University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Invasive Species Work at the University of Kentucky - research

Listed below is a brief description of the research efforts at the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture that pertain to invasive species. We also have information on invasive species:



We would like to maintain an up-to-date list of invasive species work conducted throughout the University of Kentucky. Please contact us if you have instruction, research, or outreach efforts at the University of Kentucky pertaining to invasive species that you would like us to add to this website.


Department of Entomology - College of Agriculture

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid: Several research projects addressing the presence and spread of the adelgid in Kentucky, effects of adelgid infestation on vegetative composition and structure, factors regulating adelgid populations, characteristics and activity of natural enemies, factors influencing host susceptibility. Projects led by Lynne Rieske-Kinney and John Obrycki, in collaboration with James
(Entomology) and Songlin Fei (Forestry).

Asian Chestnut Gall Wasp: An evaluation of the natural enemy complex and insect associates of the exotic ACGW. Documenting
spread of the gall wasp in North America, its impacts on its host plants, natural enemy recruitment, and ecological interactions. (contact Lynne Rieske-Kinney)

Japanese beetles: Feed on leaves, flowers, and fruits of more than 300 different plant species, and are major pests of turf and ornamentals. Numerous research projects on Japanese beetle biology, ecology, behavior, and management. (contact Dan Potter)

Public Health Entomology: Emphasizes integrated management of human disease vectors, focusing on mosquitoes in urban and
suburban environments and evaluating/ developing management techniques for them. Work with state, county, and municipal
health departments. (contact Grayson Brown)

Soybean Aphid: The introduction in 2000 of the soybean aphid has opened a new chapter on the soybean insect - plant pathogen -
host system. The soybean aphid can vector several soybean damaging viruses, and the possibility of mixed viral infections.

Department of Forestry
- College of Agriculture
Forest Ecology Projects: Invasive pest/disease complex, beech bark disease; invasive plants and their impacts on native plant communities and ecosystem processes focusing on Lonicera maackii, three separate research projects. (contact Mary Arthur)

Spatial Technologies: Assessing invasive exotic plants in urban forests; monitoring the invasion of hemlock wooly adelgid in Kentucky; disturbance and landform mediated exotic plant invasion in Robinson Forest. (contact Songlin Fei)

Hydrology: Survey for Phytophthora ramorum in Kentucky watersheds. (contact Chris Barton)

Mining Reclamation: Evaluation of surface mined lands for establishment of American chestnut. (contact Chris Barton)

Forest Soils: Assessment of invertebrate assemblages in forest soils. (contact Paul Kalisz)

Exotic Grass Control: Current research efforts on control of Japanese spirea, smooth brome and reed canary grass, old world bluestem, Chinese of silky lespedeza. Past research efforts on control of tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, Japanese honeysuckle, common Bermuda grass, Bahia grass. (contact Tom Barnes)

Department of Horticulture - College of Agriculture

Evaluation of native plants for potential landscape use. (contact Winston Dunwell, Robert Geneve)

Seed ecology of invasive species (contact Robert Geneve)

Landscape plant evaluation as part of a Southern Region multi-state activity (SERA-27), including the potential for invasiveness (contact Winston Dunwell)

Evaluation of strategies for suppression of Euonymus fortunei in Bluegrass woodlands. (contact Marcia Farris, Jim Lempke)

Department of Plant Pathology - College of Agriculture

Soybean Rust
(Phakapsora pachyrhizi) Research: Fungicide efficacy and application technology research trials; participated in a multi-state spore monitoring network; yield loss study (contact Don Hershman)

Phytophthora ramorum Kentucky surveys 2003-06: Conducted surveys in national, state, city forests, and parks and private forests. 
Organized, coordinated, trained participants of and performed the Forest Surveys and Stream Baiting Surveys for the State of Kentucky. Conducted diagnostic assays for these surveys and the National Nursery Surveys. Patricia de Sa is the liaison between the University of Kentucky, the U.S. Forest Service, and the diagnostics lab at the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the agencies and researchers within Kentucky and other states that funded and collaborated with the surveys. (contacts Patricia de Sa and John Hartman)

National Elm Trials: 17 Dutch Elm disease-resistant elm cultivars are replicated in 5 x 2 row blocks at the Arboretum. (contact John Hartman)

Department of Plant and Soil Sciences - College of Agriculture

Species of current interest: Japanese knotweed; Bush honeysuckle; Wintercreeper (Euonymus sp.); Miscanthus; Chinese privet; Star-of-Bethlehem; Trumpetcreeper; Multiflora Rose; Kudzu

Species of past research interest: Japanese knotweed; Bush honeysuckle; Wintercreeper (Euonymus sp.); Miscanthus; Purple loosestrife; Sericea lespedeza; Autumn olive; Phragmites; Poison hemlock; Teasel; Star-of-Bethlehem


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