Bruce Barrett, PhD

Interim Division Director & Professor

Plant Sciences

Contact Information

Phone 573-882-3001
Address 52 Agriculture Lab


BS, Biology, Brigham Young University
MS, Entomology, Brigham Young University
PhD, Entomology, Washington State University


As Interim Director, Bruce Barrett’s sole responsibility is to provide administrative leadership for the division’s teaching, research and extension programs. The division has nearly 50 core faculty and about 30 adjunct faculty from two USDA-ARS Research Units housed on the MU campus, the Donald Plant Sciences Center in St. Louis and elsewhere. Information about those programs can be found elsewhere in this Web site.

Barrett’s research program for the past several years has dealt with biological, behavioral and chemical ecology studies of several fruit and turf insect pests occurring in the Midwest. Most recently, he has investigated the chemical ecology of the invasive spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) by examining the attractiveness of various fruit/foliage volatile organic compounds and the role they play with visual cues in the fly’s host location process.

His teaching duties have included two undergraduate courses and one graduate-level course. The main objective for Barrett’s undergraduate courses, PS 3710 (Introductory Entomology) and 3715 (Insect Diversity) is to introduce students to the world of insects through their vast ecological and morphological diversity and to help them gain a better appreciation for the role insects play in the scheme of life. Barrett’s graduate course, PS 8720 (Insect Behavior), introduces students to the breadth of behaviors found in insects. Contemporary insect behavior is a multidisciplinary approach about how and why insects do the things they do, and the biological significance of their behavior in the context of nature.

Barrett’s past extension responsibilities have included the development and delivery of management tactics for arthropods affecting fruits, turf and woody ornamentals.

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