Dr. Christopher Adams is the new Assistant Professor of Tree Fruit Entomology at the Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research & Extension Center in Hood River. His lab is focused on pests of pear and cherry including our current invasive species, spotted wind drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) and the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys). Other projects include the understanding the ecology and control of the leafhoppers that vector the phytoplasma responsible for cherry X-disease, and the landscape ecology and biocontrol of pear psylla.
Chris is a lifelong entomologist who spent his childhood investigating the natural world with a field guide in his back pocket and reading books on entomology. Chris received his Ph.D. in entomology under the guidance of Dr. Larry Gut, Dr. Matt Grieshop, and the distinguished Dr. Jim Miller. During his graduate work, he approached his research asking both fundamental and applied questions to help advance pest management decisions in IPM. In addition to his peer reviewed publications, his research also contributed to a book Trapping of Small Organisms Moving Randomly: Principles and Applications to Pest Monitoring and Management. His efforts during his degree earned him the Robert Driesbach award for ‘outstanding achievement in overall entomology Ph.D. program’. He has many years of on-farm research experience that provided him with opportunities to work directly with growers and extension specialists to improve tree fruit production in Michigan.
Chris spent three years as a Post-doctoral Research Assistant at Michigan State University in the Tree Fruit Entomology lab of Dr. Larry Gut. The main focus of his research was integrating a sterile insect release program for codling moth into an overall IPM program that included pheromone mating disruption, in both Michigan and Washington State. He has extensive experience understanding mating disruption and the various mechanisms by which it works, the theory behind trapping, and the interpretation of catch data. He also worked to understand and improve catch in monitoring traps for some key invasive species; brown marmorated stink bug and spotted wing drosophila. His work earned him an invitation by Australia’s Agriculture Victoria Research Division to present at their “Australian Apple and Pear Integrated Pest and Disease Management Workshops”; he spent several weeks touring Australia, educating researchers and growers on interpreting trap data for more accurate IPM decisions, and learning about their current IPM practices. While at MSU he collaborated extensively with the diverse community of engaged peers, students, and stakeholders all focused on solving problems for growers.
Chris is enthusiastic about entomology and enjoys teaching and mentoring students. His enthusiasm for teaching earned him the Dr. Eugena McDaniel award for outstanding achievement in teaching. Because of his influence, several of his mentees even changed their career paths from other degrees and have since received advanced degrees in entomology. At all times, he includes students in research as well as planning and delivering extension activities, helping to ensure the next generation of entomologists is prepared and experienced in face-to-face communication and grower interactions.
When not in the lab, Chris can be found hiking in the woods and exploring the many scenic waterfalls of the Hood River area with his wife and two kids.