September 29, 2022
A new study by a research team from Arizona State University has found that climate change will dramatically increase the intensity of locust swarms, resulting in even more crops lost to insect pests and threatening food security.
The study, recently published in Ecological Monographs, outlines the results of considerable data gathered on the physiology of South American locusts, and demonstrates that species distribution models that consider physiology in addition to temperature may reshape what we can expect to see as climate change continues. ASU PhD Jacob Youngblood using a net to capture locusts in a field. Jacob Youngblood, recent ASU biology PhD graduate and first author on the study, uses a net to capture South American locusts. Photo courtesy of Jacob Youngblood
"One unique aspect of our study is that we combined many different research approaches, including field observations, laboratory experiments and computational modeling,” said Jacob Youngblood, recent ASU biology PhD graduate and first author on the study.
“To combine these approaches, we assembled a diverse team of researchers, which included physiologists, ecologists, entomologists and agriculturists. Collaborating with such a diverse team enabled us to study the effects of climate change on multiple aspects of locust biology."
The international team included researchers from ASU’s Global Locust Initiative: Assistant Professor Arianne Cease, President’s Professor Michael Angilletta and Professor Jon Harrison from the School of Life Sciences, and postdoc Stav Talal from the Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation, as well as innovators and collaborators in South America.