John J. Riggins
Associate Professor
Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
Mississippi State University

PhD in Entomology
University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, 2008


Phone: 662-325-2984

Research Interests
My research goals are summarized by the following broad objectives:
  • broaden applied scientific knowledge regarding the best integrated pest management of native (e.g. southern pine bark beetle guild) and introduced forest insect pests (e.g. emerald ash borer, red imported fire ant, Eurasian woodwasp);
  • expand basic scientific knowledge about the biology, behavior, ecological roles, and biodiversity of non-pest forest insects;
  • study the "disturbance ecology" of forest insects (both pests and non-pests) in response to various anthropogenic and environmental disturbances (e.g. climatic disturbances, habitat restoration, pollution, etc);
  • utilize Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques to enhance detection, monitoring, prediction, and ecological modeling of the forest insect systems and their relation to overall forest health.

Current Research Projects
I plan to utilize a synergy of traditional forest entomology/ecology techniques and modern geoinformatic approaches to answer important questions about the roles that insects play in overall forest health. Biology and control of invasive species (e.g. Emerald Ash Borer) and destructive native species (e.g. Southern Bark Beetle Guild) will be primary foci because of their ecological and economic impacts. My immediate attention will be on forests of Mississippi and the southeastern U.S., but eventually I also plan to develop international collaborations and lines of research.

Most Current Publications:
Riggins, J. J., J. A. Tullis, and F. M. Stephen. 2009. Per-segment aboveground forest biomass estimation using LIDAR-derived height percentile statistics. GIScience and Remote Sensing. 46:232-248.

Riggins, J. J., and A. J. Londo. 2009. Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: Outbreaks of Previously Obscure Native Forest Insects. Forest Wisdom 13. (Invited Popular Article)

Londo, A.J. R. Romedy, T.L. Jones, J. Riggins, and T.E. Nebeker. 2008. Cost share pine thinning operations for southern pine beetle prevention. Magnolia Forester. 260(1): 16-17.

Riggins, J. J. and W. W. Hoback. 2005. Diurnal tiger beetles (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae) capture prey without sight. Journal of Insect Behavior 18: 305-312.

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