Dr. Rick Roush, ESA Fellow (2019)

Dr. Rick Roush, a professor in the Department of Entomology and dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Pennsylvania State University, was elected as Fellow in 2019. Rick is recognized internationally as a leading authority in research in resistance management to conventional insecticides, herbicides, and GM crops; biological control; and IPM. He is also recognized internationally as an academic administrator, with significant impacts in extension and sustainable management.

Roush was born and grew up in San Diego, California. He received a B.S. in 1976 and Ph.D. in 1979 in entomology from the University of California (UC)—Davis and UC—Berkeley, respectively, his Ph.D. with Professor Marjorie Hoy. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Texas A&M University with Professors S.B. Vinson and F.W. Plapp, then a faculty member at Mississippi State University (1981-1986), Cornell University (1987-1995), and University of Adelaide, Australia (1995-2003). While at Adelaide, he was selected as director and chief executive officer of the national Research Centre for Weed Management (1998-2003) before returning to UC—Davis as director of the statewide IPM Program (2003-2006). In 2006, Rick was appointed dean, University of Melbourne School of Land & Environment, and later appointed dean at Penn State (2014).

Roush's contributions in research have extended over four decades and resulted in more than 130 referred journal articles, books, and book chapters, as well as dozens of other articles for scientists and the general public. Roush has  had a leading role in developing and implementing what have proven to be highly successful two-gene strategies for delaying resistance to Bt transgenic crops, including  publishing a seminal modeling paper documenting the key features of what would make successful two-toxin crops. Roush then collaborated, beginning at Cornell with Elizabeth Earle and Anthony Shelton, to demonstrate IRM strategies using the diamondback moth and a Bt crucifer system. Also while at Cornell, his team identified the first-ever invertebrate GABA receptor while en route to identifying the mutations that confer resistance to cyclodiene insecticides, such as dieldrin. Roush has collaborated on and published more than 20 papers on predators, parasitoids, and biological control of insects and weeds, including two that have each been cited more than 300 times. He has served as major supervisor for 17 graduate students.

Roush has also had a significant impact through service on the Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee in Australia from 1998 to 2003, and four scientific advisory panels for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Roush has served on numerous boards and review panels, including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee on Pesticide Resistance Management (1984-1985).

Rick became an Australian citizen in 2002 and continues to enjoy fishing in multiple forms and countries. Roush's son Peter is an electrical engineer on radio telescopes in Sydney with Australia's national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. His daughter Alison is an educator with Keep South Australia Beautiful (KESAB), a leading NGO delivering environmental sustainability programs. With his wife Robyn Krause-Hale he shares a stepson, Matthew Hale, a stepdaughter, Stephanie Hanson, their spouses, and two grandsons.

(updated September 2019)