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  Current research interests:

  

Agroecology: herbivores & natural enemies

  

Ecotoxicology/ Risk assessment/ Population dynamics modelling

  

Tropical ecology

   People: undergraduate research assistants

Farm 5, WSU Puyallup Research & Extension CenterMapping beetle trajectories in the fieldBroccoli plot surrounded by weedy borderJohn Stark spraying experimental plots with imidacloprid

 

Agroecology: herbivores and natural enemies    Back to top                                                                 

How do arthropods respond to habitat vegetation structure, composition, and spatial scale? These questions are central to understanding both basic and applied aspects of many plant-animal interactions, and serve nicely as a starting point for developing sustainable methods in organic farming as well as laying the groundwork for bridging small organic production with larger scale IPM-based agriculture. I use a combination of field experiments and mathematical models to explore how  increased vegetation diversity (e.g., intercropping/trap-cropping) and other interventions may be deployed across spatial scales to manage crop pest populations. I am also interested in the compatibility of biological control and pesticide use (see Ecotoxicology research below). My fieldwork approaches include working with farmers to explore sustainability in commercial crop systems, as well as conducting manipulative field experiments. Furthermore, I explore population dynamics and herbivore/natural enemy movement behavior using models parameterized with life history traits and dispersal measurements. 

Selected publications:

Vargas, R.I., Stark, J.D., Banks, J.E., Leblanc, L., Manoukis, S., and S. Peck. 2013. Spatial dynamics of two Oriental fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) parasitoids, Fopius arisanus (Sonan) and Diachasmimorpha longicaudata (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), in a guava orchard in Hawaii. Environmental Entomology 42(5): 888-901. [DOI link to article]

Banks, J.E., Hannon, L., Hanson, P., Dietsch, T., Castro, S., Urena, N., and M. Chandler. 2013. Effects of proximity to forest habitat on hymenoptera diversity in a Costa Rican coffee agroecosystem. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 89(1): 60-68. [View/download article]

Banks, J.E., Cline, E.T., Castro, S., Urena, N., Nichols, K., Hannon, L., Singer, R., and Chandler, M. 2011. Effects of synthetic fertilizer on coffee yields and ecosystem services: soil glomalin and parasitoids in a Costa Rican coffee agroecosystem. Journal of Crop Improvement 25: 650-663.

Banks, J.E., and J.D. Stark. 2011. Effects of a nicotinic insecticide, Imidacloprid and vegetation diversity on movement of a common predator Coccinella septempunctata. Biopesticides International 7(2): 113-122.

Banks, J.E., Bommarco, R., and B. Ekbom. 2008. Population response to resource separation in conservation biological control.  Biological Control 47: 141-146. [View/download accepted article] [DOI link to article]

Banks, J.E., Sandvik, P., and L. Keesecker. 2007. Beetle (Coleoptera) and spider (Araneae) diversity in a mosaic of farmland, edge, and tropical forest habitats in western Costa Rica. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 83(2): 152-160. [View/download article]

Banks, J.E. 2004. Divided culture: integrating agriculture and conservation biology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2(10): 537-545. [View/download article]

Banks, J.E. and J.D. Stark. 2004. Aphid response to  vegetation diversity and insecticide applications. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 103(3): 595-599. [DOI link to article]

Banks, J.E. and C.L. Yasenak. 2003. Effects of plot vegetation diversity and spatial scale on Coccinella septempunctata movement  in the absence of prey. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 108:197-204. [DOI link to article]

Bommarco, R. and J.E. Banks. 2003. Scale as modifier in vegetation diversity experiments: effects on herbivores and predators. Oikos 102: 440-448. [DOI link to article]

Banks, J.E. 2003. Influence of plant diversity on herbivores and their natural enemies, In Koul, O. & G.S. Dhaliwal (eds.) Predators and Parasitoids (Advances in Biopesticide Research Series), Taylor & Francis, London. pp. 111-120. View Table of Contents

Rńmert, B., Hellqvist, S., Ekbom, B., and J. E. Banks.  2001.  Assessment of trap crops for Lygus spp. in lettuce.  International Journal of Pest Management 47: 273-276.

