Dr. Peter Shearer has resigned as entomologist at Oregon State University’s Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hood River, Oregon.

Peter Shearer

Peter Shearer

Shearer was the lead researcher on a spotted wing drosophila research project, funded by the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission and the Oregon Sweet Cherry Commission, on insecticide resistance in Washington, Oregon and California. Dr. Betsy Beers of Washington State University will assume that role in the third and final year of the project.

Shearer also was working under a federal grant, with OSU horticultural entomologist Dr. Vaughn Walton and other researchers, on a study examining best management practices for the pest and developing tools to assess risk.

Among them: a population model that researchers hope to make available in the next year or so, Walton said. A new OSU postdoctoral researcher will help with that work.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nik Wiman, an extension specialist at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center, will assume leadership of a research project on brown marmorated stink bug in pears, according to Dr. Dan Edge, associate dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences.

With Shearer’s departure, two researchers remain at the Mid-Columbia station: Dr. Todd Einhorn, research horticulturist, and Dr. Yan Wang, who is focused on postharvest physiology. Several extension researchers work there as well.

“Certainly, that’s getting on the low side of an experiment station. There are lots of extension people providing support, but from the standpoint of meeting the research needs of the industry, that’s getting low on staffing,” Edge said.

Any time a station that has a specialized stakeholder group, such as orchard crops, loses a scientist, it’s always a concern, he said, but under university policy, such positions are not automatically filled. A call for proposals for new positions will go out in December.

– by Shannon Dininny