Scientists & Staff

Robert C. Venette

Research Biologist
1561 Lindig Ave.
St. Paul, MN, 55108
Phone: 651-649-5028

Contact Robert C. Venette

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National Research Highlights


Mountain pine beetle: A real threat to pines of eastern North America

Year: 2017

The mountain pine beetle, an insect native to western states, has devastated pines in western North America and is spreading east through the Canadian boreal forest. For land managers, a key question was whether or not the insect could find suitable hosts and survive cold winters in eastern North America.

Spotted wing drosophila inside a microfuge tube with a thermocouple in preparation for cold tolerance testing. Amanda Stephens, University of Minnesota and U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

"Stressing Out" about New Invasive Insects

Year: 2016

Some highly damaging invasive insects depend on forests to survive the winter. Forest Service scientists studied the effects of cold stress on two recent invaders, brown marmorated stink bug and spotted wing drosophila, to better forecast where these species might, and might not, overwinter.

Larvae of emerald ash borer on an ash tree from which the bark had been peeled in April 2014. The larvae are dead (dark brown instead of cream), killed during the winter of 2013-14. Robert C. Venette, USDA Forest Service

Cold Winter Temperatures Set Emerald Ash Borer Back in Minnesota

Year: 2014

Emerald ash borer is the most devastating nonnative insect pest of trees in the United States. Overwintering larvae are unable to survive the winter if temperatures drop too low. During the winter of 2013-14, temperatures were sufficiently cold in portions of the Twin Cities to kill 60 to 70 percent of larvae. Potential mortality of emerald ash borer was described by the media as "the silver lining" of the Polar Vortex.

Three pest risk maps for Phytophthora ramorum, the causal agent of sudden oak death, produced using (a) CLIMEX software; (b) NAPPFAST software; and (c) an expert-driven rule set. Forest Service

Risk-Mapping Invasive Species

Year: 2010

Pest risk maps are vital tools to describe where exotic invasive species might arrive, establish, spread, or have unacceptable effects. They are an integral part of the Forest Service's strategic efforts to predict and prevent new invasions, yet, there is little scientific agreement on how such maps should be produced. NRS scientist Robert Venette and scientists from the Southern Research Station, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, North Carolina State University, University of Minnesota, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canadian Forest Service, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO, Australia), Lincoln University (New Zealand), and the Food and Environment Research Agency (United Kingdom) published ten recommendations to improve these maps in the May 2010 issue of BioScience.

Last modified: Saturday, February 4, 2023