University of California, Riverside

Applied Biological Control Research



Meghan Vankosky


Meghan VankoskyMeghan A. Vankosky, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar
(951) 827-4360
meghan.vankosky@ucr.edu

Dr. Vankosky joined the Hoddle Lab in July 2015, as a postdoctoral scholar. The emphasis of Dr. Vankosky's work in the Hoddle Lab will be to evaluate the establishment and efficacy of a second parasitoid of Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae) in southern California. She also plans to investigate the relationship between the two primary parasitoids of Asian citrus psyllid.

Dr. Vankosky completed her B.Sc. at the University of Alberta in December 2007, with a major in biology and a minor in history. In January 2008, she began work on her M.Sc. under the co-supervision of Dr. Lloyd Dosdall (University of Alberta) and Dr. Hector Carcamo (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada). Her work focused on the use of chemical, cultural and biological control of the pea leaf weevil, Sitona lineatus (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in southern Alberta, Canada. She has published four first author publications, one co-authored publication, and co-authored a book chapter from that project. After completing her M.Sc. in August 2010, Dr. Vankosky began her Ph.D. project in Dr. Sherah VanLaerhoven's lab at the University of Windsor in September 2010. In March 2015, she defended her dissertation, which examined the life history and behaviour of a zoophytophagous omnivore, Dicyphus hesperus Knight (Hemiptera: Miridae) in response to variation in host plant nitrogen content.

Currently, Dr. Vankosky is working on establishing a release and monitoring program for the parasitoid Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis (Shafee, Alam and Agrawal) (Hymenoptera: Encrytidae) in southern California, with the goal of determining its ability to establish populations and contribute to the mortality of the Asian citrus psyllid. She also intends to evaluate the competitive relationship between D. aligarhensis and Tamarixia radiata (Waterston) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) and using a series of laboratory and microcosm experiments.

Education

  • Ph.D. Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Windsor (2015)
  • M.Sc. Plant Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Agricultural Sciences, University of Alberta (2010)
  • B.Sc. Biology major/History minor, Faculty of Science, University of Alberta (2008)

Research Interests

Dr. Vankosky considers herself an agricultural entomologist, and she draws from her background in entomology, pest management, ecology, and statistics to design laboratory and field experiments to test important hypotheses pertaining to insect pest management. She also recognizes that a thorough understanding of the basic biology and life history of both the pest and its natural enemies is key to successful pest management programs using biological control. She strives to approach her work from this perspective and to use this basic information to influence pest management practices.

Current Projects

 

Asian Citrus PsyllidAsian Citrus Psyllid (Diaphorina citri)

Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) is an efficient vector of the bacterial citrus disease huanglongbing (HLB), previously called citrus greening disease, which is one of the most destructive diseases of citrus worldwide.

 

Awards

  • President's Prize Runner Up at Entomology 2014, P-IE Section 15
  • Department of Biological Sciences Graduate Excellence Award 2013-2014
  • Dr. Joseph E.J. Habowsky Graduate Teaching Award, 2012-2013
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, May 2011 (declined) and May 2014 (accepted)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) – PGSD, May 2011 – April 2014
  • University of Windsor Tuition Scholarship, April 2011 – April 2014
  • Alberta Advanced Education and Technology Graduate Student Scholarship, January 2010
  • Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship - Master's Level, September 2008
  • Graduate Research Assistantship Fund Tuition Scholarship, September 2008

 

Peer Reviewed Publications and Book Chapters

  • Vankosky, M.A., S.L. VanLaerhoven. 2015. Plant and prey quality interact to influence the foraging behaviour of an omnivorous insect, Dicyphus hesperus. Animal Behaviour
  • Rosati, J.Y., V.A. Pacheco, M.A. Vankosky, S.L. VanLaerhoven. 2015. Estimating the number of eggs in blow fly (Diptera: Caliphoridae) egg masses using photographic analysis. Journal of Medical Entomology DOI: 10.1093/jme/tjv053
  • Cárcamo, H. and M. Vankosky. 2013. Sitona spp. Germar, Broad Nosed Weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). In: Biological Control Programmes in Canada 2001-2012. Mason, P.G, D.R. Gillespie (eds.) CABI, Croydon, UK, p. 277-284.
  • Cárcamo, H.A. and M.A. Vankosky. 2011. Managing the pea leaf weevil in field peas. Prairie Soils and Crops 4: 77-85.
  • Vankosky, M.A., H.A. Cárcamo, L.M. Dosdall. 2011. Response of Pisum sativum (Fabales: Fabaceae) to Sitona lineatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) infestation: effect of adult weevil density on damage, larval population and yield loss. Journal of Economic Entomology 104: 1550-1560.
  • Vankosky, M.A., H.A. Cárcamo, R.H. McKenzie, L.M. Dosdall. 2011. Integrated management of Sitona lineatus L. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) with nitrogen fertilizer, Rhizobium inoculation and thiamethoxam insecticide. Agronomy Journal 103: 565-572.
  • Vankosky, M., H.A. Cárcamo, L.M. Dosdall. 2011. Identification of potential natural enemies of the pea leaf weevil, Sitona lineatus L. in western Canada. Journal of Applied Entomology 135: 293-301. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0418.2010.01542.x
  • Vankosky, M., L.M. Dosdall, H.A. Cárcamo. 2009. Distribution, biology and integrated management of the pea leaf weevil, Sitona lineatus L. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), with an analysis of research needs. CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources. DOI: 10.1079/PAVSNNR20094007.

 

Invited Seminars

  • Vankosky, M.A. 2014. Conservation biological control in agroecosystems: The need for and benefits of biodiversity. Invited Speaker, Essex County Field Naturalists Club, Windsor, Ontario, January 8.
  • Vankosky, M.A. 2010. The pea leaf weevil in Alberta: Life history, integrated pest management, economic thresholds and biological control. Invited speaker presentation in AFNS 601 seminar series, University of Alberta, April 6.
  • Vankosky, M.A., H.A. Cárcamo, L.M. Dosdall. 2010. The pea leaf weevil and integrated pest management: Developing a strategy to protect field pea yield in southern Alberta. Extension seminar prepared for Syngenta Crop Protection Canada, Becker-Underwood and Novozymes, March 10-11.

 

 

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Applied Biological Control Research
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