Insect Sexuality and 'Pest' Management to be Discussed at Faculty at Large Lecture on Oct. 18

Laura Sirot to talk about safe and species specific ways of controlling insects

October 4, 2012 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio — Laura Sirot, assistant professor of biology at The College of Wooster, will present “Sex, Files, and Sticky Tape: Using Insect Reproduction for Pest Management” at the second Faculty at Large lecture of the fall semester on Thursday, Oct. 18. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, begins at 11 a.m. in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall (303 E. University St.).

Sirot will discuss her research on the reproductive behavior and physiology of insects. “I will talk mostly about the effects of proteins that males transfer to females in their ejaculate on female behavior and physiology,” she said. “I will also talk about the potential of studies of these proteins to provide new tools or targets for pest management.”

Anyone with an interest in the development of safe, effective, and species-specific methods for controlling insects typically considered pests, such as those that eat crops or spread disease, will find this presentation intriguing. Sirot said that research and studies leading up to this presentation examined insect reproduction in order to “lay the foundation for understanding the basic reproductive biology of insect pests.” She hopes that the end result of her work will be used to manufacture “new safe, effective, and species-specific pest management techniques or to enhance the effectiveness of existing techniques.”

Sirot, who joined Wooster’s faculty in 2010, specializes in sexual selection, sexual conflict, and mating system evolution among insects. She received her B.S. (1992) and M.A. (1993) from the University of Michigan, and her M.Sc. (1999) and Ph.D. (2004) from the University of Florida.

The third and final Faculty at Large lecture of the fall semester will take place on Thursday, Nov. 8, with Peter Pozefsky, associate professor of history, presenting “Russia’s World War II: History on Film.” Additional information about the Faculty at Large lecture series is available by phone (330-263-2145) or e-mail.