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Global Locust Initiative Lab

The Global Locust Initiative Lab is centered at Arizona State University and leverages state of the art locust rearing facilities and laboratory space. In collaboration with an interdisciplinary team, members of GLI Lab conduct projects on multiple continents to study nutritional ecophysiology, land-use practices, and governance, with a goal of advancing both fundamental research and sustainable solutions to meet the challenge of locust and grasshopper outbreaks.



Featured Projects

The Foundation for Food and
Agriculture Research (FFAR)

2018 – 2021




New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award
Addressing barriers to integrating research and adoption of sustainable practices for managing locusts in Senegal, South America, and Australia.

Project Overview

Co-sponsored by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and Arizona State University (ASU), also with support from ASU’s Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems, this project addresses challenges and opportunities in managing and researching grasshopper and locust pests. It spans from biological research identifying land use practices that suppress locust populations to comparing governance structures for how different regions around the world manage locusts, to create common global resources for stakeholders.

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Funding

Project Partners




USAID: Bay Sa Waar
Communities for Sustainable Agriculture
2018 – 2020




Monitoring and Soil Amendments for Locust and Grasshopper Management
A Pilot Project in the Kaffrine Region of Senegal

Project Overview

The Senegalese Grasshopper (Oedaleus senegalensis) is among the most severe pests of the Sahel. This species regularly attacks staple cereal crops which, combined with low soil fertility, reduces farmers’ resiliency and food security. This project pilot introduced a sustainable methodology for locust management in the Kaffrine Region of Senegal: the use of locust biology to reduce crop damage. By leveraging research that illustrates strong soil-plant- locust interactions, this project proposes a novel long-term and community-based preventative strategy: setting up village-based soil amendment and locust monitoring programs to create environments unfavorable to locusts.

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Funding

Project Partners




NSF Grants for Rapid Response
Research (RAPID)
2018 – 2020




Testing macronutrient imbalance as a key factor limiting range expansion in herbivores

Project Overview

The South American Locust (Schistocerca cancellata) is experiencing the greatest population upsurge in 60 years. In 2017, large swarms left their small permanent breeding zone in NW Argentina and invaded Bolivia and Paraguay, and expanded throughout Argentina. The RAPID grant allowed researchers to collect time-sensitive data on locust macronutrient balancing in the field, which has emerged as a key factor in regulating insect behavior, physiology, and performance. We tested the hypothesis that S. cancellata in their expansion zones are unable to obtain food of sufficiently high carbohydrate:protein ratio to maximize their fitness.

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Funding

Project Partners




APHIS-PPQ-Science & Technology
Phoenix Lab Rangeland Unit
2017 – Current




Grasshopper Rearing in Support of Methods Development for Rangeland Research

Project Overview

The primary goal of this cooperative agreement between the USDA and Arizona State University is to better support critical laboratory experiments with insecticides outside of the summer field season and further Rangeland Unit’s mission of developing novel management methods while improving existing ones for grasshoppers and Mormon crickets in the rangelands of the seventeen contiguous western states.

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NSF Coupled Natural Human Systems
Living with Locusts
2013 – 2019




Linking Livestock Markets and Grazing Practices with the Nutritional Ecology of Grasses and Locusts Under Alternative Property Rights Regimes

Project Overview

This project integrated novel fundamental research from multiple disciplines across four different countries —Australia, China, Senegal, and the US—to improve our ability to manage social-ecological systems. We investigated physiological, ecological, and nutritional mechanisms responsible for locust outbreaks and migration. This is one of the first projects to apply both highly-controlled lab and field-based techniques to connect physiological mechanisms to agricultural practices and livelihoods.

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Funding

Project Partners