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Melissa Fierke

Melissa K. Fierke

Associate Professor and Director, Cranberry Lake Biological Station

135 Illick Hall
1 Forestry Dr.
Syracuse, New York 13210

Phone: (315) 470-6809/470-6743

Email: mkfierke@esf.edu

Education

  • B.S. Environmental Chemistry, B.S. Environmental Biology, Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, Arkansas.

  • M.S. Fisheries Science, M.S. Environmental Science (Water Resources), Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
  • Ph.D. Entomology (Minor: Biology), University of Arkansas, 2006.

Graduate Opportunities

Currently projects include emerald ash borer & EAB parasitoids, density of black legged ticks & prevalence of Lyme disease, and pollinators (in willow biomass crops as well as along powerlines). 

If you are interested in becoming a part of our lab at ESF, please send me A) a short statement about yourself and your interests (background, goals/ambitions, reason(s) for your interest in ESF and why you would want to do research in my lab, as well as any questions you might have), B) a copy of your Curriculum Vitae, and C) your GPA and GRE scores (include the raw scores and percentages).

Research Technician

Volunteers

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Trupti Indurkar
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Rafael Rodrigues-Canejo
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Igor Shiraishi

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Dan Geoffroy
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Terrance Caviness​
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Brandon Halstein
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Ian Newcomb
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Ben Koselek
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Elise Matos

Current Graduate Advisees

Graduate Advisees

Suvo BiswasSuvo Biswas
smbiswas@syr.edu

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Fierke
  • Area of Study: Entomology
  • Undergraduate Institute: Shere-e-Bangla Agricultural Un (Agriculture)

Personal Statement
I am an international student at ESF. I am from Bangladesh. My undergrad major was Agriculture and did it at Sher-e-bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka.I have also done my MS in Biochemistry from there under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Kamaluddin Ahmed.

Graduate Research Topic
I am a grad RA in the department of EFB. My utmost research interest is learning the biological control techniques. I have been working on the biological control of Emerald Ash Borer(EAB). My research project is releasing parasitoid and understanding their foraging behavior.

Favorite Quote
The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. .....Bertrand Russell


Xue DongXue Dong
xudong@syr.edu

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Folta and Fierke
  • Area of Study: Environmental Interpretation
  • Previous Graduate Study: Beijing Normal University (Curriculum and Instr)

Graduate Research
With the development of cloud computing, 4G communication and popularity of smart phones, QR codes have been used in our daily life in almost every aspect. Most of the traditional interpretive signs are incapable of providing a popular, direct and convenient way to meet young visitors’ needs about some exploratory topics. However, the applying of QR codes as the new interpretive media could deal with this problem effectively.

Favorite Quote
"Women and children can afford to be careless, but not men."

Home Page
Web Link


Abigail JagoAbigail Jago
ajjago@syr.edu

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Fierke
  • Area of Study: Entomology
  • Undergraduate Institute: Suny College Oswego (Zoology)

Favorite Quote
"I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours." - Thoreau in Walden, or Life in the Woods (1854)


Jade JohnsonJade Johnson
jjohns23@syr.edu

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Folta and Fierke
  • Area of Study: Environmental Interpretation

Michael JonesMichael Jones
mijone01@syr.edu

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Fierke
  • Area of Study: Entomology
  • Undergraduate Institute: University of Calif Davis (Environmental Science)

Links

Graduate Research Topic
Managing invasive forest pests, using emerald ash borer as a model insect

Favorite Quote
"If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you're right." -Henry Ford

Home Page
Web Link


Erica McPhailErica McPhail
esmcphai@syr.edu

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Fierke
  • Area of Study: Entomology
  • Undergraduate Institute: Hartwick College

Graduate Research Topic
Pollinating insects associated with power line rights-of-way


Brittney RogersBrittney Rogers
brrogers@syr.edu

  • Degree Sought: MPS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Fierke and Folta
  • Area of Study: Environmental Interpretation

Graduate Research Topic
Developing and implementing an iMapInvasives Trainers Network to help serve the needs of the invasive species network by training and retaining instructors across the state.