Banks, J.E. 2000.  Effects of weedy field margins on Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in a broccoli agroecosystem.  Pan-Pacific Entomologist 76(2): 95-101. [View/download article]

Banks, J.E.  2000.  Natural vegetation in agroecosystems: pattern and scale of heterogeneity.  In Ekbom, B., M. Irwin & Y. Robert (eds.) Interchanges of insects between agricultural and surrounding landscapes.  Kluwer Press, Dordrecht. pp. 215-229. View Table of Contents

Banks, J.E.  1999.  Differential response of two agroecosystem predators, Pterostichus melanarius (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and Coccinella septempunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), to habitat composition and fragmentation scale manipulations. The Canadian Entomologist 131: 645-658. [View/download article]

Banks, J.E. and B. Ekbom. 1999. Modeling herbivore movement and colonization: pest management potential of intercropping and trap cropping.  Agricultural and Forest Entomology 1:165-170. [DOI link to article]

Banks, J.E.  1998.  The scale of landscape fragmentation influences herbivore response to vegetation heterogeneity. Oecologia 117(1/2): 239-246. [DOI link to article]

 

 

Evolutionary dynamics in cancer: from mathematical models to clinical therapies, Almagro Spain, Sept. 2010The International Workshop on Simulation and Modeling, Kobe, Japan October 2011Collaborating with R. Bommarco in UppsalaWith J.D. Stark & H.T. Banks (and Neem-based toothpaste)

 

Ecotoxicology/ Risk assessment/ Population dynamics modeling      Back to top

The effects of toxicants such as pesticides on both target and non-target organisms have historically been studied with little consideration of ecological factors such as population age-structure and sublethal effects.  Together with Dr. John Stark, an environmental  toxicologist from Washington State University (where I am also an Adjunct Faculty member in the Department of Entomology), I have been working on evaluating methodologies used in toxicological risk assessment. In particular, we have been examining the merits of considering  population-level endpoints  (as opposed to more traditional approaches such as use of the LC50) in determining the effects of pesticides and other contaminants on biological populations and communities.  In addition to conducting lab and field experiments, we have an ongoing collaboration with mathematicians from North Carolina State University, exploring the use of different mathematical models to  describe population dynamics in risk assessment data.

More generally, I am interested in how factors such as competition and disturbance interact with life history traits to affect population dynamics for a variety of organisms, with a focus on applications to agriculture and conservation. Most recently, I have been working with colleagues at Washington State University and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to better understand how the use of common species as surrogates in risk assessment may mislead us in our efforts to protect beneficial or rare/endangered species in both natural and managed systems.

Selected publications:

Banks, J.E., Stark, J.D., Vargas, R.I., and A.S. Ackleh. 2014. Deconstructing the surrogate species concept: a life history approach to the protection of ecosystem services. Ecological Applications 24:770-778. [DOI link to article]

Castro-Tanzi, S., Flores, M., Wanner, N., Dietsch, T.V., Banks, J.E., Urena-Retana, N., and M. Chandler. 2014. Evaluation of a non-destructive sampling method and a statistical model for predicting fruit load on individual coffee (Coffea arabica) trees. Scientia Horticulturae 167:117-126. [DOI link to article]

Macfadyen, S., Banks, J.E., Stark, J.D., and A.P. Davies. 2014. Using semi-field studies to examine the effects of pesticides on mobile terrestrial invertebrates. Annual Review of Entomology 59: 383-404. [Download/view article]

Banks, J.E., Ackleh, A.S., and J.D. Stark. 2012. Population models & data in applied ecology: Surrogate species. In Kojima, F., Kobayashi, F. & H. Nakamoto (eds.) Simulation and Modeling related to Computational Science and Robotics Technology (Proceedings Series). IOS Press, Amsterdam, Netherlands. pp. 34-43.

Banks, J.E., and J.D. Stark. 2011. Effects of a nicotinic insecticide, Imidacloprid and vegetation diversity on movement of a common predator Coccinella septempunctata. Biopesticides International 7(2): 113-122. [View/download]

Banks, J.E., Stark, J.D., Vargas, R., and A.S. Ackleh. 2011. Parasitoids and ecological risk assessment: Can toxicity data developed for one species be used to protect an entire guild? Biological Control 59: 336-339. [DOI link to article]

Stark, J.D., and J.E. Banks. 2011. Evaluating the effects of pesticides on target and non-target organisms: population-level approaches and models. Biopesticides International 7(2): 71-81.

