Dr. Kristine L. Grayson, Assistant Professor of Biology, has been awarded $105,648 from the United States Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for her project, Developing/Improving a Rearing System for Emerald Ash Borer.

Grayson explains, “For many invasive species, laboratory rearing is critical for studying the life cycle and testing management strategies. Emerald Ash Borer is an Asian beetle that recently invaded the Midwestern US, likely due to accidental transport in shipping cargo, that has spread rapidly and resulted in extensive mortality of ash trees. The biology and feeding behavior of this species has made it difficult to study and this project contributes to ongoing work to develop better captive rearing techniques.” 

Grayson will collaborate with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to support ongoing work to develop a better artificial diet and rearing system for this highly damaging species. 

Having taught at the University of Richmond since 2015, Dr. Grayson obtained her B.S. degree from Davidson College and her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, with Postdoctoral Fellowship positions at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and Virginia Commonwealth University. She has published widely in professional journals and previously received funding from the NSF for her research in invasion ecology. 

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is a multi-faceted Agency with a broad mission area that includes protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. These efforts support the overall mission of USDA, which is to protect and promote food, agriculture, natural resources and related issues.