R. Chris Williamson

R. Chris Williamson


246 Russell Laboratories
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706


Ph.D University of Kentucky, 1997 (Entomology)
MS The Ohio State University, 1993 (Entomology)
BS The Ohio State University, 1989 (Agronomy)

Extension: My extension programming serves the needs of the “Green Industry” by providing research-based training and information to stakeholders.  The Green Industry is a diverse group of horticultural commodity areas including turfgrass, woody ornamentals, Christmas trees, and commercial greenhouses.  Prior to my arrival at the UW-Madison, entomological extension programming was lacking.  This circumstance coupled with the rapidly growing green industry has resulted in increased demands and needs for extension programming.  It is estimated that the green industry is a $2.7 billion industry in Wisconsin and over $147 billion industry in the U.S.  My specific role and mission are to develop, enhance, and sustain a state and regionally recognized extension program that offers appropriate, effective, practical, and new and progressive extension programming based on industry needs.  My extension programming has focused on four core areas: 1) Turfgrass insect pest management; 2) Invasive insect species education; 3) Woody ornamental insect pest management, including Christmas trees; and 4) Integrated turfgrass management.

Research: My research program consists of applied research designed to complement and support my extension programming.  Many research projects are developed to address important and relevant questions or issues faced by ‘Green Industry’ stakeholders.  The green industry is comprised of a wide diversity of commodity areas including turfgrass, woody ornamentals, and Christmas trees.  The green industry contributes > $2.7 billion to Wisconsin and > $147 billion in the U.S.  Most research projects involve field experiments that require replication over a minimum of two years for publication purposes.

The focus of my applied research program is to better understand insect behavior and ecology as a basis for developing integrated pest management (IPM) strategies that reduce use of conventional insecticides.  More specifically, my research is largely aimed at investigating cultural control and applied plant resistance strategies.  Most of my applied research has focused on turfgrass insect pest management; this decision is influenced by factors such as the rapidly expanding needs of the turfgrass industry, the economic value of turf and ornamentals and funding opportunities.

Because the topics addressed in my research program are broad and diverse, I have pursued a wide range of funding opportunities, including public, private and non-profit organizations.  My research is focused in three topic areas: 1) Turfgrass insect biology and management; 2) Woody ornamental insect biology and management; and 3) Christmas tree insect biology and management.  My goal is to develop effective, economical, and practical alternative, non-chemical management strategies for insect pests to reduce the traditional reliance on conventional insecticides.


Entom 351 Principles of Economic Entomology (3Cr) team taught, every spring semester

Professional Societies:
Entomological Society of America

  • Liesch, P.J. and R. C. Williamson.  2010.  Evaluation of Chemical Controls and Entomopathogenic Nematodes for Control of Phyllophaga White Grubs in a Fraser Fir Production Field.  J. Econ. Entomol. 103(6): 1979-1987.
  • Williamson, R.C. and S. C. Hong. 2009. Host Plant Selection and Targeted Insecticide Treatments as Alternative Approaches to Management of Black Cutworm on Golf Course Putting Greens.  International Turfgrass Res. J. 11(1): 701-709.
  • Liesch, P.J. and R. C. Williamson. 2009. Effects of Various Turfgrass Control Agents on Feeding Preference, Development, and Survival of Black Cutworm.  International Turfgrass Res. J. 11(1): 649-654.
  • Johnson, T.A. and R.C. Williamson. 2007. Potential management strategies for the linden borer (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in urban landscapes and nurseries. J. Econ. Entomol. 100(4): 1328-1334.
  • Casler, N., G. Jung, S. Bughara, A. Hamblin, C. Williamson, and T. Voigt.  2006.  Development of Creeping Bentgrass with Resistance to Snow Mold and Dollar Spot.  USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online5(18): 1-10.
  • Johnson, T.A. and R.C. Williamson. 2006. Multiple morphological measurements as larval indicators for Saperda vestita (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 99(5): 938-944.
  • Hong, S.C. and R.C. Williamson. 2006. Suitability of various turfgrass species and cultivars for development and survival of black cutworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 99(3): 850-857.
  • Williamson, R.C. and S.C. Hong. 2005. Alternative, non-pesticide management of earthworm casts in golf course turf. International Turfgrass. Res. J. 10(2): 797-802.
  • Williamson, R.C., A.T. Walston, and D. Soldat. 2005. Influence of organic-based fertilizers and root zone mixes on the incidence of black turfgrass ataenius (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) infestations on golf courses. International Turfgrass Res. J. 10(2): 803-810.
  • Stier, J.C., A.T. Walston, and R.C. Williamson. 2005. Herbicide runoff from simulated lawn and driveway surfaces. Internat. Turfgrass Res. J. 10(1): 136-143.
  • Williamson, R.C. 2004. White grub (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) population density in relation to root damage to Fraser fir seedlings in transplant beds. J. Environ. Hort. 22(2): 85-87.
  • Hong, S.C. and R.C. Williamson. 2004. Comparison of sticky wing and cone pheromone traps for monitoring seasonal abundance of black cutworm adults and larvae on golf courses. J. Econ. Entomol. 97(5): 1666-1670.
  • Williamson, R.C. 2004. Evaluation of a non-conventional insecticide and appropriate application timing for destruction of gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.), (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae), egg masses. J. Econ. Entomol. 97(5): 1671-1674.
  • Eaton, T.D., J. Curley, R.C. Williamson, and G. Jung. 2004. Determination of the level of variation in polyploidy among Kentucky bluegrass cultivars by means of flow cytometry. Crop Sci. 44: 2168-2174.
  • Williamson, R.C. and D.A. Potter. 2001. Survival and development of black cutworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae on creeping bentgrass cultivars. Internat. Turfgrass. Soc. Res. J. 9:810-813.
  • Williamson, R.C. and D.A. Potter. 1997. Turfgrass species and endophyte effects on survival, development, and feeding preference of black cutworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 90(5): 1290-1299.
  • Williamson, R.C. and D.A. Potter. 1997. Nocturnal activity and movement of black cutworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and response to cultural manipulations on golf course putting greens. J. Econ. Entomol. 90(5): 1283-1289.
  • Williamson, R.C. and D.A. Potter. 1997. Oviposition of black cutworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on creeping bentgrass putting greens and removal of eggs by mowing. J. Econ. Entomol. 90(2): 590-594.
  • Williamson, R.C. and D.J. Shetlar. 1995. Oviposition, egg location, and diel periodicity of feeding by black cutworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on bentgrass maintained at golf course cutting heights. J. Econ. Entomol. 88(5): 1292-1295.

Please visit the Williamson laboratory website for information about our research and extension program: