Insect Ecology and Management Lab

Stefano at Scope 2011We study both natural processes and applied issues relating to forest insects. We generally seek projects that are at the intersection of basic and applied research. Our goal is to better understand species interactions across multiple taxa within forest communities and apply this understanding to protect natural resources. Our research seeks solutions to effectively management insect pests and solves ‘real world’ problems. We take an interdisciplinary approach, using insights drawn from a diverse group of scientists, engineers, artists, specialized technicians, and students. Though we focus on forestry related issues in the southwest, our projects have national and international significance.

Research areas include but are not limited to:

  • Eruptive insect dynamics (e.g. bark beetles, pandora moth) and factors that affect their dynamics
  • Symbiotic and phoretic associations among insects, mites, and microbes
  • Management of invasive species (e.g. emerald ash borer, sirex woodwasp)
  • Community interactions associated with changing climate and forest management
  • Use of new technologies (e.g. acoustic exciters) to manage pests of wood products and trees  


Primary contactTravel Group 2014

Dr. Rich Hofstetter
Associate Professor of Forest Entomology
School of Forestry
Northern Arizona University
200 East Pine Knoll Drive
Lab room 244, Office room 244A
Flagstaff, Arizona 86011-5018
Phone: 928-523-6452; Fax: 928-523-1080

Current Members

Derek Uhey, Ph.D., studying ant-mite relationships
Sneha Vissa, M.S., studying beetle-mite interactions
Johnny Kaplan – M.S., bark beetle pathogens
Tanner Laird – M.F., insects associated with fire fighters
Emily Hawthorn – Hooper Award – Monarch butterfly research
Joe Hinz – Undergraduate student technician
Nathan Weitz - Undergraduate student technician
MarleyMay Webster - Undergraduate student technician

Former Post-docs

2013-2014 Dr. Kristen Potter, NAU TRIF Post-doctoral Associate – currently Coordinator of Doris Duke Conservation Scholars

Former Graduate Students and Their Current Position

2013-2016 Stephen Burr, Ph.D. (co-advisor Tom Kolb)- Entomologist, Fairbanks Alaska
2014-2016 Derek Uhey, M.S. studying soil invertebrates – PhD student in the lab
2013-2015 Clair Nash-Loucks, M.F., studying public perceptions of bark beetles
2009-2015 Ben Jaffe, Ph.D. (advisor Steve Shuster) – postdoc with USDA ARS Wapato, WA
2014-2015 Nick Aflitto, M.S. – NSF funded PhD student at Cornell University
2012-2014 Jake Baker, M.F. NNF fellowship - Forester in Stanislaus National Forest in California
2012-2013 Tiffani Fallucca, M.S.
2010-2013 Chris Hoffman, M.S. - GIS Analyst on the Plumas National Forest
2009-2013 Kasey Yturralde, Ph.D. IGERT - Urban Forester with DC Government
2008-2011 Seth Davis, Ph.D. IGERT – Assistant Professor at Colorado State University
2009-2011 Chris Foelker, M.S. – PhD student at State University of New York College
2010 Karen Weber, M.F.
2009-2010 Grace Hancock, M.F. – forester in the Black Mesa Ranger District, Arizona
2008-2009 Windy Greer, M.S. – worked with Ecological Restoration Institute
2007-2009 Amanda Garcia, M.S. – Forest Entomologist for Forest Health Protection Region 4
2007-2009 Danielle Reboletti, M.S. - Entomologist for Forest Health Protection Region 3
2006-2008 Seth Davis, M.S. - Professor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
2006-2008 Elisabeth Alden, M.F. – Faculty at Univ. of Arizona American Indian Studies
2006-2007 Chris Hayes, M.S. – Biological Science technician, Forest Health Protection Region 1

Former Undergraduate Students (and younger)

2014-2016 Brennen Copp –studied acoustics and fungi
2013-2015 Heidi Neumann, Technician
2014 Emily Fuld, Senior Research project
2014 Rafael Ozol De Assuncao, Brazilian Exchange student
2014 Francisco De Marques De Figueiredo, Brazilian Exchange student
2013-2014 Barbara Sugarman, Hooper Award
2013-2014 Andrew Mann, Hooper Award
2013-2014 Joe Parrot, Independent Research
2012-2014 Jerod Benefield, URM Scholar
2012-2013 Patricia Rees, Hooper Award
2012-2013 Amanda Robinson, NAU Scholars program
2012-2013 Bo Stevens, Hooper Award
2012-2013 Theresa Reyes, REU student
2011-2014 Nick Aflitto, Hooper Award, Indep. Research
2011-2012 Stafano Padilla, Hooper Award
2011-2012 Shannon Madden, Hooper Award
2011-2012 Kaelyn Finley, Student technician
2010-2012 Eli Jensen, Student technician
2009-2011 Nate Foote, NSF IGERT funded
2006-2011 Reagan McGuire
2010 Patrick Kinlicheene, REU student
2009 Audrey Harvey, REU student
2008 Vanessa Yazzie, REU student
2006 Jim Duncan, Student technician
2005 Gabe DeGomez, Student technician
2005 Susan Hebert, Student technician
2005 Kevin Johnson, Student technician
2005 Laine Smith, Student technician
2005 James Stewart, Student technician 

Nick and Field Trap 2014Field Crew 2014

Opportunities in the lab and at NAU

There are multiple opportunities for undergraduate research and technician positions. If you an undergraduate student interested in working in the lab, please send me an email with your interests and timeline (or photocopy of transcripts).
Group Pic 2010
Rich Hofstetter
Box 15018
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff AZ 86011-5018

or email

If you are interested in graduate school, please send me a cover letter, resume, GRE scores, and a list of classes taken and grades, and a contact (reference) person. I will keep your materials on file for at least 2 years. I encourage you to contact my current or former graduate students by e-mail (linked on this page). When I get funding for a project, I will review all packets received in the previous 2 years. Also, Masters of Forestry positions are always available (since funding is not required for these positions).