Dr. Liu’s research develops biorational and Integrated Pest Management approaches for managing insect pests of important crops, including field crops and vegetables.He conducts basic and applied research on the biology, ecology, and behavior of arthropod pests and their natural enemies, insect-plant interactions, plant resistance to insects, insecticide resistance management, biological control, cultural control practices, sampling techniques, and action thresholds.
Research Projects: 1. The Integrated Pest Management of potato psyllid, Bactericerca (=Paratrioza) cockerelli, a possible vector of Zebra Chip (ZC) incidence on potatoes and related crops. This research focuses on determining the correlation between potato psyllid populations and ZC incidence related to planting dates.Studies include screening the most effective insecticides available for controlling potato psyllids through laboratory bioassays and field efficacy trials; developing an insecticide rotation program for resistance management; and determining the interactions of major hosts (tomato, eggplants, peppers and potato) and their relationship with potato psyllids on potato and ZC as well as other related studies.
2. IPM of onion thrips,Thrips tabaci, a vector of the Iris Yellow Spotted Virus (IYSV), western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, and other thrips species on onions. This research will focus on the interactions of thrips species and population density and the incidence of the IYSV, including screening the most effective insecticides for controlling the vector thrips.