Lab News and Updates

Congratulations to Matt Kamiyama for becoming a Master in Entomology! – Dec 2018 

We are excited to announce that Matt officially defended his thesis, “Susceptibility of Wisconsin tart cherry to Drosophila suzukii and survey of native natural enemies.” His public research presentation wowed the crowd, so stay tuned for his publications to be released soon!  We are sad to see him leave the lab and we will surely miss all the laughter he brings to our meetings, but we look forward to seeing where his future endeavors take him.  You rock Matt!

Welcome New Lab Members! –  June 2018 

In celebration of three new members joining our ranks, the Guedot family enjoyed a nice night on the Terrace.  We warmly welcome our new summer lab assistant, Michaela Taddeini, and two new Master’s students, Samuel DeGrey and Nolan Amon.  Check out their bios to learn more about the amazing work they have done and the exciting projects they are starting with our lab.  Cheers and welcome to Madison!

Biotechnology Youth Apprenticeship Presentation–  May 2018 

This week Robin Alcorta, presented his work at the Biotechnology Youth Apprenticeship Presentation Session.  Mentored by Ben Jaffe, Janet Van Zoeren, and Abby Lois, Robin has processed pollen and spotted wing drosophila samples, managed a brown marmorated stink bug colony, and is currently conducting an experiment on hatching conditions of flea beetle eggs.  Our lab is looking forward to another year with Robin on our team!

Field Season Begins  –  May 2018 

After a long winter, spring has finally decided to come to Wisconsin, and it brings field season with it!  We are so excited to start the packed season of studies and to bring new members to our lab in June.  Stay tuned for new bios from our awesome new additions and cheers to the winter crew (pictured below)!

Lab Writing Retreat at Kemp Station  –  March 2018 
This past weekend, our lab crew got out of the city to make a final push on our research manuscripts before commencing field season prep.  The snowy weather at Kemp Station was an absolutely beautiful work backdrop, as was the fantastic food and game/puzzle breaks with our families!

Updates from the 2018 Meeting of the North Central Branch of the Entomological Society of America!   –  March 2018

This year, the annual meeting took place in our home city of Madison and our lab played a large role in its success!  Our very own, Christelle Guédot, was chair of the Local Arrangements Committee.  Also serving on the Local Arrangements Committee, our lab’s Bonnie Ohler, Ben Jaffe, and Matt Kamiyama worked hard to plan early career professional and student events.  In addition, each member of our team presented their research through a talk or poster, and Bonnie Ohler and Matt Kamiyama competed at this year’s Linnaean games.  We are always happy to share our research with the scientific community, but this year we are a little extra proud!  Check out some highlights from the Linnaean games (pictured)!

Congratulations to Bonnie Ohler for officially becoming a Ph.D  Candidate!  
January 2018 
 Bonnie, a Ph.D student in our lab,  successfully passed her preliminary exams and is officially on her way to completing her Ph.D!  Bonnie’s research is focused on the chemical ecology of lepidopteran pests of the cranberry system, investigating how these pests find the cranberry plants that they feed on.  As a lab we send her a huge congratulations for all the hard work she has already done and we can’t wait to see what she discovers!   Go Bonnie!

Undergraduate Independent Research Poster Presentation – December 2017 
This week Cybill Biehlmann, a Biology 152 Independent Project student, presented her work from the fall semester in our lab.  Cybill looked at size dimorphism between male and female Japanese Beetles, and variability in egg load in female Japanese Beetles. Mentored by Jacob Henden, a master’s student in our lab, the duo is now one step closer to understanding the characteristics and mechanisms that influence Japanese Beetles as a pest threat in Wisconsin Vineyards.

Lab Retreat at Kemp Natural Resources Station – December 2017 
After a busy season of processing samples, our lab got a chance to leave our microscopes behind for a weekend on the lake at Kemp Natural Resources Station.  With two kids, three dogs, and a ton of games, puzzles, and food, the weekend went by fast.


Codling Moth Research Video  –  August 30, 2017 

Check out an awesome video created by one of our collaborating growers, Cider Farm, about our lab’s research on codling moth.


Two undergraduate research projects in our lab are focused on feeding habits of the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). This invasive pest was first found in Wisconsin in 2010, has become a nuisance overwintering in houses in Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay areas, and just this past summer was found in apple orchards. We’re hoping to stay ahead of the curve, to prevent BMSB from becoming a major agricultural pest in the state. 

The two projects we’re working on in the lab at the moment with BMSB are:

Kate Handberg is looking at the suitability of Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) to serve as a host plant for the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys (BMSB). BMSB is a major pest across a wide range of ornamental plants and crops. During early spring, when BMSB is emerging from diapause, few of its known host plants are available. It is unknown which plants allow for BMSB to develop during this time. Mullein is a perennial plant that may serve as an important early season host for BMSB. I compared the developmental times and fecundity of BMSB on Mullein to a known crop host (green bean, Phaseolus vulgaris). Preliminary results suggest Mullein can serve as a suitable host for BMSB. This knowledge helps us predict dispersal patterns of BMSB and develop more effective management plans.

