Kerns Named Statewide Integrated Pest Management Coordinator

David Kerns in front of mural. Photo by Rob Williams

David Kerns. Photo by Rob Williams

COLLEGE STATION–The Department of Entomology and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service would like to welcome Dr. David Kerns to the faculty as Professor and Statewide Integrated Pest Management Coordinator.

Kerns started December 1 and is based in College station. Before joining A&M, he was the Jack Hamilton Regents Chair in Cotton Production in the Department of Entomology at Louisiana State University since April 2011 located at Winnsboro at the Macon Ridge Research Center.

At LSU, Kerns was responsible for conducting entomological research at Macon Ridge and St. Joseph branches of the LSU Agriculture Center’s Northeast Research Station. Kerns was in charge of research projects including pests, such as corn rootworm,  sugarcane aphids, fall armyworms, and Bt resistance management in both corn and cotton.

From 2007 – 2011 Kerns was Professor and Extension Entomologist Texas A&M AgriLife Extension located in Lubbock. At Lubbock, Kerns was responsible for conducting research and working with IPM agents to create relevant educational programs in cotton production for producers in the Texas High Plains area.

In addition to cotton, Kerns also provided technical pest management support for growers, Extension agents and specialists, and industry personnel regarding pests affecting the area.

In his new position Kerns joins a three-member administrative team that consists of himself as the Statewide IPM Coordinator who reports to the  Associate Department Head for Extension Entomology and the Department Head.   Kerns will directly supervise 19 Extension Program Specialists that are located throughout Texas.

Kerns will also be responsible for planning, creating, and executing extension education programs, and conducting applied research, and developing IPM programs for arthropod pests of crops in Extension Districts 8, 9 and 10.

He also will be working with scientists and agents in interdisciplinary teams to help develop solutions to arthropod related issues in agricultural production and to provide technical expertise supporting county agents, Extension Program Specialists – IPM, Extension Agents-IPM and producers.

“The IPM Program in Texas has a rich and highly renowned reputation and I want to continue that,” he said.

Associate Department Head for Extension Entomology Programs Dr. Charles Allen said he is looking forward to working with Kerns.

“Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Department of Entomology at A&M are very fortunate to have Dr. David Kerns returning to serve as IPM Coordinator for our IPM programs across the state.” Allen said. “We are fortunate to have Dr. Kerns back with us because we know and respect the good work he has done. During his time at Lubbock, he was a partner with IPM Agents on the High Plains and together they worked efficiently to serve the needs of cotton producers there. “

Allen also said that his experience while at LSU will help to bring in new ideas and partnerships that will help to make Texas IPM Program much stronger in the future.

“Since his move to Louisiana, he has been a partner and collaborator on major pest issues such as the invasive sugarcane aphid. His knowledge of agricultural entomology, ability to partner and work in teams and his leadership will serve him well in his new role,” Allen said. “Texas’ IPM Program is widely accepted as one of the best, if not the best, in the nation. We anticipate that under Dr. Kerns leadership the program will be even better.”

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