Douglas Landis, ESA Fellow (2016)

Dr. Douglas Landis, a professor in the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University (MSU), was elected as Fellow in 2016. He is internationally known for his research on the role of agricultural landscape structure in shaping patterns of insect biodiversity and in regulating arthropod-mediated ecosystem services.

Landis was born in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, in 1958. He received his B.A. in biology in 1981 from Goshen College. He received both his M.S. in 1984 and his Ph.D. in 1987 in entomology from North Carolina State University (NCSU). In 1988, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at NCSU and visiting assistant professor at Duke University, before accepting a position at MSU in 1988. As the MSU field crops extension entomologist, he investigated biological control of the alfalfa weevil, potato leafhopper, and European corn borer. In 1996, he shifted into a research/teaching role at MSU, focusing on insect ecology and biological control. While at MSU, Landis has served as associate director of the Center for Integrated Plant Systems, and from 2013–2104 as interim chairperson of the Department of Entomology. Landis held research leadership positions in the NSF-funded Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Ecological Research program since 2003, and as biodiversity team leader in the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center since 2007.

Landis and collaborators pioneered the use of landscape structure to explain and predict the impact of shifting land use on ecosystem services, discovering that simplification of agricultural landscapes is associated with decreased pest suppression and increased reliance on insecticidal controls. Landis has published 135 peer-reviewed papers and 25 book chapters, including the seminal 2000 Annual Review of Entomology’s “Habitat Management to Conserve Natural Enemies of Arthropod Pest in Agriculture.” He graduated 13 M.S. and eight Ph.D. students and served on the graduate committees of over 100 students. He also mentored 17 postdoctoral research scientists and 15 visiting scientists. Eleven of his former advisees hold professorships at U.S. and international institutions, while others serve as research scientists or educators with other universities, U.S. Department of Agriculture, MSU Extension, and in domestic and international nongovernmental organizations.

Landis has presented or coauthored more than 130 invited presentations and 201 contributed presentations. He received a 2013 MSU Distinguished Faculty Award and the 2013 Outstanding Alumnus Award from North Carolina State University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He was awarded the ESA recognition Award in Entomology in 2008 and multiple educational project awards from the Board Certified Entomologists of Mid-America (1996, 2001, and 2007). He served the International Organization for Biological Control, Nearctic Regional Section, as member at large, secretary/treasurer, and president. He serves on the editorial boards of Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata and Biological Control, and advises international projects in the Netherlands and Argentina.

Landis and Joy, his wife of 37 years, enjoy combining travel with running, hiking, and mountain biking. Their daughter, Allison, is a child therapist, and son, Jonathan, is a technology consultant.

(updated November, 2016)