ESA Selects Liaison to EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs

Lanham, MD; Oct 1, 2012 – Dr. Mark E. Whalon, professor of entomology and the director of the Center for Integrated Plant Systems at Michigan State University, has been selected by the Entomological Society of America (ESA) as its second Subject Matter Expert (SME) and Liaison to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs. Dr. Whalon succeeds Dr. Gene Reagan of Louisiana State University, who clearly demonstrated the value of the role to the US-EPA and the ESA.

Mark received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Vermont, and his Ph.D. in entomology from Pennsylvania State University. He joined Michigan State University as an assistant professor in 1979. He has focused on applied research in tree fruits, vegetables, and row crops in Michigan and throughout the U.S. He is an international expert on integrated pest management, insect resistance management, trade policy and invasive species. He has worked extensively in both conventional and organic production systems and has a long list of recognitions and honors.

Dr. Whalon has been an advocate for agriculture in Washington, D.C. for decades. He has worked on key issues like the FQPA, the Endangered Species Act, land use, pollinators, the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides, fumigants, Pesticide Registration Improvement Acts I & II, the Whalon laboratory-IRAC International: Arthropod Pesticide Resistance Database (, reduced risk alternatives, endocrine disruption, GMOs, invasive species, maximum residue limits, Century 21 Toxicology, the US-EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, and the Pesticide Program Dialog Committee.

The ESA is delighted to have someone with Dr. Whalon’s experience and dedication to support the mission of the ESA-SME to EPA. The objective is two-fold: 1) to provide EPA and USDA staff with access to entomological information so the best science is used in making decisions on issues involving insect control, quarantine, and movement regulations, and 2) to communicate entomological issues that concern the U.S. government to the membership of ESA. Summaries of the SME experiences are recorded in trip reports and can be found in the Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section of the ESA web site. The overall goal of the ESA-SME is to improve the fundamental knowledge of federal regulatory scientists and identify entomological research priorities.

The Entomological Society of America is the largest organization serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines in the world. Founded in 1889, ESA today has more than 6,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Members are students, researchers, teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, consultants, and hobbyists. For more information, please visit