US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Research Entomologist

Barbara J. Bentz

Research Entomologist
860 North 1200 East
United States

Phone: 435-755-3577
Fax: 435-755-3563
Contact Barbara J. Bentz

Current Research

My current research is focused on understanding temperature response and adaptations of bark beetles and associated communities for increased understanding of population outbreaks in a changing climate. This research includes the role of host trees and the environment in population outbreak dynamics, and incorporating physiological information into  mechanistic models of bark beetle temperature response for managing forest ecosystems in a changing climate. I also research the role of bark beetles in post-fire environments.

Research Interests

My research interests are numerous. Among the highlights are biology, ecology, management of bark beetles, physiological aspects of bark beetle response to temperature, modeling climate change influences on bark beetle populations, and fire and bark beetle interactions.

Past Research

Temperature dependence of bark beetles; using pheromones to manage bark beetle populations; use of remote sensing for detecting bark beetle-caused tree mortality.

Why This Research is Important

Bark beetles have caused more tree mortality in western North America forest ecosystems over the past 20 years than wildfire. It is imperative to understand how rising temperature and decreasing precipitation will influence bark beetle-caused tree mortality in the future, including interactions with other disturbances.


  • Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, Ph.D. Entomology 1991
  • University of Idaho, Moscow, M.S. Forestry and Entomology 1984
  • Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX, B.S. Forestry and Biology 1981

Professional Experience

  • Project Leader, Entomologist, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Logan UT
    1999 - Current
  • Research Entomologist, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Logan UT
    1991 - Current

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Combined Effects of a Changing Climate Drive Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreaks

An ideal combination of temperature and precipitation associated with a changing climate are responsible for recent mountai pine beetle populati ...


Elevational Shifts in Thermal Suitability for Mountain Pine Beetle in a Changing Climate

By the end of the century, climate change-driven optimal temperature suitability for mountain pine beetle population growth is predicted to be g ...


Great Basin bristlecone pines are highly resistant to mountain pine beetles

Mountain pine beetle has killed millions of pines in the past two decades. We discovered that when confined on a Great Basin bristlecone pine, a ...


Mountain Pine Beetle's Ability to Cope with a Changing Climate Depends on Genetics

Recent field studies suggest that different selection pressures on northern and southern populations allow mountain pine beetle to maintain a si ...


The 'Goldilocks Principle' Applies to Mountain Pine Beetle and Climate Change

A field-based reciprocial translocation experiment for mountain pine beetle revealed local adaptation and genetic differences between population ...


World’s Oldest Tree Species Resistant to Mountain Pine Beetle

Mountain pine beetle (MPB) is the most significant mortality agent of pines throughout western North America, and climate-driven range expansion ...


Last updated on : 10/01/2021