Collaborations & Recent Research Highlights

Bekka Brodie

Ticks and Lyme Disease

Pollinators and Powerlines

Past Graduate Students

  • Nick Piedemonte - MS, May2017 Black legged ticks, Ixodes scapularis (Say), in central NY: density, distribution, and prevalence of associated human pathogens
  • Dana Brennan - MS, May 2017 Effects of sugar resources on longevity of two emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) parasitoids
  • Giuseppe Tumminello - MS, December 2016 Insect Pollinators of a Short Rotation Coppice Willow Biomass Agroecosystem
  • Jane Raffaldi - MPS, December 2016 Co-occurring invasives and landowner awareness of invasive giant hogweed
  • Christopher Foelker - PhD, December 2015 Biotic resistance to Sirex noctilio acroass multiple spatial scales
  • Stephanie Nick - MPS, December 2015 Invasive species management through interpretation, education, and outreach: Creating an interpretive panel
  • Michael Parisio - MS, December 2014 Biological control of emerald ash borer: assessment and applications of current parasitoid monitoring methods
  • Joelle Chille-Cale - MPS, August 2014 New biological and cultural control methods of the non-native nursery pest Xylosandrus germanus
  • Gregory Russo - MPS, May 2013 Monitoring and management of emerald ash borer in the eastern Finger Lakes region and Rochester, NY
  • Dominick Skabeikis - MS, May 2012 Male pheromone of the pine sawyer beetles, Monochamus scuellatus (Say) and Monochamus notatus (Drury) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae): Production, response and circadian rhythms
  • Christopher Standley - MS, April 2012 Emergence phenology and ecological interactions between the exotic Sirex noctilio, native siricids, and a shared guild of native parasitoids
  • Kimberly Dean - MS, April 2012 Parasitoids and pathogens of emerald ash borer: Implications for biological control at all life stages
  • Warren Hellman - MS, April 2011 Evaluating use of the native digger wasp Cerceris fumipennis (Say) as a sampling method for New York Buprestidae
  • Peter Rockermann - MS, April 2011 Implications for invasion by emerald ash borer in New York: Ash abundance in riparian areas and moth assemblages in upland and lowland forests with high and low ash densities
  • Patrick Eager - MS, April 2010 An analysis of the Sirex noctilio Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) - parasitoid complex in New York State.

Past Research Technicians and UG Assistants

Trupti Indurkar Terrance Caviness Elise Matos
Rafael Rodrigues Canejo Igor Shiraishi Ian Newcomb
Dan Geoffroy Jacob Parr Ben Kosalek
Patrick Shaw (High School) Brigette Wierzbicki Jared Carpentier
Ryan Crandall Emily Proutey Brad Winkleman
John Welsh David Nesbit Richard Rich
Elizabeth Giglio David Bullis Funmi Afelumo
Elizabeth Keyser Rurick Fencl Katie Walters
Katie McKeever Greg Williams Candi Finger

Courses Taught

Publications

M.I. Jones, J. Gould, M.K. Fierke. 2017. Mortality of overwintering emerald ash borer associated with an extreme cold event in New York State. Canadian Entomologist.  In press.

M. Parisio, J.R. Gould, J.D. Vandenberg, L. Bauer, M.K. Fierke. 2017. Evaluation of Recovery and Monitoring Methods for Parasitoids Released Against Emerald Ash Borer. Biological Control. 106:45-53. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocontrol.2016.12.009

D. Skabeikis, S.A. Teale, M.K. Fierke. 2016. Diel rhythms in Monochamus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae): production of and response to a male-produced aggregation pheromone. Journal of Environmental Entomology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvw044 nvw044

D. Skabeikis, M.K. Fierke, S.A. Teale. 2016. Field response of Monochamus scutellatus and Monochamus notatus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) to the male-produced pheromone, 2-(Undecyloxy)-ethanol, and host volatiles. Journal of Economic Entomology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jee/tow084 tow084

C.J. Foelker. 2016. Associations between Sirex noctilio development, bluestain fungi, and pine host species in North America. Ecological Entomology. 41: 676-684.

C.J. Foelker, C. Standley, D. Parry, M.K. Fierke. 2016. Complex ecological relationships among an assemblage of indigenous hymenopteran parasitoids, the exotic woodwasp Sirex noctilio, and a native cogener. Canadian Entomologist. 148: 532-542.

C.J. Foelker, C. Standley, M.K. Fierke, D. Parry, C. Whipps. 2016. Host tissue identification for cryptic hymenopteran parasitoids associated with Sirex noctilio. Agric. and Forest Entomology. 18:91-94.

C.E. Rutledge, M.K. Fierke, P. Careless, C. Teerling. 2015. Degree day model for emergence of Cerceris fumipennis in Northeastern America based on field observations. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aesa/sav082.

M.K. Fierke, C.J. Foelker. 2014. Scorpionflies: Unusual forest insects. New York Forest Landowner. 52:3.

W. E. Hellman, M.K. Fierke. 2014. Evaluating buprestid preference and sampling efficiency of Cerceris fumipennis using morphometric data. J. Insect Science. 14:4.

M.K. Fierke, M. Whitmore, C.J. Foelker, J.D. Vandenberg, J. Carlson. 2013. Delimitation and management of emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), at an outlier infestation in southwestern New York State. Can. Entomol. 145:577-587.

