Dr. Leslie C. Lewis, a research leader with the USDA-ARS, is a recognized national and international leader in research on diseases of insect pests of corn, and on multi-trophic relationships between insects, insect pathogens, beneficial insects, and plants. His work to define relationships of insect pathogens, macrobiological control organisms, and chemical insecticides contributed significantly to the field of integrated pest management. This work included the definition of a unique tritrophic relationship with Beauveria bassiana, the corn plant, and the European corn borer.
He initiated and directed research on the effect of transgenic crops and non-target organisms, and is directing research on developing insect resistance management programs for transgenic crops. He is the author or co-author of 160 scientific publications and has made more than 75 paper presentations.
He began his career as a technician at the European Corn Borer Laboratory (later named the Corn Insects Research Unit, Ankeny, Iowa). He became project leader of the Insect Pathology and Biological Control Projects in 1968, and in 1990 became the leader of the Research Unit.
In 1997, he became research leader of the Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research Unit, which was formed by joining the Corn Insects and Forage Crops Research Units in Ames, IA. As an adjunct professor of entomology at Iowa State University (ISU), he has directed 18 graduate students in their studies.
Dr. Lewis will retire from the USDA-ARS in September to become chair of the Department of Entomology at ISU. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in animal science from the University of Vermont, and his Ph.D. in entomology from ISU in 1970.
(updated September, 2008)