A group of University of Maine researchers led by faculty in the School of Biology and Ecology released a research report about browntail moth in 2020 while investigating the spread of the pest from coastal communities to nearly all of Maine’s 16 counties.

“Browntail Moth Research at the University of Maine: A Report of Activities and Findings 2016–2020” provides a brief history of the browntail moth in Maine, and summarizes the findings of several studies seeking to facilitate development of effective control strategies by enhancing understanding of the moth’s behaviors and life cycle. The report is available online at https://sbe.umaine.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/92/2021/04/Browntail_Moth_Report_FINAL_6-15-2020-V2.pdf.

Professor emerita Eleanor Groden co-authored the report in collaboration with colleagues and students in UMaine’s chemistry department and with the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station. Staff from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry also contributed to the research, which received support from a number of public, private and nonprofit partners. 

Co-author Angela Mech, a UMaine assistant professor of forest entomology, has assumed leadership of the browntail moth project following Groden’s retirement. Mech’s other research interests include insect biodiversity, forest health and invasion ecology. 

The browntail moth report will be updated and shared with the public as research continues and new information about the moth emerges.