Erica Nystrom Santacruz
When did you join the Salt Institute?
I’ve been with the group since the spring of 2013.
What insect(s) do you study?
Currently: Trissolcus japonicus, though future investigations may include additional parasitoids of the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys.
What do you research?
My current research is focused on the cold tolerance of potential biological control agents of BMSB. I’ve been focusing primarily on one species of parasitoid, T. japonicus, which is a natural enemy of BMSB in its native range, East Asia. This insect is a promising biological control agent due to its biology. T. japonicus has a short development time, a high number of generations per season, and high parasitism rates on BMSB in its native range. One important factor to consider regarding this potential biological control agent here in Minnesota is what it’s cold hardiness is since that will likely play a role in its ability to survive and establish.