Banks, J.E., Ackleh A.S., and J.D. Stark. 2010. The use of surrogate species in risk assessment: using life history data to safeguard against false negatives. Risk Analysis 30: 175-182. [DOI link to article]

Banks, H. T.; Banks, John; and Joyner, S. L. 2009. Estimation in time-delay modeling of insecticide-induced mortality. Journal of Inverse and Ill-Posed Problems 17: 101–125. [View/download]

Banks, J.E. and J.D. Stark. 2009. Ecotoxicology: life history data and population models, In Santos, E.B. (ed.) Ecotoxicology Research Developments, Nova Science Publishers, Inc. [View Table of Contents]

Banks, J.E., Dick, L.K., Banks, H.T., and J.D. Stark. 2008. Time-varying vital rates in ecotoxicology: selective pesticides and aphid population dynamics. Ecological Modelling 210: 155-160. [DOI link to article]

Banks, H.T., Banks, J.E., and S. L. Joyner. 2008. Estimation in time-delay modeling of insecticide-induced mortality. Center for Research in Scientific Computation Report, North Carolina State University, CRSC-TR08-15. [View/download report]

Banks, J.E., Bommarco, R., and B. Ekbom. 2008. Population response to resource separation in conservation biological control.  Biological Control 47: 141-146. [View/download accepted article] [DOI link to article]

Banks, H.T, Banks, J.E., Joyner, S.L., and J.D. Stark. 2008. Dynamic models for insect mortality due to exposure to insecticides. Mathematical and Computer Modelling 48: 316-332. . [DOI link to article]

Stark, J.D., Vargas, R., and J.E. Banks. 2007. Incorporating ecologically relevant measures of pesticide effect for estimating the compatibility of pesticides and biocontrol agents. Journal of Economic Entomology 100: 1027-1032. [DOI link to article]

Kramarz, P., Banks, J.E., and J.D. Stark. 2007. Density-dependent response of the pea aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) to imidacloprid. Journal of Entomological Science 42: 200-206. [View/download article]

Banks, H.T., Banks, J.E., Dick, L.K., and J.D. Stark. 2007. Estimation of dynamic rate parameters in insect populations undergoing sublethal exposure to pesticides.  Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 69: 2139-2180. [DOI link to article]

Adams, B.M., Banks, H.T., Banks, J. E. and J.D. Stark.  2005. Population dynamics models in plant-insect herbivore-pesticide interactions.  Mathematical Biosciences 196: 39-64. [DOI link to article]

Banks, J.E. and J.D. Stark. 2004. Aphid response to  vegetation diversity and insecticide applications. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 103(3): 595-599.  [DOI link to article]

Stark, J.D., Banks, J.E.,and R. Vargas. 2004. How risky is risk assessment? The role that life history strategies play in susceptibility of species to pesticides and other toxicants.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101(3):732-736. [View/download article]

Stark, J.D., Banks, J.E. and S. Acheampong. 2004. Estimating susceptibility of biological control agents to pesticides: influence of life history strategies and population structure. Biological Control 29: 392-398. [DOI link to article]

Stark, J.D. and J.E. Banks. 2003. Population-level effects of pesticides and other toxicants on arthropods. Annual Review of Entomology. 48: 505-519. [DOI link to article]

Stark, J.D. and J.E. Banks. 2001. “Selective pesticides”: are they less hazardous to the environment? BioScience 51: 980-982. [View/download article]

Stark, J.D. and J.E. Banks. 2001.  The toxicologists’s and ecologists’ point of view – unification through a demographic approach.  In Kammenga R. & R. Laskowski (eds.) Demography in Ecotoxicology.  Wiley & Sons. [View Table Of Contents] 

Banks, J.E. and J.D. Stark. 2000. The interplay of pesticides and agroecosystem diversity. Pesticide Outlook 11(2): 48-50. [View/download article]

Banks, J.E. and B. Ekbom. 1999. Modeling herbivore movement and colonization: pest management potential of intercropping and trap cropping.  Agricultural and Forest Entomology 1:165-170. [DOI link to article]

Banks, J.E. and J.D. Stark. 1998. What is ecotoxicology? An ad-hoc grab bag or an interdisciplinary science? Integrative Biology 5:1-9. [View/dowloand article]

Banks, J.E. 1997.  Do imperfect tradeoffs affect the extinction-debt phenomenon?  Ecology 78(5): 1597-1601. [DOI link to article]

Holmes, E.E., Lewis, M.A., Banks, J.E., and D. Veit. 1994. Partial differential equations in ecology: spatial interactions and population dynamics.  Ecology 75(1): 17-29.[DOI link to article]

     

With Nati & Sebas at El Marques lab in San MarcosWith Juan Manuel Dupuy in Kaxil-KiuicHarvesting malaise trap with Don RigoMeasuring ground cover in GedeSampling farm habitat in Gede

 

Tropical ecology           Back to top                                                                            

 

