Dr. Stefan T. Jaronski, Ph.D.
United States Department of Agriculture, ·
Agricultural Research Service (ARS),
Current research at Sidney centers on biocontrol of grasshoppers on U.S. rangeland, as well as continuation of older research on management of soil dwelling insect pests of various crops, including sugar beets and corn. Work concerns evaluating new technologies and new insect pathogenic fungi for the microbial control of grasshoppers, in close collaboration with USDA APHIS CPHST. S.Jaronski created small scale solid substrate mass production systems based on his industrial experience and provide technical advice about such technology worldwide.
As a side project he is studying the population genetics of Beauveria bassiana, derived using molecular techniques and comparing the molecular data with other phenotypical charactersitics of the more than 400 Beauveria isolates. The research is directed towards developing a practical mycoinsecticide, based on discovery of Metarhizium microsclerotia, that can be transferred to industry for commercialization for use against soil pest insects (sugarbeet root maggot, cabbage maggot, corn rootworm). The sugarbeet research is within the larger context of a biologically based management system for both pests and pathogens, using microorganisms, cultural practices, resistant/tolerant hybrids, and induced systemic response
Dr.S.Jaronski joined NPARL in March 2000 as an insect pathologist after a 17-year career in industry. After a Ph.D. program and two postdoctoral appointments concerning microbial control of mosquitoes, he did an abrupt left turn and (a) left the academic community for industry, (b) changed from medical entomology to agricultural pests. From 1983 to 1992, Dr.S.Jaronski worked at Abbott Laboratories as an insect pathologist, during which time research involved commercial development of Beauveria bassiana and Bacillus thuringiensis for use against a wide variety of insects. In 1992 he switched to Mycotech Corp., Butte MT, a small, venture-capital biotech group commercializing Beauveria-based mycoinsecticides. Llast position Dr.S.Jaronski prior to joining ARS was Manager of Biopesticide Research and Development for Mycotech.