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Diane G Alston

Diane G Alston

Professor and Co-Director Graduate Program
Faculty: Biology Faculty
Location:  BNR 231
Office Phone:  435 797-2516
Fax:  435 797-1575
Utah State University
Department of Biology
UMC 5305
Logan, UT 84322-5305

Lab:                   BNR 210
Lab Phone:        797-0054



My research interests are integrated pest management and development and validation of biorational technologies for key horticultural pests on fruits and vegetables.  My research focus is on learning about the mechanisms involved in host plant-pest and pest-pest interactions, and field- and landscape-scale insect ecology and pest management.

Current Graduate Students in my Lab:

Andrew Tebeau, PhD, "European earwig in peach orchards of northren Utah: life history, crop injury, and effects of orchard management and habitat manipulation upon population dynamics"

Bonnie Bunn, MS, "Landscape-scale onion thrips population ecology"

Currently Funded Research Projects:

"Organic stone fruit production: optimizing water use, fertility, pest management, fruit quality, and economics", USDA AFRI Organic Research and Education Initiative, 2010-13 (J. Reeve, PI; B. Black; C. Ransom; D. Alston) 

"IpmPIPE and innovative diagnostic tools for onion growers", USDA NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative, 2010-13 (D. Alston, PI; D. Drost; C. Nischwitz)

"Cultural management of onion thrips and iris yellow spot virus", USDA NIFA Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE), 2008-11 (J. Reeve, PI; D. Alston; D. Drost; C. Nischwitz)

"Cherry fruit fly control with GF-120 killing stations", Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant), 2010-13 (D. Alston, PI)

"Earwig trapping and control in peach orchards", Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant), 2010-13 (D. Alston, PI; M. Murray)

"Evaluation of raspberry varieties for yield, quality, and susceptibility to insect caneborers", Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant), 2010-13 (D. Alston, PI; B. Black)

"The European earwig in peach orchards of northern Utah", Utah Agricultural Experiment Station (UAES) Grants Program, 2011-13 (D. Alston, PI; A. Tebeau)

"Development and demonstration of tree fruit IPM technologies at the USU Kaysville Research Farm", Utah Agricultural Experiment Station (UAES), 2006-11 (D. Alston, PI; B. Black)

"Insect caneborers in raspberry and blackberry: biology, phenology, and management", Utah Agricultural Experiment Station (UAES), 2009-13 (D. Alston, PI)


I serve as the Utah Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coordinator. This program aims to increase the implementation of IPM on Utah lands (agricultural, urban, range, and forested) through demonstration and education. The Utah Extension IPM program is an interdisciplinary collaboration that involves faculty and staff from across the state.  Ms. Marion Murray, IPM Project Leader, is the key professional staff person who manages the program.

Currently Funded Extension Projects: 

"Utah Extension integrated pest management program", USDA NIFA EIPM Coordination Program, 2010-2013 (D. Alston, PI; M. Murray)

"Western region small farm-IPM working group", USDA NIFA EIPM Support Program, 2010-13 (T. Grasswitz, PI; numerous co-PIs)

"Pests of tre West: first-detector program for small-scale farmers", USDA APHIS, 2010-12 (T. Grasswitz, PI; numerous co-PIs)

"Development of IPM outreach materials for Utah and Colorado tree fruit growers",  Western IPM Center (USDA NIFA), 2010-11 (M. Murray, PI; D. Alston, H. Larsen)

"Survey to assess IPM implementation in Utah vegetable crops", Western IPM Center (USDA NIFA), 2011-12 (M. Murray, PI; D. Alston, D. Drost)


Teach 5 lectures in Applied Entomology (Biol 4500) - Spring semester



Research Publications

Yee, W. L. and D. G. Alston.  2011.  Behavioral responses, rate of mortality, and oviposition of western cherry fruit fly exposed to malathion, zeta-cypermethrin, and spinetoram.  Journal of Pest Science DOI 10.1007/s10340-011-0388-8.

Barbour, J. D., J. G. Millar, J. Rodstein, A. M. Ray, D. G. Alston, M. Rejzek, J. D. Dutcher, and L. M. Hanks.  2011.  Synthetic 3,5-dimethyldodecanoic acid serves as general attractant for multiple species of Prionus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae).  Annals of the Entomological Society of America 104: 588-593.

Texeira, L. A. F., L. J. Gut, R. Issacs, and D. G. Alston.  2009.  Reproductive maturity of cherry fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) in managed and natural habitats.  Environmental Entomology 38: 955-961.