C. Foelker, J. Vandenberg, M. Whitmore, M.K. Fierke. 2013. Modeling Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) within-tree colonization patterns and development of a subsampling technique. Environ. Entomol. 42:532-538.

C.E. Rutledge, M.K. Fierke, P. Careless, T. Worthley. 2013. First detection of Agrilus planipennis in Connecticut made by monitoring Cerceris fumipennis (Crabronidae) colonies. Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 32:75-81.

M.K. Fierke, D.D. Skabeikis, J.G. Millar, S.A. Teale, J.S. McElfresh, L.M. Hanks. 2012. Identification of a male-produced aggregation pheromone for Monochamus scutellatus scuellatus and an attractant for the cogener Monochamus notatus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 105:2029-2034.

L. Haavik, D. Crook, M.K. Fierke, L. Galligan, F. Stephen. 2012. Partial life tables from three generations of Enaphalodes rufulus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Envir. Entomo. 41:1311-1321.

C. Standley, R. Hoebeck, D. Parry, D. Allen, M.K. Fierke. 2012. Detection and identification of two new native hymenopteran parasitoids associated with exotic Sirex noctilio in North America. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Washington. 114: 238-249.

K. Dean, J. Vandenberg, M. Griggs, L. Beaur, M.K. Fierke. 2012. Assessing susceptibility of hymenopteran parasitoids of the emerald ash borer to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. J. Insect Pathology. 109: 303-306.

P.T. Eager, D.C. Allen, J.L. Frair, M.K. Fierke 2011. Within-tree distributions of the Sirex noctilio-parasitoid complex and development of an optimal sampling scheme. Envir. Entomol. 40:1266-1275.

M.K. Fierke, D. Nowak, R. Hofstetter. 2011. Forest Health Monitoring. In Castello, J. and S. Teale (eds) Forest Health textbook. Cambridge Press.

C. Rutledge, W. Hellman, C. Teerling, M.K. Fierke. 2011. Two novel prey families for the buprestid-hunting wasp Cerceris fumipennis Say (Hymenoptera: Crabonidae). Coleopterists Bulletin. The Coleopterists Bulletin. 65:194-196.

M. K. Fierke, F.M. Stephen. 2010. Dendroentomological evidence associated with an outbreak of the wood-boring beetle Enaphalodes rufulus. Can. J. For. Res. 40: 679–686.

L. Haavik, M.K. Fierke, F.M. Stephen. 2010. Factors affecting suitability of Quercus rubra as hosts for Enaphalodes rufulus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Env. Entom. 39:520-527.

M.C. Whitmore, M.K. Fierke. 2010. Emerald ash borer is now in New York. New York Forest Owner. 48:14-15.

M.B. Kelley, M.K. Fierke, F.M. Stephen. 2009. Identification and distribution of Armillaria species associated with an oak decline event in the Arkansas Ozarks. J. For. Path. 39:397-404.

Scanga, S., M.K. Fierke. 2008. "Say goodbye to sleep": perspectives on building a family and a career at the same time.  Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 6:448-449.

L. Haavik, F. Stephen, M.K. Fierke, V. Salisbury, S. Leavitt, S. Billings. 2008. Dendrochronological parameters of northern red oak (Quercus rubra L. (Fagaceae)) infested with red oak borer (Enaphalodes rufulus (Haldeman) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)). For. Ecol. Manag. 255:1501-1509.

M.K. Fierke, F.M. Stephen. 2008. Callus formation and bark moisture as potential physical defenses of northern red oak, Quercus rubra, against red oak borer, Enaphalodes rufulus (Haldeman) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Can. Entomol. 140:149-157.

M.K. Fierke, M.B. Kelley, F.M. Stephen. 2007. Site and Stand Variables Influencing Red Oak Borer, Enaphalodes rufulus, (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), Population Densities and Tree Mortality. Forest Ecol. Manag. 247: 227-236.

M.K. Fierke, F.M. Stephen. 2007. Red Oak Borer (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) Flight Trapping in the Ozark National Forest, Arkansas. Florida Entomol. 90:488-494.

D.J. Crook, M.K. Fierke, D.L. Kinney, V.B. Salisbury, F.M. Stephen. 2007. Optimization of Sampling Methods for Within-tree Populations of Red Oak Borer, Enaphalodes rufulus (Haldeman) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Environ. Entomol. 36:589-594.

M.K. Fierke, J.B. Kauffman. 2006. Invasive species influence riparian plant diversity along a black cottonwood successional gradient, Willamette River, Oregon. Natural Areas J. 26:376-382.

M.K. Fierke, J.B. Kauffman. 2006. Riverscape patterns of riparian plant diversity along a black cottonwood successional gradient, Willamette River, Oregon. Plant Ecol. 185:85-95.

