Greg Loeb honored for outstanding accomplishments in research

Dean Boor shaking hands with Greg Loeb

During his career at Cornell, Greg Loeb, professor in the Department of Entomology, has established an internationally recognized research program in insect ecology and pest management. For the past 20 years he has maintained a lab at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, where he has research and extension responsibilities for grapes and small fruit crops. 

On Oct. 30, Dean Kathryn J. Boor '80 lauded Loeb for his commitment to the grape and berry growers of New York by presenting him with the Outstanding Accomplishments in Research Award.

Loeb works primarily with the grape and small fruit industries throughout the northeastern United States. He has secured $8 million in competitive research grants, published eighty peer-reviewed research papers, presented over eighty invited or submitted research talks at professional meetings and gave 250 extension presentations at commodity-based meetings.

Loeb's research focuses on species interactions involving plants, herbivores, natural enemies and more recently microbes, with the specific applied goal of developing pest management tools for growers that are cost-effective and minimize environmental impacts. He has contributed to the understanding of one of the most serious pests to growers: the spotted wing drosophila.

The tiny fruit fly, native to Asia, first appeared in the western part of the United States in 2008, and then moved southeast and northward due to Hurricane Irene. Loeb initiated five local and regional research projects to better define effective control, including trials to test pesticide efficacy, monitoring to determine what crops are most at risk and implementing alternative approaches to managing pest populations like traps and repellants. Since then, drosophila trapping sites have been set up in 21 counties in New York and an alert network is managed by extension associates.

Through his extension work, Loeb translates and transfers results of applied research to his grower clientele so that they will be better informed and better able to make sound pest management decisions. In 2011, he was awarded the New York Wine & Grape Foundation Research Award for Major Contributions in Research and Education. In 1997, his colleagues and industry representatives in the American Society for Enology and Viticulture identified one of his publications as the best paper of the year.

The Outstanding Accomplishments in Research Award honors winners who are recognized nationally and internationally for their scholarly contributions through publication in disciplinary journals or awards from professional societies.

"Greg's commitment to the grape and berry growers in New York state is tremendous and truly heartfelt," Boor said at the event.

► Meet all of our 2017 Research, Extension and Staff Award winners