Biological Control of Two Invasive Species in Maine with Hillary Peterson, ME Dept of Agriculture, Conservation, Forestry
July 16th, 2024: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Summary: DACF Integrated Pest Management Specialist Dr. Hillary Peterson will present about work to deploy two classical biological control agents for invasive species in Maine. For the invasive spotted wing drosophila (a cousin to the common fruit fly), which is extremely problematic for small fruit and berry crops, Peterson teamed up with the Fanning Lab at UMaine to release the parasitoid Ganaspis brasiliensis. For the invasive black swallow-wort, an incredibly challenging to control plant that confuses monarch butterflies, Peterson worked for a second year to release and track potential establishment of Hypena opulenta, a species of moth from the Ukraine. The caterpillar stage of this moth only feeds on swallow-worts.
Brief Bio: Dr. Hillary Peterson is the Integrated Pest Management Specialist at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry within the Plant Health Programs. Hillary grew up in Brunswick, Maine, and received her B.S. in Biology at the University of Maine, and then her Ph.D. in Entomology at Penn State University. She has spent time working with invasive species and biocontrol in several agroecosystems including berries, tree fruit, and corn. She recently moved back to Brunswick and couldn’t be happier to be back in her home community!