Richard Hofstetter, Ph.D. - Associate Professor

hofstetter Research Interests

Community Ecology, Population Dynamics, Tritrophic Interactions, Symbioses and Insect Acoustics.

For more information see lab webpage.

Our current research involves understanding the response of insects to forest management through thinning and wildfire in pine forests, effects of tree characteristics and resin defense against insects, the role of bark beetles in influencing the structure and evolution of pine forest ecosystems, improving insect attractants, the effects of thinning piles on forest insect communities, interactions among fungi, mites and bark beetles across multiple bark beetle communities, and the evolution and ecology of acoustic communication in bark beetles. The National Science Foundation, USDA Competitive Grants Program, and USDA Forest Service support this research.

Bark beetles are integral components in forest ecosystems and can be viewed as beneficial or detrimental depending on the management objectives. Most bark beetles cause little or no economic damage as they normally infest branches, stumps, and stems of standing dead, severely weakened trees or downed material. Although all bark beetles are relatively small, 1mm to 8mm in length, several species attack and kill living, apparently healthy trees. In the southwest United States there are several important beetle species in the genus Ips and Dendroctonus that attack and kill large stands of conifers (http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r3/forest-grasslandhealth/insects-diseases/?cid=STELPRDB5228457).

In Arizona, there are currently 30 known species of bark beetle that inhabit the Ponderosa pine. This complex of bark beetles offers an interesting community of study that is rarely found anywhere else in the world. There are many interesting questions, both applied and basic, that can be asked: How do we manage our forest to account for multiple beetle species and their pathogens? How does interspecific competition between species affect beetle population dynamics? Why do particular beetle species outbreak while others do not? Are fungi and mites associated with bark beetles switching among beetles hosts?

Education

B.S. University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1992
M.S. University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1996
Ph.D. Dartmouth College, 2003
Postdoctoral: Dartmouth College 2004

Present Appointment

Associate Professor of Forest Entomology. School of Forestry, NAU        2011-present

Appointment History at NAU

Assistant Professor of Forest Entomology. School of Forestry, NAU        2008 - 2011
Assistant Professor-Research. School of Forestry, NAU                          2005 - 2008

Contact Information

Office: Building 82 - Room 208
Phone: 928.523.6452
Email: Rich.Hofstetter@nau.edu  

Selected Publications

Publications are listed at Google Scholar.