Justin B Runyon
1648 South 7th Avenue, MSU Campus
Bozeman, MT 597177-2780
Contact Justin B Runyon
1. Understanding success and failure of classical biocontrol through elucidation of the underlying chemical ecology of interactions between biocontrol agents and their host plants. 2. Foreign exploration and the evaluation of potential biocontrol agents for rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea).3. Taxonomy of long-legged flies (Diptera: Dolichopodidae), especially the so-called micro-dolichopodids and New World genera of the subfamily Sympycninae.
Biological control is one of the few tools capable of managing widespread exotic plant invasions, which, at its most successful, can offer long-term solutions to weed problems. However, some biological control agents obtain approval and are released, but fail to impact weed populations. This is troublesome because exploration, testing, and approval for each agent take many years and is estimated to cost several millions of dollars to complete. Moreover, ineffective agents can persist and cause unwanted ecological changes in the communities in which they occur. A better understanding of the interactions between biocontrol agents and their invasive host plants is needed to identify the factors which promote or limit successful biocontrol. My approach is to apply the chemical ecology of plant-herbivore interactions to classical biological control of weeds - two fields which have largely progressed independently to date. Chemistry plays a central role in determining ecological outcomes between plants and insects, and should provide information that can be used to better predict which potential agents are most likely to be effective.
1. Chemical Ecology of interactions between invasive parasitic plants, their host plants, and insect herbivores. 2. Biological control and chemical ecology of the tritrophic system consisting of the wheat stem sawfly, host plants, and natural enemies.3. Taxonomy and revisionary studies of long-legged flies (Diptera: Dolichopodidae).
Why This Research is Important
Invasive species present one of the greatest threats to the health and sustainability of ecosystems worldwide. This research will better position us to devise and apply biological control to address plant invasions. It will also advance our basic understanding of the ecology of plant-insect interactions and the conditions under which herbivory translates into meaningful changes in plant populations - fundamental ecological questions that hold great promise for managing invasive plants.
- University of Virginia's College at Wise, VA, BS Biology and Mathematics, 1998
- Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, MS Entomology, 2001
- Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, Ph.D. Entomology, 2008
Featured Publications & Products
- Birdsall, Jennifer L.; McCaughey, Ward; Runyon, Justin B. 2012. Roads impact the distribution of noxious weeds more than restoration treatments in a lodgepole pine forest in Montana, U.S.A.
- Runyon, Justin B.; Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M. 2010. Plant defenses against parasitic plants show similarities to those induced by herbivores and pathogens.
- Runyon, Justin B.; Mescher, Mark C.; Felton, Gary W.; De Moraes, Consuelo M. 2010. Parasitism by Cuscuta pentagona sequentially induces JA and SA defence pathways in tomato.
- Runyon, Justin; Robinson, Harold. 2010. Hurleyella, a new genus of Nearctic Dolichopodidae (Diptera).
- Runyon, Justin B.; Tooker, John F.; Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M. 2009. Parasitic plants in agriculture: Chemical ecology of germination and host-plant location as targets for sustainable control: A review.
Publications & Products
- Jenkins, Michael J.; Runyon, Justin B.; Fettig, Christopher J.; Page, Wesley G.; Bentz, Barbara J. 2014. Interactions among the mountain pine beetle, fires, and fuels.
- Littlefield, J. L.; Markin, G.; Kashefi, J.; de Meij, A.; Runyon, J. 2013. The release and recovery of Bradyrrhoa gilveolella on rush skeletonweed in southern Idaho.
- Runyon, Justin B.; Butler, Jack L.; Friggens, Megan M.; Meyer, Susan E.; Sing, Sharlene E. 2012. Invasive species and climate change (Chapter 7).
- Page, Wesley G.; Jenkins, Michael J.; Runyon, Justin B. 2012. Mountain pine beetle attack alters the chemistry and flammability of lodgepole pine foliage.
- Runyon, Justin B. 2012. The Nearctic species of Telmaturgus (Diptera: Dolichopodidae).
- Runyon, Justin B. 2010. A new synonymy in Erebomyia (Diptera: Dolichopodidae).
- Weaver, David K.; Buteler, Micaela; Hofland, Megan L.; Runyon, Justin B.; Nansen, Christian; Talbert, Luther E.; Lamb, Peggy; Carlson, Gregg R. 2009. Cultivar preferences of ovipositing wheat stem sawflies as influenced by the amount of volatile attractant.
- Runyon, Justin B.; Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M. 2008. Parasitism by Cuscuta pentagona attenuates host plant defenses against insect herbivores.
- Runyon, Justin. 2008. Richard L. Hurley, 1934-2008.
- Runyon, Justin. 2008. The cingulum: A unique structure of some Dolichopodidae.
- Mescher, Mark C.; Runyon, Justin B.; De Moraes, Consuelo M. 2006. Plant host finding by parasitic plants: A new perspective on plant to plant communication.
- Runyon, Justin B.; Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M. 2006. Volatile chemical cues guide host location and host selection by parasitic plants.
- Weaver, David K.; Nansen, Christian; Runyon, Justin B.; Sing, Sharlene E.; Morrill, Wendell L. 2005. Spatial distributions of Cephus cinctus Norton (Hymenoptera: Cephidae) and its braconid parasitoids in Montana wheat fields.
- Nansen, Christian; Weaver, David K.; Sing, Sharlene E.; Runyon, Justin B.; Morrill, Wendell L.; Grieshop, Matthew J.; Shannon, Courtney L.; Johnson, Megan L. 2005. Within-field spatial distribution of Cephus cinctus (Hymenoptera: Cephidae) larvae in Montana wheat fields.
- Runyon, Justin B.; Hurley, Richard L. 2004. A new genus of long-legged flies displaying remarkable wing directional asymmetry.
- Runyon, Justin B.; Hurley, Richard L. 2003. Revision of the Nearctic species of Nepalomyia Hollis (= Neurigonella Robinson) (Diptera: Dolichopodidae: Peloropeodinae) with a world catalog.
- Daisy, Bryn H.; Strobel, Gary A.; Castillo, Uvidelio; Ezra, David; Sears, Joe; Weaver, David K.; Runyon, Justin B. 2002. Naphthalene, an insect repellent, is produced by Muscodor vitigenus, a novel endophytic fungus.
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