Jacob Wenger

Jacob Wenger is the assistant professor of entomology in the department of plant science at Fresno State University.  His research focuses on the evolutionary biology of pest insects, investigating the evolutionary and ecological mechanisms that impact resistance in agricultural systems.  He is particularly interested in combining genetic and genomic tools with field trials to investigate how management practices can alter the flow of genes in pest populations. In 2015 Jacob received his PhD in entomology from Ohio State University where he was studying the evolution of virulence in soybean aphid (Aphis glycines) to naturally resistant soybean varieties.  This work called into question the gene-for-gene model of resistance evolution, suggesting that resistance could arise through a complex of environmental, physiological, and evolutionary mechanisms. At Fresno State Jacob is adjusting his research program to meet the needs of San Joaquin Valley growers, looking at a variety of pests and crop systems.  Current work includes assaying miticide resistance in almonds, measuring inter-crop movement of navel orangeworm, changes in genetic structure of lygus bug after exposure to insecticides, and a diagnostic genetic test to identify lepidopteran pests in orchard crops.