An invader is destroying America's hemlocks. Virginia Tech forest entomology researchers are using the predators provided by nature in the villain's homeland to do battle in the United States.

The research is reported in the latest issue of the Virginia Tech Research magazine.

The eastern hemlock, a tall, long-lived coniferous tree that shelters river and streamside ecosystems throughout the eastern United States and Canada, is in serious danger of extinction because a tiny, non-native insect is literally sucking the life out of it. Entomologists at Virginia Tech are now studying a beetle from Japan that may be a natural predator of Adelges tsugae, or hemlock woolly adelgid.

Other topics covered in the Summer 2007 issue include.

  • Students in the Virginia Tech geography field course track down tornado-spawning supercells, provide data to the National Weather Service, and test the latest technology.
  • Faculty members and students in electrical and computer engineering are weaving programmable e-textiles that monitor and communicate information about the wearer.
  • Finding significant connections within the ocean of scientific information being published is daunting. Computer scientists created a program that can be used by life scientists. A new Storytelling data mining program recognizes overlaps in content and draws them together into a storyline, revealing unrealized relationships and new insights into the role of a particular molecular event, such as a sequence involved in DNA repair for example.
  • Researchers in Virginia Tech’s Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab were the first to study both cognition and emotion in infants and young children and how the interaction evolves as the child matures.
  • A researcher in public and international affairs studies war and the road blocks to recovery in Bosnia in order to provide answers as local, national, and international agencies try to cope with the disruptions to peoples, economies, and environments.

To request a print copy, contact Susan Trulove (


Share this story