Makaila Wallin is examining whether cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is a suitable host for the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys, (BMSB)). BMSB is a pest on many agricultural crops, yet it is unknown if BMSB exploits cranberries. Cranberries are an important crop in Wisconsin, contributing over $300 million dollars to local revenue. I am measuring the development and feeding pressure of BMSB on cranberries relative to a closely related known food-source for BMSB (blueberries, Vaccinium corymbosum). Preliminary results indicate cranberry is a suitable host of BMSB. As BMSB populations expand, it is important to understand which crops are at risk for damage and the early identification of suitable BMSB hosts allows us to develop more effective management practices.

Come check out their posters, and learn more about this research, at the Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 13th!

WISCONSIN ECOLOGY – February 11, 2016 
Wisconsin Ecology hosted their joint graduate student recruitment poster session on Thursday February 11th, 2016 at the UW. Faculty, current graduate students, and prospective graduate student attend this event. The Guédot lab presented posters on cranberry research and spotted wing drosophila research in Wisconsin.
WI ecology posters

December 9, 2015 
Undergraduate students present their independent research projects that they have been working on this fall semester in the Guédot Lab. Abby Lois’s research is a continuation of our hive placement study comparing pollen in cranberry marshes. Liz Montgomery’s research focused on table grape susceptibility to SWD using a no-choice test in the lab. Both students did a great job presenting their posters.
Undergraduate Research Posters group

Check out Christelle Guedot’s interview from August 25, 2015 with Wisconsin Public Radio: Invasive fruit fly poses problem for Wisconsin berry growers – Many producers driven to abandon harvest due to spotted wing drosophila. 


Our multiple research projects are coming to an end for the season. We started the season early in May to monitor spotted wing drosophila populations (SWD) in raspberry, aronia, and collaborated with monitoring in cherry crops. In June, the hive location pollination study began in cranberry country in central Wisconsin and M.S. student Erin Mcmahan continued her research on host plant resistance in cranberry. In July, we set up a study to assess the species composition of social wasps in vineyards. In addition to the wasp species composition study, we set up an experiment in August to compare different types of baits and lures on social wasps. It has been an exciting successful summer field season and all of the projects have come to the end of the data collection stage except for the persistent SWD. SWD monitoring in raspberry crops will continue into November 2015. Now the fun of processing field samples begins!

polyphemus moth resized

Photo taken August 31, 2015 near Oregon, Wisconsin. Polyphemus moth caterpillar found, while checking SWD yeast and sugar traps, on aronia bushes during harvest.


Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) monitoring is in full swing in raspberry crops around the state. As of July 10th 2015, with the help of collaborators, SWD has been detected in Dane, Burnett, and Pepin Counties in Wisconsin. This year we are also collaborating with aronia growers to gain a better understanding of the impact of SWD on alternative crops. Aronia is a deciduous shrub and is becoming a more common specialty crop in the Midwest. We are using yeast sugar traps to monitor SWD populations.aronia close up

Photo taken in mid-July 2015. Close up of aronia berries starting to ripen – from hard green berries to their deep purplish color.


hives and swarm_opt

Photo taken mid-June 2015 near Warrens, WI. Honeybee hives are brought to cranberry marshes during peak bloom to help pollinate cranberry plants and increase yield. 

 The Guedot Lab is working with eleven cranberry marshes in Central Wisconsin to study the effect of hive placement on the marsh. Recent graduate, Aidee Guzman, has been leading this study and will look at the pollen from foraging bees. It has been a successful summer using pollen traps and collaborating with growers and bee keepers. Pollen traps were placed at three locations: 1) in the center of the marsh, 2) on the edge of a wooded area, and 3) next to a water reservoir. The bees were very curious when we were out there setting up pollen traps and collecting pollen.

NG water reservoir_opt

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Photos taken in late-June 2015 near Warrens, WI. The photo on the left is an example of the water reservoir location which is one of the three hive locations being studied. The photo on the right shows Hannah Gaines Day and Aidee Guzman collecting pollen from hives located in the center of the marsh and a very curious honey bee that came in for a close up. 


We are excited for the start of the 2015 field season and have a lot of new and continuing  projects. We are continuing our spotted wing drosophila monitoring and overwintering study, currently trapping social wasps in Wisconsin vineyards, busy setting up a pollination study in cranberry country, and have an extensive cranberry host choice lab assay on campus.

bures fall vs sumer_optThis picture was taken in May 2015 and is a great example of what fall bearing raspberries (on the left hand side) look like when compared to summer bearing raspberries (on the right hand side) early in the season.