Rebecca Schmidt-Jeffris

Research Entomologist

Research Program

I am a Research Entomologist with the USDA-ARS in Wapato, WA. My lab broadly focuses on improving biological control of arthropod pests in tree fruit. This includes pesticide non-target on natural enemies, augmenting natural enemy populations through releases, conservation biological control, and improving knowledge of the diversity and basic biology of orchard parasitoids and predators.

We are currently working on:

  • Trechnites insidiosus, a parasitoid of pear psylla
  • Amblydromella caudiglans, a predatory mite – diet and pesticide selectivity
  • Augmenting and conserving earwigs as predators in apples and pears
  • Impacts of herbicides and orchard floor management on natural enemies
  • Improving recommendations for augmentation of commercially available natural enemies in orchards

We welcome new lab members, especially those from underrepresented groups in science. As a WSU adjunct, I am able to co-advise graduate students with tenure-track faculty. Soon to be or recent Ph.D. graduates interested in working with our group as a USDA postdoctoral researcher should contact me about potential funding opportunities, including co-writing a USDA NIFA fellowship. We also enjoy having undergraduate technical support and working with our local undergrads at Yakima Valley College and Heritage University.

Education

Ph.D. Entomology, Washington State University, 2015
B.S. Biology, Washburn University, 2010

Publications

Peer-reviewed

  • Bergeron, P.E. and Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. 2020. Not all predators are equal: miticide non-target effects and differential selectivity. Pest Manag. Sci. Online First: 10.1002/ps.5754
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Cutulle, M.A. 2019. Non-target impacts of herbicides on Tetranychus urticae and its predator, Phytoseiulus persimilis: implications for biological control. Pest Manag. Sci. 75: 3226-3234
  • Schmidt, J.M., Whitehouse, T.S., Green, K., Krehenwinkel, H., Schmidt-Jeffris, R., Sial, A. Local and landscape-scale heterogeneity shape spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) activity and natural enemy abundance: implications for trophic interactions. 2019. Agr. Ecosyst. Environ. 272: 86-94.
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Nault, B.A. 2018. Crop spatiotemporal dominance is a better predictor of pest and predator abundance than traditional partial approaches. Agr. Ecosyst. Environ. 265: 331-339.
  • Leach, A., Fuchs, M., Harding, R., Schmidt-Jeffris, R., and Nault, B.A. 2018. Importance of transplanted onions contributing to late-season iris yellow spot virus epidemics in New York. Plant Disease. 102: 1264-1272
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Beers, E.H. 2018. Potential impacts of orchard pesticides on Tetranychus urticae: A predator-prey perspective. Crop Prot. 103: 56-64.
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Nault, B.A. 2017. Residual activity of diamide insecticides for Ostrinia nubilalis control in processing snap bean. Crop Prot. 98: 116-123.
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Beers, E.H. 2017. Effects of foliar apple trichomes on Galendromus occidentalis (Nesbitt) (Acari: Phytoseiidae): preferences, fecundity, and prey consumption. Agric. Forest Entomol. 19: 93-100.
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Nault, B.A. 2016. Anthranilic diamide insecticides delivered via multiple approaches to control vegetable pests: a case study in snap bean. J. Econ. Entomol. 109: 2479-2488.
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A., Huseth, A.S., and Nault, B.A. 2016. Estimating E-Race European corn borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) adult activity in snap bean fields based on corn planting intensity and their activity in corn in New York agroecosystems. J. Econ. Entomol. 109: 2210-2214.
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Beers, E.H. 2016. Assessment of techniques for marking Galendromus occidentalis (Nesbitt). Biocontrol Sci. Techn. 26: 866-871.
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Beers, E.H. 2016. Phenology of phytoseiid populations in an insecticide-free apple orchard. Exp. Appl. Acarol. 68: 173-182. DOI: 10.1007/s10493-015-9977-1
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Beers, E.H. 2015. Comparative biology and pesticide susceptibility of Amblydromella caudiglans and Galendromus occidentalis as spider mite predators in apple orchards. Exp. Appl. Acarol. 67: 35-47.
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A., Beers, E.H, and Crowder, D.W. 2015. Phytoseiids in Washington commercial apple orchards: biodiversity and factors affecting abundance. Exp. Appl. Acarol. 67: 21-34.
  • Beers, E.H. and Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. 2015. Impacts of orchard pesticides on Galendromus occidentalis: repellency and irritancy. J. Econ. Entom. 108: 259-265.
  • Schmidt, R.A. 2014. Leaf structures affect predatory mites (Mesostigmata: Phytoseiidae) and biological control: A review. Exp. Appl. Acarol. 62: 1-17.
  • Beers, E.H. and Schmidt, R.A. 2014. Impacts of orchard pesticides on Galendromus occidentalis: lethal and sublethal effects. Crop Prot. 56: 16-24.
  • Schmidt, R.A., Beers, E.H., Unruh, T.R., and Horton, D.R. 2013. Releases of insectary-reared Galendromus occidentalis (Acari: Phytoseiidae) in commercial apple orchards. J. Econ. Entom. 106: 1996-2005.

