Dr.Greg Wiggins          Dr Greg Wiggins in the Field

Integrated Pest Management and Biological Control Laboratory
Office Location: 150 Plant Biotechnology Building
Office Phone: 865-974-6405
Ph.D., The University of Tennessee; Plants, Soils and Insects. Major: Entomology
M.S., The University of Tennessee; Entomology and Plant Pathology. Major: Entomology
B.A., Southern Adventist University, Major: Biology
Biological control of insects and plants, including hemlock woolly adelgid, emerald ash borer and introduced thistles (Carduus and Cirsium species)
Spatial analysis of insect and plant associations
Non-target impacts of biological control insects released against weed species
Research Description:

I am currently a part of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Working Group at the University of Tennessee. The research in which I am involved investigates the establishment and effectiveness, as well as assesses techniques to improve establishment, of natural enemies released as biological control agents of hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae).

Additionally, I am involved with the detection and distribution assessment of thousand cankers disease, a disease of walnuts which consists of the walnut twig beetle (Pityophthorus juglandis) and Geosmithia morbida, in Tennessee. In July 2010, both species were documented in Knox County, Tennessee, which was the first record of this disease complex in the native range of black walnut. Efforts are underway to determine the extent of the distribution of the organisms of this disease, and research has begun to study the effects of thousand cankers disease on black walnuts in the eastern U.S.

I am also part of the effort to evaluate parasitoids of emerald ash borer in Tennessee. In 2010, emerald ash borer was documented for the first time in Knox County, and this finding made Tennessee the southernmost state from where this forest pest is known. Currently, releases of three parasitic wasps are planned for areas where emerald ash borer have been found, and their ability to establish and efficacy will be evaluated.

Other research interests include interactions among invasive weeds, the biological control agents released against them, and native plants related to these weeds. Specifically, I have investigated non-target host utilization of native thistle species by two introduced biological control agents of musk thistle. As part of this research, I developed a spatial model to help predict areas where non-target activity may most likely occur.

Representative Publications:

Hooie, N., G. Wiggins, P. Lambdin, J. Grant, S. Powell, and J. Lelito. 2015. Native parasitoids and recovery of Spathius agrili from areas of release against emerald ash borer in eastern Tennessee, USA. Biocontrol Science and Technology 25: 345-351.

Wiggins, G., J. Grant, P. Lambdin, P. Merten, K. Nix, D. Hadziabdic, and M. Windham. 2014. Discovery of walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, from forested black walnut, Juglans nigra, in the Eastern U.S. Forests 5: 1185-1193.

G. Wiggins, J.Grant, P. Lambdin, M. Windham, M. Faccoli, P. Merten, and R. Trigiano. 2014.Development of microsatellite loci in Pityophthorus juglandis, a vector of thousand cankers disease in Juglans spp. Conservation Genetics Resources 7: 431-433.

Nix, K., C. Coots,P. Lambdin, J. Grant, D. Paulsen, G. Wiggins, and P. Merten. 2014. Concentrations of imidacloprid and olefin-imidacloprid metabolite in the walnut husk maggot (Diptera: Tephritidae). Florida Entomologist 97: 1848-1851.

Hadziabdic, D., M. Windham, R. Baird, L. Vito, Q. Cheng, J. Grant, P. La>mbdin, G. Wiggins, A.Windham, P. Merten, and G. Taylor. 2014. First report of Geosmihia morbida in North Carolina: The pathogen involved in thousand cankers disease of black walnut. Plant Disease 98: 992.

Hakeem, A., J. Grant, G. Wiggins, P. Lambdin, F. Hale, D. Buckley, J. Rhea, J. Parkman, and G. Taylor. 2013. Factors affecting establishment and recovery of Sasajiscymnus tsugae (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), and introduced predator of hemlock woolly adelgid (Hemiptera: Adelgidae) on eastern hemlock (Pinales: Pinaceae). Environmental Entomology 42:1272-1280.

Wiggins, G. and J. Grant. 2012. New distribution record of Larinus planus(Coleoptera:Curculionidae) in Tennessee. Journal of Entomological Science 47:92-94. 

Grant, J., M. Windham, W. Haun, G. Wiggins and P. Lambdin. 2011. Initial assessment of thousand cankers disease on black walnut, Juglans nigra, in Eastern Tennessee. Forests 2: 741-748. 

Hakeem A., J. Grant, G. Wiggins, P. Lambdin and J. Rhea. 2011. Establishment and co-existence of two predators Laricobius nigrinus and Sasajiscymnus tsugae, introduced against hemlock woolly agelgid on eastern hemlock. Biocontrol and Science Technology 21: 687-691.

Wiggins, G., J. Grant, P. Lambdin, J. Ranney, J.Wilkerson, A. Reed and R. Follum. 2010. Host utilization of field-caged native and introduced thistle species by Rhinocyllus conicus. Environmental Entomology 39: 1858-1865.

Wiggins, G. , J. Grant, P. Lambdin, J. Ranney, J. Wilkerson and F. van Manen. 2010. Spatial prediction of habitat overlap of introduced and native thistles to identify potential areas of non-target activity of biological control agents. Environment Entomology 39: 1866-1877.

Vlach, J., P. Lambdin, C. Dilling, J. Grant, D. Paulsen and G. Wiggins. 2010. Diversity of the insect fauna within the unique Sinking Pond habitat in Middle Tennessee. Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science 85: 62-86.

Hakeem, A., J. Grant, P. Lambdin, D. Buckley, F. Hale, J.Rhea, G. Wiggins and G. Taylor. 2010. Recovery of Sasajiscymnus tsugae (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) released against hemlock woolly adelgid,, in the Southern Appalachians. Biocontrol Science and Technology 20: 1069-1074.




EPP Personnel​