M.K. Fierke, Kinney, D.L., Salisbury, V.B., Crook, D.J., and Stephen, F.M. 2005. A rapid estimation procedure for within-tree populations of red oak borer (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Forest Ecol. Manag. 215:163–168.

M.K. Fierke; D. L. Kinney; V. B. Salisbury; D. J. Crook; F. M. Stephen. 2005. Development and comparison of intensive and extensive sampling methods and preliminary within-tree population estimates of red oak borer (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Environ. Entomol. 34:184-192.

M.K. Fierke, J.B. Kauffman. 2005. Structural dynamics of riparian forests along a black cottonwood successional gradient. Forest Ecol. Manag. 215:149-162.

Professional Memberships

  • Entomological Society of America

Professional Service

Reviewer for Forest Ecology & Management, Journal of Insect Behavior, Environmental Entomology, Economic Entomology, Journal of Arboriculture & Urban Forestry, Canadian Entomologist, Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Journal of Chemical Ecology, Oecologia.

Honors and Awards

  • 2014 President's Award for Public Service and Outreach, SUNY ESF
  • 2014 Program Cooperator Award, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Onondaga County
  • 2013 Distinguished Teacher Award, SUNY ESF's Undergraduate Student Association
  • 2013 President's Award for Public Service and Outreach, SUNY ESF
  • 2013 Utica College Womyn's Herstory Month Keynote Speaker: Aspiring to be an intential model: mother, scientist, mentor, and teacher
  • 2007 Roger F. Anderson Southern Forest Insect Work Conference Outstanding Graduate Student.
  • 2005 University of Arkansas Department of Entomology Isely Outstanding Ph.D student award.

Selected Presentations

M.K. Fierke. Aspiring to be an Intentional Model: Mother, Scientist, Mentor, and Teacher. Keynote Speaker, Utica College Womyn's Herstory Month. 3/2013.

M.K. Fierke, C. Rutledge. The Thin Green Line: Emerald Ash Borer in the Northeast. Eastern Branch Meeting, Entomological Society of America. 3/2013.

M.K. Fierke. Peeling, Splitting and Rearing to Know: emerald ash borer and Sirex noctilio research in New York State. Presented at multiple venues:

  • Hobart and Willim Smith Biology Seminar Series, 10/2014
  • SUNY Buffalo Graduate Seminar Series, 2/2014
  • SUNY New Paltz School of Science and Engineering Colloquium, 4/2014
  • Cornell University, Department of Entomology, Geneva Campus. 3/2012
  • Cornell University, Jugatae Seminar Series, Dept of Entomology, Ithaca NY. 2/2012
  • Utica College Biology Seminar Series, 10/2011

M.K. Fierke, K. Gandhi, M. Ayers. Sirex noctilio: biology, parasitism and native siricids. 5/2011. North American Forest Insect Work Conference. Portland, OR.

M.K. Fierke, P. Eager, C. Standley, D. Parry, D. Allen. Splitting and rearing to know: new insights into the siricid-parasitoid complex. Presented at multiple venues:

  • 5/2011, Sirex noctilio Research Updates Meeting, Riverdale, MD.
  • 3/2011, Eastern Branch Meeting of the Entomol. Soc. of America. Harrisburg, PA.
  • 1/2011, USDA Annual Interagency Research Forum on Invasive Species, Annapolis, MD.

M.K. Fierke, J. Vandenburg, M. Whitmore, J. Carlson. Girdling and peeling to know: emerald ash borer research in New York. Presented at multiple venues:

  • Eastern Branch Meeting of the Entomol. Soc. of America. 3/2011, Harrisburg, PA.
  • New York Society of American Foresters Annual Meeting, 1/2011, Syracuse NY.

M.K. Fierke, P. Eager, P. Rockermann, W. Hellman. 2009. Finding a niche in northeastern forest entomology – emerald ash borer and Sirex noctilio . Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America. Indianapolis, IN.

M.K. Fierke. 2008. Emerald Ash Borer: Status, Biology, Impacts and Current Research. Invasive Non-Native Forest Pest Conference, Ithaca NY.

M.K. Fierke, C. Landis, M. O’Brien, J. Riddle, N. Werner, R. Germain. 2008. Economic and ecological impacts of emerald ash borer and Sirex noctilio. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Milwaukee, WI.

F. M. Stephen, M.K. Fierke, J. M Guldin, L.J. Haavik, J. J. Riggins and J. A. Tullis. 2008. Red oak borer as an agent of change in Arkansas forests: an historical perspective. International Congress of Entomology, Durban, South Africa.

M.K. Fierke, F.M. Stephen. 2008. Red oak borer research in upland oak-hickory forests. Eastern Branch meeting, Entomological Society of America, Syracuse NY, March 2008.