Forest Entomologist Todd Johnson of LSU to Share His Research

"Forests cover approximately 30 percent of the Earth's landmass and provide important ecosystem services that include food, fuel, and timber, as well as habitat for diverse organisms. Threats posed to forests by invasive and pestiferous species are rapidly growing. Global change, an umbrella term that includes may human-mediated processes such as climate change and international trade, is altering the structure and functioning of forests."

So writes forest entomologist Todd Johnson assistant professor at Louisiana State University, in the abstract of his seminar, to be hosted Monday, Jan. 29 by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.

His seminar, "Characterizing Ecological Interactions of Arthropods in Forests under Global Change" is at 4:10 p.m., in 122 Briggs Hall and on Zoom. The Zoom link:

"Our recently formed research group studies how natural variation impacts the outcomes of interactions between trees, herbivores, and the natural enemies of herbivores," Johnson says. "My seminar will provide an overview of our ongoing and developing studies to better understand how variation in chemistry across the landscape shapes the fitness of woodboring insects, and how this variation can be harnessed to optimize management of forest ecosystems."

Johnson says he grew up in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where he spent his youth mountain biking, reading, and learning about computers. "I decided to study biology after taking a course in botany my freshman year of college. In that class I discovered the field of ethnobotany, which drove my interest in the diversity of chemicals produced by plants. Now, my interests lie within how chemicals produced by plants and insects, as well as other types of information can influence the decisions that insects make."

Johnson holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Moravian College, a master's degree in entomology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to accepting his position at LSU in the fall of 2022, he was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of New Hampshire.  

For Zoom technical issues, contact seminar coordinator Brian Johnson, associate professor, at See complete list of seminars for the winter quarter.