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Information about the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Ken Hobson, Contributor
City, state, country:
Norman OK USA

I grew up in the rolling hills and mixed deciduous forests of North Carolina - and went to the University of North Carolina for an undergraduate degree in Zoology and Botany.
I followed that with graduate degrees in Forestry at the University of Washington and Entomology at the University of California.
I enjoyed postdocs in Utah and Wisconsin and my first faculty job at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

At the University of Oklahoma I have served as the Staff Curator of the Invertebrate Collection and am now an Associate Professor in Biology where I teach General Entomology, Principles of Ecology, Field Entomology, Senior Capstone Seminar (on Human Behavior or Chemical Ecology), Introductory Zoology Lab and our non-majors introductory Concepts in Biology.

I have worked with the genus Dendroctonus in mixed coniferous forests of the Sierra Nevada in California to determine what host tree cues trigger selection and beetle attack. I examined beetle produced pheromones in Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine forests in Idaho and Utah to determine how population stage and beetle quality affect response to aggregation and spacing signals. I worked in Wisconsin red pine forests with Ips bark beetles to examine how subtle differences in pheromone signals can structure a community of tree feeding insects and the predators that use the same pheromone signals to find and consume the signaling beetles.

As a forest entomologist I like to think about why some insect or host cues are broadly powerful or narrowly targeted; population dynamics: how to explain, predict and possibly manage explosions of large insect outbreaks; and forest ecology: what is the ecological response of a forest to a bark beetle outbreak and what forest elements: disease, competition, drought or injury make bark beetle outbreaks begin.

I also have broad interests in insect ecology and behavior and have served as principal advisor of six graduate students in New Zealand working on beetle biodiversity in Nothofagus forests and the response to different intensities of forest disturbance; biological control of exotic insect herbivores defoliating eucalyptus; response of soil insects to forest management; host colonizing behavior of an exotic bark beetle on exotic pines; host resistance to pine pitch canker disease; and an analysis of government import/ export law and port quarantine regulations aimed at preventing establishment of exotic insect pests.