Coffee & biodiversity

Over the past five years I have been working on a collaborative project with scientists from Earthwatch Institute and Coopetarraz˙, a coffee grower cooperative in the Tarraz˙ region of Costa Rica aimed at better understanding how farmer practices influence coffee yields and quality as well as environmental health.  I have been working with students from the University of Washington along with colleagues from the Earthwatch Institute (including local Costa Rican scientists Sebastian Castro Tanzi and Natalia Ure˝a Retana) to analyze the effects of varying levels of herbicide, fertilizer, density of shade trees, and other practices on coffee plant yields and farm condition/characteristics. As part of this effort, we have been comparing arthropod biodiversity across a wide range of coffee grower practices and landscape characteristics. Most recently we have been focusing on the role that forest fragments have on pollinator populations and coffee yields, working in the spring and summer with groups of Earthwatch volunteers to collect data.

Birds, arthropods, and elephants

The past few years I have been exploring the link between a suite of endangered bird species (most of which are insectivorous) and their arthropod prey in East Africa. My first project concerned the distribution of a Threatened thrush, the East Coast Akalat (Sheppardia gunningi), and its prey in the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest in coastal Kenya.  Working with Colin Jackson, a local ornithologist at the Mwamba Field Study Centre and Bird Observatory in Watamu, UWT undergraduates, and colleagues from ICIPE and NMK, we have been comparing spatial distributions of the insectivorous Akalat with arthropod diversity in different habitat types within Arabuko-Sokoke; furthermore, I'm interested in how disturbance caused by African elephants (Loxodonta africana) within a managed reserve may influence distributions and abundance of both birds and arthropods.  See recent article on this project in UW Columns magazine here.

More recently, I have been involved in a collaboration with Colin Jackson and David MacFarlane (Michigan State University) assessing the recovery of a restoration project in Gede Ruins National Monument. This forest was planted with native trees some twenty years ago, and now we are looking at how plant, arthropod, and bird populations have recovered relative to nearby reference sites - and how different planting techniques (e.g., direct seeding, natural regeneration, etc.) have fared.

Farmland, forests, & biodiversity

How much do agricultural areas contribute to biodiversity conservation in the tropics? Together with UW students from the Seattle and Tacoma campuses, I have been sampling arthropod diversity on farmland and adjacent tropical forest fragments in the rural farming village of Mastatal, near Santiago de Puriscal, Costa Rica, a few hours west and south of San Jose.  I'm particularly interested in how farm and near-farm habitats may affect insect diversity in ways that may benefit both farms and conservation. Furthermore,  we have also conducted some samples in nearby La Cangreja National Park, (established in 2002). By comparing arthropod diversity among these different habitats, we hope to better understand the role different habitats in landscapes traditionally regarded as "marginal" (such as agroecosystems) may play in terms of both production and conservation.

Selected Publications:

Banks, J.E., Hannon, L.M., Dietsch, T.V., and M. Chandler. 2014. Effects of seasonality and farm proximity to forest on hymenoptera in Tarraz˙ coffee farms. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 10(2):128-132. [View/link to article]

Banks, J.E., Hannon, L., Hanson, P., Dietsch, T., Castro, S., Urena, N., and M. Chandler. 2013. Effects of proximity to forest habitat on hymenoptera diversity in a Costa Rican coffee agroecosystem. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 89(1): 60-68. [View/download article]

Banks, J.E., Jackson, C.M., Baya, A., Minella, H., Nitz, M., Hitchcock, J., and D. Bruinsma. 2012. Forest type preference of an Afrotropical thrush (East Coast Akalat, Sheppardia gunningi sokokensis) in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Kenya. Ostrich 83(2): 105-108.

Banks, J.E., Cline, E.T., Castro, S., Urena, N., Nichols, K., Hannon, L., Singer, R., and Chandler, M. 2011. Effects of synthetic fertilizer on coffee yields and ecosystem services: soil glomalin and parasitoids in a Costa Rican coffee agroecosystem. Journal of Crop Improvement 25: 650-663.

Banks, J.E., Jackson, C., Hannon, L.M., Thomas, C.M., Baya, A., and L. Njoroge. 2010. The cascading effects of elephant presence/absence on arthropods and an Afrotropical thrush in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Kenya. African Journal of Ecology 48(4): 1030-1038. [DOI link to article]

Banks, J.E., Sandvik, P., and L. Keesecker. 2007. Beetle (Coleoptera) and spider (Araneae) diversity in a mosaic of farmland, edge, and tropical forest habitats in western Costa Rica. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 83(2): 152-160. [View/download article]

Banks, J.E. 2004. Divided culture: integrating agriculture and conservation biology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2(10): 537-545. [View/download article]

 

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