Longtime entomologist Peter Landolt, the former research leader for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research laboratory in Wapato, Washington, has died.
Landolt, an avid runner, died Dec. 22 during a routine run near his home in Vancouver, Washington. He was 66.
Landolt spent 40 years as a research entomologist for the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in four locations, most recently in Wapato, from which he retired in January 2018, according to a memo from Robert Matteri, the service’s Pacific West area director.
Throughout his career, Landolt authored or co-authored more than 200 scientific journal articles, made more than 100 presentations at scientific meetings and was awarded research grants from federal and state agencies, agricultural commodity groups and companies collectively worth more than $2.4 million, Matteri said.
His areas of expertise included insect behavior, chemical attractants and social wasp biology. In the tree fruit industry, he was well known for developing attractants for spotted wing drosophila, codling moth, brown marmorated stink bug and other tree fruit pests. In recent years, Landolt and a colleague discovered a pear ester and acetic acid concoction used to attract female codling moths.
He also studied stinging insects, with his work controlling wasp swarms at NASA’s space shuttle launch platform featured in Discover magazine, Matteri said.