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Yukie Kajita, Ph.D.
NSF SEES Fellow; Research Assistant Professor
Biological and Environmental Sciences
Ph.D. - Utah State University
  213 Holt

Research Interests

I have a strong background in invasive species ecology and population biology of natural enemies, and applied research experience in pest management in agricultural systems (e.g., alfalfa, soybean, and cereal crops). In my research, I address several fundamental questions in invasive species biology and ecology: 1) what are the underlying mechanisms that influence invasion success, 2) what are the effects of invasive species on local communities, and 3) which micro-evolutionary processes are important for colonization and range expansion of invasive species in novel environments? I take a highly interdisciplinary approach; combining the fields of spatial ecology, population biology, physiology, life-history, chemical ecology, and evolutionary biology, to address these questions. I also apply modern experimental and mathematical tools including GIS and spatial analysis packages and collaborate with researchers from the other fields of science (e.g., evolutionary biology, statistics, and agricultural economics). Currently, I am an NSF SEES (Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability) Fellow, studying population genetics and economic impacts of an invasive biological control insect.



2012-2015: National Science Foundation, Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability Fellows, $424,543. A bio-economic study of an introduced biological control agent: ecological, evolutionary, and economic factors in sustainable agricultural system. Kajita Y (PI/PD).



Kajita Y, O’Neill EM, Zheng Y, Obrycki JJ, Weisrock DW (2012) The molecular signature of human introduction efforts in an invasive ladybeetle. Molecular Ecology 21: 5473–5483, DOI: 10.1111/mec.12059

Moser SE, Kajita Y, Obrycki JJ, Harwood JD (2011) Dipteran predation by coccinellid larvae: evidence from an antibody-based detection system. BioControl DOI:10.1016/j.biocontrol.2011.05.014

Seagraves MP, Kajita Y, Weber DC, Obrycki JJ, Lundgren JG (2011) Sugar feeding by coccinellids under field conditions: the effects of sugar sprays in soybean. BioControl 56: 305–314, DOI: 10.1007/s10526-010-9337-3

Kajita Y, Evans EW (2010) Relationships of body size, fecundity, and invasion success among predatory lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) inhabiting alfalfa fields. Annals of Entomological Society of America 103: 750–756

Kajita Y, Obrycki JJ, Sloggett JJ, Haynes KF (2010) Intraspecific alkaloid variation in ladybird eggs and its effects on con- and heterospecific intraguild predators. Oecologia (163): 313–322, DOI10.1007/s00442-009-1551-2

Kajita Y, Evans EW (2010) Alfalfa fields promote high reproductive rate of an invasive predatory lady beetle. Biological Invasions 12: 2293–2302, DOI 10.1007/s10530-009-9644-8

Kajita Y, Evans EW (2009) Ovarian dynamics and oosorption in two species of predatory lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Physiological Entomology 34: 185–194

Kajita Y, Evans EW (2009) Reproductive responses of invasive and native predatory lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) to varying prey availability. Environmental Entomology 38: 1283–1292

Kajita Y, Takano F, Yasuda H, Evans EW (2006) Effects of native ladybirds on oviposition of the exotic species, Adalia bipunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in Japan. Applied Entomology and Zoology 41: 57–61

Kajita Y, Takano F, Yasuda H, Evans EW (2006) Interactions between introduced and native predatory ladybirds (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae): factors influencing the success of species introductions. Ecological Entomology 31: 58–67

Yasuda H, Evans EW, Kajita Y, Urakawa K, Takizawa T (2004) Asymmetric larval interactions between introduced and indigenous ladybirds in North America. Oecologia 141: 722–731

Agarwala BK, Yasuda H, Kajita Y (2003) Effect of conspecific and heterospecific faeces on foraging and oviposition of two predatory ladybirds: role of faecal cues in predator avoidance. Journal of Chemical Ecology 292: 357–376

Kajita Y, Takano F, Yasuda H (2000) Effects of indigenous ladybird species (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) on the survival of exotic species in relation to prey abundance. Applied Entomology and Zoology 35: 473–479