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Think and Do The Extraordinary
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Steve Frank

Professor and Associate Department Head, Ecology and IPM in urban landscapes, nurseries, and greenhouses

Ecology and IPM in urban landscapes, nurseries, and greenhouses

3320 Gardner Hall


Research Description:
Our goal is to contribute knowledge and outreach to help cities serve human health, conservation, and recreation functions. We study the ecology of tree pests to understand why they become so abundant and damaging on urban trees. We use this knowledge to develop tree planting and maintenance recommendations for urban foresters, landscape architects, and others who manage urban forests. We also study how to sustain biodiversity and ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, pollination, and decomposition, in cities. The plants we install in urban landscapes or put in vases in our home come from nurseries and greenhouses. We study the ecology of pests in these production systems to reduce pesticide use. This includes developing cultural practices that prevent pest outbreaks and optimizing biological control. When insecticide are necessary our research and extension helps growers reduce their risk to the environment, non-target organisms, and people. Please visit my lab research page for information on our people, projects, and papers.

Teaching Description:

I teach graduate seminars related to ecology and integrated pest management in urban ecosystems.

Extension Description:

My extension program focuses on managing arthropod pests of ornamental plants in greenhouses, nurseries, and urban landscapes. We produce extension resources including print and web publications, articles in trade magazines, and pest alerts via Twitter. Urban forests and other landscape plants provide many environmental, economic, and aesthetic benefits to people and wildlife. We provide information to landscapers, aborists, and urban foresters to improve pest management efficacy and sustainability in urban landscapes. We also provide information to ornamental plant producers to make their pest management practices more effective, economical, and environmentally sound. Please visit my extension page for more information and resources.

Recent and Representative Publications:

Long, L.C.†, D’Amico, V., Frank, S.D. (2018) Urban forest fragments buffer trees from warming and pests. Science of the Total Environment, 658: 1523-1530.

Lahr, E.C., Dunn, R.R., and Frank, S.D. (2018) Getting ahead of the curve: cities as surrogates for global change. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 285: 20180643.

Dale, A.G. and Frank, S.D. (2018) Urban plants and climate drive unique arthropod interactions with unpredictable consequences. Current Opinion in Insect Science, 29: 27-33.

Just, M.G., Frank, S.D., and Dale, A.G. (2018) Impervious surface thresholds for urban tree site selection. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 34: 141-146.

Hamblin, A.L.†, Youngsteadt, E., Frank, S.D. (2018) Wild bee abundance declines with urban warming, regardless of floral density. Urban Ecosystems,

Meineke, E.K. and Frank, S.D. (2018) Water availability drives urban tree growth responses to herbivory and warming. Journal of Applied Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13130.



Ph.D, Entomology, University of Maryland (2007)
MS, Enthomology, University of Maryland (2003)
BS, Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, University of Maryland (1999)