Scientists & Staff

Robert Haack

Robert A. Haack

Emeritus Research Entomologist
3101 Technology Blvd., Ste. F
Lansing, MI, 48910
Phone: 517-884-8057

Contact Robert A. Haack

Current Research

I work primarily on exotic forest insects in the areas of

  1. biology and management,
  2. improved trapping and monitoring strategies,
  3. risk assessment and pathway analysis, and
  4. treatments for solid wood packing material.

I have worked on several of the recently discovered exotic bark- and wood-boring insects such as Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer (EAB), and pine shoot beetle. Some of the current studies that we are wrapping up deal with EAB host range and survival in firewood; optimal trapping density for bark beetles; and post-treatment insect colonization of wood packing material, especially when bark is present. I am currently participating in several national and international projects such as the USDA Early Detection and Rapid Response program for exotic bark and ambrosia beetles, the Exotic Forest Pest Information System for North America project, and the International Forestry Quarantine Research Group

Research Interests

I'm currently initiating or planning major research efforts in

  1. conducting an international analysis of solid wood packing material as a pathway for movement of bark- and wood-associated insects,
  2. preparing a worldwide list of major wood-boring insect pests that have impacted forests outside their native ranges, and
  3. preparing major review papers on exotic buprestid and cerambycid beetles.

Why This Research is Important

Forest insect pests, especially exotic (non-native) species, can have tremendous negative impacts on tree health and related forest industries. When new exotic insects are first detected, the USDA often imposes a federal quarantine in an attempt to stop human-assisted movement of the pest. Currently in the USA, there are federal quarantines for three recently discovered exotic borers: Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer, and pine shoot beetle. Research on newly discovered exotic forest insects is important to ensure that quarantines are biologically sound and minimize economic impacts. In addition, research on risk assessments and treatments of wood packing materials is important to reduce the risk of new pest introductions worldwide.

Professional Organizations

  • Entomological Society of America
  • International Forestry Quarantine Research Group
  • International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)
    several insect Working Parties
  • Michigan Entomological Society

Awards & Recognition

  • Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service "Distinguished Scientist Award.", 2009 For career-long contributions and productivity
  • Ontario Federal Council Leadership in Science and Sustainable Development Award, 2006 Provincial Team Award for providing scientific research related to the Asian longhorned beetle emergency response." in Toronto
  • USDA Forest Service Chief's International Forestry Award, 2002 National Team Award for "cooperative research with Chinese entomologists on forest pests of mutual concern, including the Asian longhorned beetle and pine shoot beetle."
  • North Central Research Station "Excellence in Technology Transfer Award" , 1999 Team Award for "Excellence in Developing and Transferring New Knowledge on the Pine Shoot Beetle to USDA APHIS for the Formulation of New Federal Quarantine Regulations."
  • North Central Research Station "Quality Research Award" , 1999 Team Award for the publication "Life history patterns among North American tree-feeding sawflies."
  • USDA Honor Award for Superior Service in Environmental Protection , 1997 National team award for work related to the Asian long-horned beetle eradication effort in New York City.
  • USDA Honor Award for Superior Service in Scientific Research , 1992 National award "for novel theoretical and experimental research elucidating the relationship between tree stress and attack or damage by forest insects."
  • USDA Forest Service, Forest Insect and Disease Research Excellence Award , 1990 National award "for outstanding and innovative research relating drought stress and forest insect outbreaks."

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

Book Cover

New Guide to High-risk Asian Relatives of Emerald Ash Borer

Year: 2015

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is native to Asia but established populations were found in Michigan and nearby Ontario in 2002. Since then, EAB has spread to 24 additional U.S. states and one additional Canadian province and has killed tens of millions of ash trees. In 2015, Forest Service scientists contributed to the creation of an illustrated guide to EAB and 32 other Asian Agrilus species that could threaten North American trees.

High-risk cargo is unloaded from containers after arrival at U.S. ports of entry and inspected for pests. Shown here is one of the special inspection warehouses used at the port of Long Beach, Calif. Bob Haack, USDA Forest Service

Fewer Pests Found in Wood Packaging Material Following New International Standards

Year: 2014

Wood packaging material such as pallets and crating must now be treated for pests prior to export when used in international trade. A Forest Service researcher, working with U.S. and international researchers, analyzed data on pest interceptions on imported cargo from before and after the United States implemented the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) in the mid-2000s and found that the incidence of live wood-infesting pests fell by as much as 52 percent.

Last modified: Monday, November 02, 2015