Edited book chapters

  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A., Beers, E.H., and Duso, C. 2019. Insect pests of fruit: mites, pp. 425-451. In X. Xu and M. Fountain (eds.), Integrated management of insect pests and diseases of tree fruit. Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, Cambridge, UK.
  • Farfan M.A., Schmidt-Jeffris R.A. 2019. Biodiversity of Phytoseiidae (Acari: Mesostigmata) of Annual Specialty Crop Systems: The Current State of Knowledge Worldwide and the Need for Study in North America, pp. 93-117. In: Skvarla M., Ochoa R., Verle Rodrigues J., Hutcheson H. (eds) Contemporary Acarology. Springer, Cham

Non-refereed/Editor reviewed

  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Coffey, J. 2019. Efficacy of Acaritouch against twospotted spider mite on lima beans, 2018. Arthropod Manag. Tests. 44: tsz073
  • Dye, K.C., Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A., Reall-Lincoln, T., Halfpenney, R., Whitener, A.B., and Gantz, J.D. 2018. 2016 Debates: Solving problems without borders. Am. Entomol. 64: 165-175.
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Nelson-Ichido, J. 2018. How Pokémon Opens the Door for Entomology Education. EntomologyToday.
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A., Dye, K.C., and Whitener, A.B. 2017. 2015 Debates: Molecular biology and entomology: partnering for solutions. Am. Entomol. 63: 114-123.
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Nault, B.A. 2016. Anthranilic diamides can potentially replace neonicotinoid seed treatments in vegetable crops. EntomologyToday.
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Nault, B.A. 2016. European corn borer control in snap bean, 2015. Arthropod Manag. Tests. 41: tsw047.
  • Reall-Lincoln, T., Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A., and Del Pozo-Valdivia, A. 2016. 2014 Debates: Management strategies: solutions to grand challenges. Am. Entomol. 62: 98-107
  • Minteer, C.R., Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A., Coon, K., and Reall, T. 2015. 2013 Debates: Scientific issues that arise from a connected world. Am. Entomol. 61: 151-159.
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. Five tried-and-true ways students can make the most of Entomology 2015. EntomologyToday.

Extension publications

  • Bergeron, P. and Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. 2019. New Research on Miticides: Spider Mite Resistance and Harmful Non-target Effects on Predators. North American Strawberry Grower’s Association News. March Issue: 6-9.
  • Bessin, R.T., Hale, F.H., Kennedy, G.G., Kuhar, T.P., Layton, M.B., Majumdar, A., Rebek, E., Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A., Smith, P., Sparks, A.N., Walgenbach, J.F. 2019. Entomology Sections. In 2019 Southeastern U.S. Vegetable Crop Handbook. Meister Media Worldwide.
  • Schmidt-Jeffris, R., Burrack, H.J., Pfeiffer, D., and Sial, A. 2019. Insect Section (eds.), In 2019 Southeast Regional Strawberry Integrated Pest Management Guide For Plasticulture Production. Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium.
  • Meadows, I., Seth Carley, D., Hansen, Z., Jennings, K., Keinath, A., Kemble, J., Louws, F., Mauney, R., Pfeufer, E., Reiter, M., Schmidt-Jeffris, R., Sikora, S., Singh, R., Smith, H., Snyder, R., Strayer-Scherer, A., and Wszelaki, A. 2018 Pest Management Strategic Plan for Tomato in the Southeast Region. https://ipmdata.ipmcenters.org/
  • Bessin, R.T., Hale, F.H., Kennedy, G.G., Kuhar, T.P., Layton, M.B., Majumdar, A., Rebek, E., Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A., Smith, P., Sparks, A.N., Walgenbach, J.F. 2018. Entomology Sections. In 2018 Southeastern U.S. Vegetable Crop Handbook. Meister Media Worldwide.
  • Burrack, H.J., Pfeiffer, D., Sial, A., and Schmidt-Jeffris, R. 2018. Insect Section (eds.), In 2018 Southeast Regional Strawberry Integrated Pest Management Guide For Plasticulture Production. Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium.
  • Schmidt, R.A. and Beers, E.H. 2014. Other phytoseiids in northwest orchards. In Orchard Pest Management Online.
  • Schmidt, R.A. and Beers, E.H. 2013. Amblydromella caudiglans. In E.H. Beers, J.F. Brunner, M.J. Willett, G. Warner (eds.), Orchard Pest Management Online.

Additional Extension Educational Products

  • myIPM phone app. 2017-2018. Updated regularly. Responsible for strawberry insect pest content.
  • Life on a leaf (video). 2014. In E.H. Beers, J.F. Brunner, M.J. Willett, G. Warner (eds.), Orchard Pest Management Online. Created and narrated video on pest and beneficial mites found on apple.

Dr. Rebecca Schmidt-Jeffris

Dr. Rebecca Schmidt-Jeffris

Tree Fruit Biological Control
USDA-ARS
Temperate Tree Fruit & Vegetable Research Unit
5230 Konnowac Pass Rd
Wapato, WA 98951

Phone: 509-454-6556
Email: rebecca.schmidt@usda.gov