Dr. Casey D. Butler recently received his PhD from the University of California-Riverside (UCR) and earned his BS (’03) and MS (’06) degrees from Purdue University. At UCR, Casey’s research focused on the development of management strategies for the potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Sulc), in southern California, a major pest of solanaceous crops. The goal of his research is to build the foundation of integrated pest management against this pest by first developing sampling plans in agricultural fields and then move toward more targeted chemical tools, biological control, and host plant resistance. His research regarding host plant resistance involved collaborators at the USDA-ARS and Texas A&M University. Twenty-two potato genotypes were tested on adult potato psyllids for possible antizenosis to determine if specific breeding clones or varieties can decrease transmission of Ca. L. psyllaurous. Five of the potato genotypes significantly decreased transmission compared to controls. The next step is to test these promising genotypes in the field before recommendations can be made for the most effective integration with a management program. Casey is a R&D scientist at Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc.
He said: This is a special honor and I am extremely grateful for receiving the Kenneth and Barbara Starks Plant Resistance to Insects Graduate Student Research Award. Being acknowledged with this award has further encouraged my interest in host plant resistance to insects in agricultire.