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), is an ESA fellow, recipient of the ESA's Award for Excellence in Entomology and chaired the Entomological Foundation, a non-profit educational foundation whose mission is “to excite and educate young people about science through insects.”
He also served as program manager for the National Research Initiative, affiliated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and on numerous advisory panels for the USDA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Research Council, addressing issues relating to pesticides, pest resistance, integrated pest management, and biotechnology.
Kennedy holds a bachelor's degree in entomology from Oregon State University and a doctorate in entomology from Cornel University. He served as assistant professor of entomology at UC Riverside from 1974-1976, before joining the faculty at North Carolina State University.
Kennedy writes on his website: "Research in my program focuses on understanding the ecology and life systems of arthropods affecting agricultural crops and applying that understanding to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of arthropod management in vegetable crops. We study fundamental interactions and processes that influence pest status, population dynamics and the insect/crop interactions that result in damage. We apply the resulting information in combination with new technologies to enhance IPM. Areas of emphasis include insect-plant interactions, resistance management, landscape scale population dynamics, and epidemiology and management of insect transmitted plant viruses. Current research projects focus on understanding the determinants of tospovirus transmission by thrips in relation to epidemiology and management of tomato spotted wilt virus and on the development of reduced risk arthropod management systems for fruiting vegetables. These efforts include both field and laboratory research and collaborations with faculty in Entomology, Horticulture and Plant Pathology at NCSU and colleagues at other institutions. We also work closely with extension colleagues, growers and the agribusiness community to facilitate implementation of new pest management practices."
The seminar will be recorded for later viewing on UCTV Seminars.