University of Minnesota
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George Heimpel



508 Hodson Hall

Mailing Address

219 Hodson Hall
1980 Folwell Ave. University of Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota 55108

Phone: Office (612) 624-3480
Lab (612) 625-7055
FAX: (612) 625-5299



B.S. 1988. University of California, Berkeley. Conservation and Resource Studies.
M.S. 1991. University of Delaware, Newark. Entomology and Applied Ecology.
Ph.D. 1995 University of California, Davis. Entomology.

Research Interests:

Most of the projects in my lab focus on host-parasitoid interactions and biological control. Investigations range from genetics to community ecology with an emphasis on behavioral, population and evolutionary ecology of parasitoids within the context of biological control. Current projects include classical and conservation biological control of the soybean aphid in the United States, classical biological control of a parasite of Darwin’s finches in the Galapagos Islands, and classical biological control of the imported cabbageworm in the United States. More generally, interests in the lab focus on aspects of host specificity in parasitoids, indirect interactions in natural and agricultural systems, sex determination in parasitoid wasps, evolution of parasitoid reproductive strategies, and ecosystem services (biological control) associated with biofuel cropping systems.

Teaching Interests:

I teach Insect Behavior (ENT 4231) in the spring of odd-numbered years and Biological Control (ENT 5341) in the spring of even-numbered years. I have also co-taught an interdisciplinary class on ecological risk assessment.

International Interests:

I am currently involved in research on the avian parasite Philornis downsi (Diptera: Muscidae) that has invaded the Galapagos Islands where it is attacking Darwin’s Finches. This work takes place in the Galapagos as well as mainland Ecuador and Trinidad & Tobago. I have also done research on naturally-occurring biological control of soybean aphid in its native Asia in Japan and China on a number of occasions since 2001.

Recent Publications

Hopper, K. R., S. M. Prager, and G. E. Heimpel. 2013. Is parasitoid acceptance of different host species dynamic? Functional Ecology 27:1201-1211.Ento-PDFicon-IMG

Heimpel, G. E., Y. Yang, J. Hill, and D. W. Ragsdale. 2013. Environmental consequences of invasive species: greenhouse gas emissions of insecticide use and the role of biological control in reducing emissions. PLoS One 8:e72293.Ento-PDFicon-IMG

Wulff, J. A., K. Buckman, K. Wu, G. E. Heimpel, and J. A. White. 2013. The endosymbiont Arsenophonus is widespread in soybean aphid, Aphis glycines, but does not provide protection against parasitoids or a fungal pathogen. PLoS One 8:e62145.Ento-PDFicon-IMG

Chacon, J. M., M. K. Asplen, and G. E. Heimpel. 2012. Combined effects of host-plant resistance and intraguild predation on the soybean aphid parasitoid Binodoxys communis in the field. Biological Control 60:16-25.Ento-PDFicon-IMG

de Boer, J. G., B. Kuijper, G. E. Heimpel, and L. W. Beukeboom. 2012. Sex determination meltdown upon biological control introduction of the parasitoid Cotesia rubecula? Evolutionary Applications 5:444-454.Ento-PDFicon-IMG

Desneux, N., R. Blahnik, C. J. Delebeque, and G. E. Heimpel. 2012. Host phylogeny and specialisation in parasitoids. Ecology Letters 15:453-460.Ento-PDFicon-IMG

Herlihy, M. V., R. G. van Driesche, M. R. Abney, J. Brodeur, R. A. Casagrande, D. A. Delaney, T. Elkner, S. J. Fleischer, R. L. Groves, D. S. Gruner, J. P. Harmon, G. E. Heimpel, T. P. Kuhar, C. M. Maund, R. D. Olmstead, A. M. Seaman, M. Skinner, R. Weinzierl, K. V. Yeargan, and Z. Zsendrei. 2012. Distribution of Cotesia rubecula (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and its displacement of Cotesia glomerata (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in Eastern North America. Florida Entomologist 95:458-464.Ento-PDFicon-IMG

Jervis, M. A., A. Moe, and G. E. Heimpel. 2012. The evolution of parasitoid fecundity: a paradigm under scrutiny. Ecology Letters 15:357-364.Ento-PDFicon-IMG

Koch, R. L., P. M. Porter, M. M. Harbur, M. D. Abrahamson, K. A. G. Wyckhuys, D. W. Ragsdale, K. Koch, Z. Sezen, and G. E. Heimpel. 2012. Response of soybean insects to an autumn-seeded rye cover crop. Environmental Entomology 41:750-760.Ento-PDFicon-IMG

Zhang, Y., K. A. G. Wyckhuys, M. K. Asplen, G. E. Heimpel, and K. Wu. 2012. Effect of Binodoxys communis parasitism on flight behavior of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines. Biological Control 62:10-15.Ento-PDFicon-IMG

Asplen, M. K., K. A. G. Wyckhuys, and G. E. Heimpel. 2011. Parasitism of autumnal morphs of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines (Hemiptera: Aphididae), by Binodoxys communis (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) on buckthorn. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 104:935-944.Ento-PDFicon-IMG

