Deborah McCullough

Professor, Forest Entomology (joint with Entomology)

Deborah McCullough


243 Natural Science Building

Phone: (517) 355-7445


PhD in Forest Entomology, University of Minnesota, 1990
MS in Forestry, Northern Arizona University, 1985
BS in Biology, Northern Arizona University, 1981

Research Interests

Much of my current research focuses on the ecology, impacts and management of invasive forest insects, including emerald ash borer and beech bark disease.  Other projects address native forest insect populations and silvicultural options to reduce pest impacts.   

Emerald Ash Borer Ecology, Dynamics and Management: Current projects address the (1) vulnerability of ash species from the southern and western states, Europe & Asia.; (2) EAB population dynamics and rate of spread; (3) EAB control options and optimization of methods to protect individual trees & community forests; (4) development of effective survey and trapping technology; (5) EAB effects on overstory ash and ash regeneration; and (6) evaluation of native natural enemies of EAB.

Spread and Impact of Beech Bark Disease: Work includes (1) tracking the advancing front and spatial distribution of the exotic beech scale and beech bark disease in Michigan; (2) an assessment of the impacts of BBD on regeneration, above-ground productivity, species composition and wildlife habitat; and (3) beech scale population dynamics.

Economic Impacts of Invasive Forest Pests: Invasive forest insects affect forest ecosystems, trees in urban settings and plant-based industries across the US. Work with a multi-disciplinary group includes identification of established nonindigenous forest pests in the U.S., mapping current and potential distributions of invasive pests, and quantifying economic costs of non-native forest insects. 

Eradication of Non-Native Forest Insects: An ongoing project with an international working group focuses on evaluating eradication as a option for non-native forest insects established in a new region.  Efforts include identifying attributes of past and current eradication programs, evaluating optimal combinations of management tactics for eradication, and developing a scientific basis for eradication policy. 

Selected Publications

Tanis, S.R. and D.G. McCullough. 2012. Differential persistence of blue ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata) and white ash (Fraxinus americana) following emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) invasion. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. In press.

McCullough, D.G. and R.J. Mercader. 2012. SLAM in an urban forest: evaluation of potential strategies to SLow Ash Mortality caused by emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis).  International Journal of Pest Management 58: 9-23.

Suckling, D.M., D.G. McCullough, D.A. Herms and P.C. Tobin. 2012. Combining tactics to exploit Allee effects for eradication of alien insect populations. Forum article; Environmental Entomology 105: 1-13.

McCullough, D.G., N.W. Siegert, T.M. Poland, S.J. Pierce and S.Z. Ahn. 2011. Effects of trap type, placement and ash distribution on emerald ash borer captures in a low density site. Environmental Entomology 40:1239-1252.

McCullough, D.G., T.M. Poland, A.C. Anulewicz, P. Lewis and D. Cappaert. 2011. Evaluation of Agrilus planipennis control provided by emamectin benzoate and two neonicotinoid insecticides, one & two seasons after treatment.  Journal of Economic Entomology 104(5): 1599-1612.

Mercader, R.J., N.W. Siegert, A.M. Liebhold and D.G. McCullough. 2011. Estimating the effectiveness of three potential management options to slow the spread of emerald ash borer populations in localized outlier sites. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 41:254-264.

Poland, T.M., D.G. McCullough and A.C. Anulewicz. 2011. Evaluation of an artificial trap for Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) incorporating olfactory and visual cues. Journal of Economic Entomology 104:517-531.

Aukema, J. E., D.G. McCullough, B. Von Holle, A.M. Liebhold, K. Britton and S.J. Frankel. 2010. Historical accumulation of non-indigenous forest pests in the continental US. BioScience 60:886-897.

McCullough, D.G., T. M. Poland, D. Cappaert and A.C. Anulewicz. 2009b. Attraction of the emerald ash borer to ash trees stressed by girdling, herbicide and wounding. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 39:1331-1345.

Anulewicz, A.C., D.G. McCullough, D.L. Cappaert and T.M. Poland. 2008. Host range of the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) in North America: results of multiple-choice field experiments. Environmental Entomology 37:230-241.