AgBioResearch Forest Entomologist Goes Prime Time with EAB Awareness

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Deb McCullough, the only forest entomologist at MSU, appeared on the Weather Channel to discuss emerald ash borer. (view larger image)

As the only forest entomologist on campus, MAES scientist Deb McCullough is used to being the point person for all manner of insects that attack trees. So when the folks at The Weather Channel were looking for information on the emerald ash borer, McCullough was one of the first people they called.

McCullough, along with former graduate student Andrea Anulewicz, current graduate student Andrew Tluzcek and EAB communications manager Robin Usborne, are featured in the Forecast Earth show that will air on The Weather Channel at 5 p.m. June 7. Watch the segment online.

McCullough and her colleagues discuss what EAB is doing to communities, the research she and others are doing to combat the pest, and what the loss of ash trees will mean for Michigan and the United States.

“People are beginning to realizing that this pest could wipe out an entire species of tree in North America,” McCullough says. “The ramifications of this are widespread. This was a good opportunity to get information out to the public, even in areas that currently are not infested.”

Since its first identification near Detroit in 2002, the EAB has killed about 30 million ash trees in southeastern Michigan alone and cost municipalities, property owners, nursery operators and forest product industries tens of millions of dollars. The bug also has been found in Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ontario, and quarantines and fines have been imposed to prevent people from moving ash trees, logs or firewood out of infested areas.

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