Pereault, R. J., M. E. Whalon, and D. G. Alston.  2009.  Field efficacy of entomopathogenic fungi and nematodes targeting caged last-instar plum curculio (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Michigan cherry and apple orchards.  Environmental Entomology 38: 1126-1134.

Kim, H. G. and D. G. Alston. 2008. Potential of two entomopathogenic nematodes for suppression of plum curculio (Conotrachelus nenuphar, Coleoptera: Curculionidae) life stages in northern climates. Environmental Entomology 37: 1272-1279.

Rangel D.E.N., Alston D.G., and Roberts D.W. . 2008. Effects of physical and nutritional stress conditions during culture on conidial germination speed, adhesion to host cuticle, and virulence of Metarhizium anisopliae, an entomopathogenic fungus. Mycological Research doi: 10.1016.

Tepedino, V. J., D. G. Alston, B. A. Bradley**, T. R. Toler, and T. L. Griswold. 2007. Orchard pollination in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, U.S.A. Honeybees or native bees? . Biodiversity and Conservation DOI 10.1007/s10531-007-9164-8 (12 pp.).

Alston, D. G., V. J. Tepedino, B. A. Bradley, T. R. Toler, T. L. Griswold, and S. M. Messinger. 2007. Effects of the insecticide phosmet on solitary bee foraging and nesting in orchards of Capitol Reef National Park, Utah . Environmental Entomology 36 (4): 811-816.

Yee, W. L. and D. G. Alston. 2006. Effects of spinosad, spinosad bait, and chloronicotinyl insecticides on mortality and control of adult and larval western cherry fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 99 (5): 1722-1732.

Alston, D. G., D. E. N. Rangel, L. A. Lacey, H. G. Golez, J. J. Kim, and D. W. Roberts. 2005. Evaulation of novel fungal and nematode isolates for control of Conotrachelus nenuphar (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) larvae. Biological Control 35: 163-171.

Alston, D. G. and S. V. Thomson. 2004. Effects of fungicide residues on the survival, fecundity and predation of the mites Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) and Galendromus occidentalis (Acari: Phytoseiidae) . Journal of Economic Entomology 97 (3): 950-956.

Alston, D.G., B. S. Sipes, J. Uchida, C. L. Chia, and D. P. Schmitt. 2003. Inter-cycle cover crops for management of plant parasitic nematodes and root-rotting organisms in papaya. International Journal of Nematology 13: 163-172.

Alston, D. G., B. S. Sipes, J. Uchida, D. P. Schmitt, and C. L. Chia. 2003. Interactive effects of Rotylenchulus reniformis and Phytophthora palmivora on papaya (Carica papaya L.) survival and growth in greenhouses. Nematropica 33: 69-81.

Reding, M. E., D. G. Alston, S. V. Thomson, and A. V. Stark. 2001. Association of powdery mildew and spider mite populations in apple and cherry orchards. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 84: 177-186.

Martin-R, M., J.R. Cox, F. Ibarra-F, D.G. Alston, R.E. Banner, and J.C. Malechek. 1999. Spittlebug and buffelgrass responses to summer fires in Mexico. Journal of Range Management 52: 621-625.

Alston, D. G. and M. E. Reding. 1998. Factors influencing adoption and educational outreach of integrated pest management . Journal of Extension 36(3) (6 pages).

Martin-R, M., F. Ibarra-F., J. R. Cox, D. G. Alston, and G. A. Rasmussen. 1996. Fire effects on spittlebug populations on buffelgrass pastures in the Sonoran Desert. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report RM-GTR-289: 169-174.

Leuszler, H. K., V. J. Tepedino, and D. G. Alston. 1996. The reproductive biology of purple coneflower in southwestern North Dakota. Prairie Naturalist 28(2): 91-102.

Martin, R. M., J. R. Cox, D. G. Alston, and F. Ibarra F.1995. Spittlebug (Homoptera: Cercopidae) life cycle on buffelgrass in northwestern Mexico. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 88: 471-478.

Peach, M. L., D. G. Alston, and V. J. Tepedino. 1995. Sublethal effects of carbaryl bran bait on nesting performance, parental investment, and offspring size and sex ratio of thealfalfa leafcutting bee (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Environmental Entomology 24: 34-39.

Peach, M. L., D. G. Alston, and V. J. Tepedino. 1994. Bees and bran bait: is carbaryl bran bait lethal to alfalfa leafcutting bee (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) adults or larvae?Journal of Economic Entomology 87: 311-317.

Alston, D. G.1994. Effect of apple orchard floor vegetation on density and dispersal. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 50: 73-84.


Extension Publications

See (fact sheets, bulletins, slideshows, reports, etc.) for current outreach publications.