William Lamp

  • William Lamp
  • Email: lamp@umd.edu
  • Office Phone: 301-405-3959
  • Fax: 301-314-9290
  • Office: University of Maryland * Department of Entomology * 4138 Plant Sciences Building * College Park, MD 20742


Dr. Bill Lamp was hired in 1985 at the University of Maryland to "develop a program emphasizing integrated pest management (IPM) in agro-ecosystems." IPM is a method of managing pests developed as a result of problems associated with the use of pesticides during the 1950-70's. It relies on non-chemical approaches, such as biological and cultural controls, to reduce pest populations in an economical and environmentally-safe way. IPM requires detailed knowledge of the biology of pests as well as of the implications of new pest management technologies on the environment. Much of his IPM research has focused on plant-insect interactions and host plant injury associated with the potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae, a major sap-feeding pest of many crops in the landscape. In addition, he studies the ecology of three invasive sap-feeding insects, the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, the kudzu bug, Megacopta cribraria, and now the spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula. In addition, because of his long-term interest in aquatic insects and the departmental need for coursework and expertise in aquatic entomology, he also took the initiative to develop a program on the impact of pest management practice and land use on aquatic invertebrate communities. These aspects of his research are tied together by their shared focus on issues of sustainable agriculture and natural resource management.

Bill has 3 edited books, 15 book chapters, and 59 refereed publications on pest and aquatic insect ecology. He has been awarded 65 grants, of which he has been Principal Investigator on 52 with total funding of over $3M. His work informs management and decision-making to reduce the impact of insect pests and to restore natural ecosystem services provided by and for insect species, by improving understanding of species interactions within the human environment. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Integrated Pest Management, Biology of Insects, Aquatic Entomology, Freshwater Biology, and now a new honors seminar entitled Insect Biodiversity: The Good, The Bad, and The Weird. In addition to mentoring 3 postdoctoral researchers, he has graduated 5 Master's and 11 Ph.D. students, placing them in academic, private sector, and government positions. Finally, he has mentored 15 high school and 68 undergraduate students, including 12 Entomology Honors students. Throughout his professional life, he has contributed to and achieved excellence in entomology so as to advance scientific knowledge and the University of Maryland.

In summary, his work on plant-insect interactions and aquatic entomology has integrated molecular, physiological, community and ecosystem approaches to address IPM issues and the consequences of field- and landscape-level processes. His research helps define his unique role in teaching and outreach activities; and his interaction with students and stakeholders helps generate new directions for research. His combined activities in research, teaching, and outreach have enabled him to foster the discovery of knowledge, the development of students, the management of insect pests, and overall to contribute to the University and the science of entomology.

Research Interests

The theme of my research is the ecology of insects in the human environment, and my projects align within three broad fields: integrated pest management (IPM) of forage crops, understanding ecology of emerging insect pests, and the implications of IPM and land use on invertebrates in streams and wetlands. Read more about our projects on the "Research" section of the website. Many recent articles are available under "Publications" as PDFs.

Synergistic Activities

1. Led interdisciplinary project on non-target risk assessment of GMO corn on stream invertebrates, resulting in numerous refereed and non-refereed articles and speaking engagements. One refereed article was the result of a collaboration of industry, government, and university scientists on risk assessment for GMOs and aquatic systems.
2. Worked within interdisciplinary collaborations with forage scientists, leading to 3 books, 6 book chapters, 13 funded research proposals, and 2 funded conferences.
3. Have served as science editor on four insect books published by National Geographic Kids.
4. Have engaged the public each year since 2002 with a demonstration of aquatic insects called "Discover a Swamp", presented at Maryland Day.
5. Served as a mentor for individualized research for 68 undergraduates, 15 high school students, and 5 high school teachers.
6. Coordinated research and extension education efforts in Maryland centered on the spread of the invasive soybean pest, kudzu bug (Megacopta cribraria), and the emerging nuisance black fly pest (Simulium jenningsi).