Gagnon, A. E., G. E. Heimpel, J. Brodeur. 2011. The ubiquity of intraguild predation among predatory arthropods. PLoS ONE 6(11): e28061 Ento-PDFicon-IMG

Gagnon, A. E., J. Doyon, G. E. Heimpel, and J. Brodeur. 2011. Prey DNA detection success following digestion by intraguild predators: influence of prey and predator species. Mol. Ecol. Res.: 11 (6): 1022. Ento-PDFicon-IMG

Heimpel, G. E. and M. K. Asplen. 2011. A 'goldilocks' hypothesis for dispersal of biological control agents. BioControl 56:441-450. Ento-PDFicon-IMG

Ragsdale, D. W., D. A. Landis, J. Brodeur, G. E. Heimpel, and N. Desneux. 2011. Ecology and management of the soybean aphid in North America. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 56: 375-399. Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Chacón, J. M., and G. E. Heimpel. 2010. Density-dependent intraguild predation of an aphid parasitoid. Oecologia 164:213-220.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Dieckhoff, C., and G. E. Heimpel. 2010. Determinants of egg load in the soybean aphid parasitoid Binodoxys communis. Entomol. Exp. Appl. 136:254-261.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Gardiner, M. M., D. A. Landis, C. Gratton, N. Schmidt, M. O'Neal, E. Mueller, J. Chacón, and G. E. Heimpel. 2010. Landscape composition influences the activity density of Carabidae and Arachnida in soybean fields. Biological Control 55:11-19.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Heimpel, G. E., L. E. Frelich, D. A. Landis, K. R. Hopper, K. A. Hoelmer, Z. Sezen, M. K. Asplen, and K. Wu. 2010. European buckthorn and Asian soybean aphid as components of an extensive invasional meltdown in North America. Biological Invasions 12:2913-2931.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Noma, T., C. Gratton, M. Colunga-Garcia, M. J. Brewer, E. E. Mueller, K. A. G. Wyckhuys, G. E. Heimpel, and M. E. O'Neal. 2010. Relationship of soybean aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) to soybean plant nutrients, landscape structure, and natural enemies. Environmental Entomology 39:31-41.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Stary, P., E. Rakhshani, Z. Tomanovic, K. Hoelmer, N. G. Kavallieratos, J. Yu, M. Wang, and G. E. Heimpel. 2010. A new species of Lysiphlebus Forster 1862 (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae) attacking soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae) from China. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 19:184-191.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Asplen, M. K., J. B. Whitfield, J. G. De Boer, and G. E. Heimpel. 2009. Ancestral state reconstruction analysis of hymenopteran sex determination mechanisms. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22:1762-1769.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Desneux, N., R. J. Barta, C. J. Delebecque, and G. E. Heimpel. 2009. Transient host paralysis as a means of reducing self-superparasitism in koinobiont endoparasitoids. Journal of Insect Physiology 55:321-327.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Desneux, N., P. Stary, C. J. Delebecque, T. D. Gariepy, R. J. Barta, K. A. Hoelmer, and G. E. Heimpel. 2009. Cryptic species of parasitoids attacking the soybean aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in Asia: Binodoxys communis and Binodoxys koreanus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 102:925-936.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Desneux, N., R. J. Barta, K. A. Hoelmer, K. R. Hopper, and G. E. Heimpel. 2009. Multifaceted determinants of host specificity in an aphid parasitoid. Oecologia 160:387-398.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Gardiner, M. M., D. A. Landis, C. Gratton, N. Schmidt, M. O'Neal, E. Mueller, J. Chacón, G. E. Heimpel, and C. D. DiFonzo. 2009. Landscape composition influences patterns of native and exotic lady beetle abundance. Diversity and Distributions 15:554-564.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Gardiner, M. M., D. A. Landis, C. Gratton, C. D. DiFonzo, M. O'Neal, J. M. Chacón, M. T. Wayo, N. P. Schmidt, E. E. Mueller, and G. E. Heimpel. 2009. Landscape diversity enhances biological control of an introduced crop pest in the north-central USA. Ecological Applications 19:143-154.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Pexton, J. J., J. G. de Boer, G. E. Heimpel, L. E. M. Vet, J. B. Whitfield, and P. J. Ode. 2009. Competition and brood reduction: testing alternative models of clutch-size evolution in parasitoids. Behavioral Ecology 20:403-409.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Wyckhuys, K. A. G., R. L. Koch, R. R. Kula, and G. E. Heimpel. 2009. Potential exposure of a classical biological control agent of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines, on non-target aphids in North America. Biological Invasions 11:857-871.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Zhang Ying, Wu KongMing, K. A. G. Wyckhuys, and G. E. Heimpel. 2009. Effect of parasitism on flight behavior of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines. Biological Control 51:475-479.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

Zhang, Y., K. Wu, K. A. G. Wyckhuys, and G. E. Heimpel. 2009. Trade-Offs Between Flight and Fecundity in the Soybean Aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Journal of Economic Entomology 102:133-138.Ento-PDFicon-IMG Link to article

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