Purdue University
Entomology Department
Search the Department of Entomology

About Us

Entomology at Purdue

The Department offers a comprehensive program of learning, engagement and discovery that meets the needs of Indiana, the Midwest, and the nation.  There are 22 academic and 5 adjunct faculty, 36 professional staff, and 16 administrative, clerical and service staff.  Currently there are 40 undergraduates, 30 graduates, and 7 post-doctoral associates.  Graduate degree programs at both the Master’s and Ph.D. level are offered.


Academic programs in entomology include courses in general entomology, diversity and identification, insect structure and function, ecology and behavior, pest management, and areas of specialization.  The Department provides three undergraduate options including “Entomology” which focuses on a general curriculum in insect science.  “Crop Protection” requires additional classes in crop production and related disciplines such as weed science and plant physiology, while “Urban and Industrial Pest Management” requires courses in personnel management and business.  Graduate students pursue curricula customized for each individual.  All entomology students are encouraged to seek international experience through “study abroad” programs.  Merit and need-based financial aid is available to qualifying students.


Extension programs focus on insect pest management including field crops, vegetables, livestock, ornamental plants, and home and urban/industrial settings.  The USDA-APHIS Animal Damage Control Unit is also part of the Department’s extension program.


Our research can be broadly divided into six signature areas based expertise and emerging opportunities as follows:  Genomics & Proteomics, Urban Entomology, Crops and Livestock Pest Management, Environmental Stewardship, International Programs, and Science Education.  We have active research programs in biology, biochemistry, systematics, and behavior focused on:

  • cellular and molecular entomology
  • insect biochemistry and toxicology
  • systematic entomology and nematology
  • aquatic entomology
  • quantitative ecology
  • host plant resistance
  • biological control
  • insect pest management
  • urban/industrial entomology

These efforts include contributions by the USDA-ARS Crop Production Unit Wheat Team.


Bug Bowl – A nationally and internationally recognized event held every spring celebrates the fascination of insects.  Among the activities are Roachhill Downs cockroach races, cake decorating contest, cricket spitting, bugs as food, insects in art, insect crafts and face painting, honey bee exhibit and honey tasting, insect petting zoo, observation zoo, caterpillar canter, and insect activity center.  Bug Bowl attracts more than 30,000 visitors.

Insectaganza – “Science on 6 Legs – An Insectaganza of Education” is an opportunity for fifth grade students in the area to come to Purdue to learn about insects from the professors. The program consists of Quizbowl – a test of a school’s insect knowledge, caterpillar canter races, lectures on insects, a magic show, and dissecting grasshoppers. Insectaganza takes place each fall.

IPM in Schools - offers pest control solutions for schools that reduce the potential for pesticide exposure. The program provides training and resources to school administrators, custodians, and pest control officials in Indiana and Illinois through pilot projects, workshops, a website, and an 800 number hotline.


The Center for Environmental and Regulatory Information Systems is a series of federal and user-funded programs that maintains a collection of databases on pesticides (National Pesticide Information and Regulatory System, NPIRS), plant import/export (EXCERPT), and exotic pest tracking (NAPIS) used by academia, industry and government.  NAPIS, the National Agricultural Pest Information System, is the database that maintains the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) data funded under a cooperative agreement between Purdue University and USDA APHIS PPQ.  NPIRS, the National Pesticide Information Retrieval System, contains pesticide product registration, at the state and federal level, product registration document information, data submitter information, residue tolerances, and a Federal Register archive dating back to May 1, 1993.  EXCERPT, the Export Certification Project, is a centralized database that contains up-to-date export summaries used for issuing phytosanitary certificates funded under a cooperative agreement between Purdue University and USDA.


The Department of Entomology is housed in Smith Hall (SMTH), Whistler Agricultural Research Building (WSLR), and the Entomology Environmental Laboratory (EEL) on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, and several associated facilities near the campus. SMTH houses the teaching faculty, a student resource room, two dedicated entomology classrooms, most extension staff and programs, the Purdue Entomological Research Collection, several research programs and the administrative office suite. WSLR is an interdisciplinary facility that houses Entomology programs requiring specialized laboratory facilities for cellular, molecular and genetic research; researchers from other Agriculture departments; and also is home to the Purdue Genomics Core Facility. EEL has lab and office space for the nematology program and Purdue Nematode Collection, host plant resistance program, growth chambers and serves as the head house for the attached greenhouses.

The department’s Center for Environmental and Regulatory Information System (CERIS) is located in a rented office suite off campus. The Entomology Field Operations Building (EFOB) is located on a 6-acre tract 1.5 miles west of campus. This facility is used for field plot equipment storage, applying pesticides in laboratory experiments, and as a general workshop for the Department. The apiary is located at this site and the building provides support facilities for our honeybee research activities. Entomology has facilities in the Crop Protection Laboratory located at the Agronomy Research Center for storage and mixing of pesticides. Other field research is conducted at Purdue Agricultural Centers, and with cooperators across the state.