Meet the Contributing Authors - Sanford D. Eigenbrode

Sanford D. Eigenbrode
University of Idaho

photo of Sanford Eigenbrode


Chemical Ecology Program
Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences
University of Idaho
Moscow ID 83844-2339


Assistant Professor of Entomology/Chemical Ecology, Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow (1995-present)

Postdoctoral Positions:

  • Department of Entomology, University of Arizona, Tucson (1993-1995)
  • Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside (1990-1993)
  • Departments of Entomology and Horticultural Science, New York State
  • Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University (1990)

Research Interests

My entomological research all grows out of an interest in applying fundamental knowledge of insect-plant interactions towards improved insect pest management. I have concentrated on how attributes of the plant affect herbivore behaviors, survival, and feeding that results in economic damage. Plant susceptibility to insect herbivory can be manipulated through cultural practices (Eigenbrode and Pimentel, 1988) but genetic manipulation is more powerful and effective. Most of my research has therefore been in collaboration with plant breeders and plant geneticists working to develop insect resistant varieties. In this context I have worked with germplasm collections of Brassica, Lycopersicon and Pisum. The plant surface is a critical interface between insects and plants, and especially interesting but understudied in this regard are surface waxes. The morphology and chemistry of plant surface waxes can have large effects on herbivores, particularly behaviors during host examination. My current research concentrates on the effects of surface wax mutations in Brassica, Pisum, and Arabidopsis on herbivore behaviors. Most recently, this work also includes work with generalist predators and parasitoids of the herbivores. Waxes, it appears, can have influence tritrophic interactions, with possibly important effects for insect ecology and pest management. Study of these interactions relies on germplasm collections of these plants as well as manipulation of genes affecting surface waxes using molecular biology.


With my extension appointment, my primary teaching activity is focused toward growers, agricultural professionals, crop consultants, and vegetable processing company representatives. Our VegEdge site includes more information about the Vegetable IPM Program. I also participate in our graduate curricula by participating in the NSF-funded Graduate Program, Risk Analysis of Introduced Species and Genotypes.

Professional Service and Honors

  • Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension (ESA, 2007)
  • Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension (NCB-ESA, 2007)
  • Extension IPM Newsletter, Minn. Assoc. of Ext. Agric. Professionals, with Jean Ciborowski (MDA-IPM) (NACAA, 2007)
  • Educational Award, Web Site, IPM World, with Ted Radcliffe (NCB-ESA, BCE, 1997)
  • Harvest Choice (Partnership with the Gates Foundation)

Selected Publications

  • Eigenbrode, S. D., Moodie, S., Castagnola, T. 1995 Generalist predators interact with insect resistance in glossy cabbage. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 77: 335-342.
  • Eigenbrode, S. D, Espelie, K. E. 1995. Effects of plant epicuticular lipids on insect herbivores. Annual Review of Entomology. 40: 171-194.
  • Eigenbrode, S. D., Trumble, J. T. 1994. Plant resistance to insects in integrated pest management in vegetables. J. Agric. Entomol. 11: 201-224.
  • Eigenbrode, S. D., Trumble, J. T. and White, K. K. 1994. Fruit-based tolerance to beet armyworm in Lycopersicon accessions. Env. Entomol. 23: 937-942.
  • Eigenbrode, S. D., Trumble, J. T., Jones, R. A. Resistance to beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua [Hubner]), hemipterans, and Liriomyza spp. in Lycopersicon. 1993. J. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci.118: 525-530
  • Eigenbrode, S. D., Trumble, J. T. 1993. Antibiosis to beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua) in Lycopersicon accessions. Hortscience 28: 932-934.
  • Eigenbrode, S. D., Pimentel, D. 1988. Effects of manure and chemical fertilizers on plant quality and insect pest populations on collards. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environ. 20: 109-125.