Lab News and Updates


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 (post by K. Hietala-Henschell)
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 (post by K. Hietala-Henschell)
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. 


Post by Katie Hietala-Henschell 

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.


Post by Katie Hietala-Henschell

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.


Post by Katie Hietala-Henschell 

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

beeclose up_opt










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. 


Post by Katie Hietala-Henschell 

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.