Doug Tallamy is the T. A. Baker Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 111 research publications and has taught insect-related courses for 42 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home was published by Timber Press in 2007, The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014; Nature's Best Hope, a New York Times bestseller, was released in February 2020, and his latest book, The Nature of Oaks, was released in March 2021. In 2021 he cofounded Homegrown National Park with Michelle Alfandari (HomegrownNationalPark.org). His awards include recognition from The Garden Writer’s Association, Audubon, The National Wildlife Federation, Western Carolina University, The Garden Club of America, and The American Horticultural Association. Doug lives with his wife, Cindy, on their restored property in Oxford, PA.
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Creating biodiversity one landscape at a time | Gardener State
My Central Jersey online
Article quoted Doug Tallamy, entomology and wildlife ecology, who stated that one of the most important things we can do to support biodiversity is to plant native plant species in our landscapes.
Gardens blooming with endangered plants could prove a boon to conservation
Saving critically endangered plants will require unorthodox solutions like these, says Tallamy. “We’re in the midst of the Earth’s sixth great extinction event. We have parks and preserves, but they’re not good enough. So, we have to practice conservation outside of those.”
To mow or not to mow? Why there's a culture war happening on your lawn
WTXL Tallahassee online
"The ecological I.Q. of this country is really low. We don't get that we are living off the life support that healthy ecosystems provide. If we don't support those ecosystems, we don't have that life support," Doug Tallamy said.
Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Corner: Addressing climate change in your own backyard
The Parkersburg News and Sentinel online
It’s important in keeping motivated for this cause to exercise personal agency and a sense of purpose in one’s own life. One way to achieve a modicum of success is to strive to make small changes in one’s personal life to address climate change. Spring is the ideal time to set some climate goals in your own backyard–a first step is the lawn, as Dr. Douglas Tallamy, botanist at the University of Delaware and author of the book, “Nature’s Best Hope,” expresses through his slogan, “shrink the lawn.”
Taking Back The Future, One Yard At A Time
Wisconsin Public Radio online
Insects, birds and other wildlife populations are on the decline, and the cause may be the loss of our native plants. But not all hope is lost, says Doug Tallamy, professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. In his book, "Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard," Tallamy explains the relationship between living things and how humans can make a difference.
Plant a garden that helps the planet by devouring carbon
Popular Science online
If you’re not sure where to start looking for native plants, Doug Tallamy, a professor of entomology at the University of Delaware, has created a website where you can enter your zip code and learn about the native flora in your area. Local extension services and nurseries are also great resources that will help you understand what will work in your community.
Meet the Ecologist Who Wants You to Unleash the Wild on Your Backyard
Smithsonian Magazine online
The land is ten gently sloping acres in rural southeastern Pennsylvania, at one time mowed for hay, with a handsome farmhouse that Douglas Tallamy bought around 20 years ago. It isn’t much to look at, by the standards most Americans apply to landscaping—no expansive views across swaths of lawn set off by flowerbeds and specimen trees—but, as Tallamy says, “We’re tucked away here where no one can see us, so we can do pretty much what we want.” And what he wants is for this property to be a model for the rest of the country, by which he means suburbs, exurbs, uninhabited woods, highway margins, city parks, streets and backyards, even rooftops and window boxes, basically every square foot of land not paved or farmed.
Lepidoptera Host Records Accurately Predict Tree Use by Foraging BirdsNortheastern Naturalist
2021 The richness, abundance, and biomass of phytophagous arthropods like lepidopteran larvae is highly uneven among sympatric tree taxa. Optimal foraging theory predicts that predation pressure will be greatest on foraging substrates that support the highest abundance and/or diversity of prey, thus offering the greatest reward and maximizing fitness. Predation pressure can also vary with the nutritional or energetic needs of predators across the annual cycle.
Are declines in insects and insectivorous birds related?Ornithological Applications
2021 A flurry of recently published studies indicates that both insects and birds have experienced wide-scale population declines in the last several decades. Curiously, whether insect and bird declines are causally linked has received little empirical attention. Here, we hypothesize that insect declines are an important factor contributing to the decline of insectivorous birds. We further suggest that insect populations essential to insectivorous birds decline whenever non-native lumber, ornamental, or invasive plant species replace native plant communities.
Few keystone plant genera support the majority of Lepidoptera speciesNature Communications
2020 Functional food webs are essential for the successful conservation of ecological communities, and in terrestrial systems, food webs are built on a foundation of coevolved interactions between plants and their consumers. Here, we collate published data on host plant ranges and associated host plant-Lepidoptera interactions from across the contiguous United States and demonstrate that among ecosystems, distributions of plant-herbivore interactions are consistently skewed, with a small percentage of plant genera supporting the majority of Lepidoptera.
Do non-native plants contribute to insect declines?Ecological Entomolog
2020 With evidence of significant global insect declines mounting, urgent calls to mitigate such declines are also increasing. Efforts to reverse insect declines will only succeed, however, if we correctly identify and address their major causes.
Effects of parental diapause status and release time on field reproductive biology of the introduced egg parasitoid, Oobius agrili (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) in the Mid-Atlantic:Biological Control
2020 Oobius agrili Zhang and Huang (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), a solitary egg parasitoid native to China, was introduced to the United States for biocontrol of the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB) Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) in 2007. To help develop effective biocontrol-release strategies, we evaluated the effect of parental diapause and release time of the adult parasitoids on their longevity, realized fecundity, and progeny diapause rate under field conditions in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region in 2016 and 2017.
University of Iowa: Post-Doctoral Fellow, Entomology 1981
University of Maryland: PhD, Entomology 1980
Rutgers University: MS, Entomology 1976
Allegheny College: BS, Biology 1973
- Entomological Society of America
- Ecological Society of America
- The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour
- The International Heteropterists Society