John J. Obrycki

Professor and Chair (2003 - present)

Department of Entomology
University of Kentucky
S-225 Ag. Sci. Cen. North
Lexington, KY 40546-0091


Ph.D., Cornell University (1982)

John Obrycki

Research Interests

Dr. Obrycki's specific research interests include the biology, predatory behavior, and population ecology of insect predators, focusing on the Coccinellidae. The role of natural enemies in sustainable alfalfa production systems is being examined. A weakness of many pest management models is a trivial representation of predation. Fundamental knowledge is required to understand how insect predators subsist in crops, how they influence prey dynamics, and how changes in cropping practices influence predator populations. The goal of these investigations is to provide the basis for the development of sustainable pest management systems.

Postdoctoral Associates

Current Graduate Students

Selected Publications:

Ecological Assessment of Transgenic Organisms

Harwood, J.D. & J.J. Obrycki. 2006. The detection and decay of Cry1Ab Bt- endotoxins within non-target slugs, Deroceras reticulatum (Muller) (Mollusca: Pulmonata), following consumption of transgenic corn. Biocontrol Sci. & Tech. 16:77-88

Nusawardani, T., J.R. Ruberson, J.J. Obrycki, & B.C. Bonning. 2005. Effects of a protease-expressing recombinant baculovirus insecticide on the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris (Cresson). Biological Control 35:46-54.

Pilcher, C.D., M.E. Rice, & J.J. Obrycki. 2005. Impact of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis corn and crop phenology on five nontarget arthropods. Environ. Entomol. 34: 1302-1316.

Harwood, J.D. , W. Wallin, & J.J. Obrycki. 2005. Uptake of Bt-endotoxins by non-target herbivores and higher order arthropod predators: molecular evidence from a transgenic corn agroecosystem. Molec. Ecology 14: 2815-2823.

Jesse, L.C.H. & J.J. Obrycki.  2004.  Survival of experimental cohorts of monarch larvae following exposure to transgenic Bt corn pollen and anthers pp. 69-75 In, The Monarch Butterfly: Biology and conservation. K.S. Oberhauser & M.J. Solensky (eds) Cornell Univ. Press. 336 pp.

Jesse, L.C.H. & J.J. Obrycki.  2003.  The occurrence and abundance of Danaus plexippus L. (Lepidoptera: Danaidae) on Asclepias syriaca in and near corn fields. Agriculture, Ecosystems & the Environment 97:225-233.

Obrycki, J.J., J.R. Ruberson, & J. E. Losey.  2003.  Interactions between natural enemies and transgenic insecticidal crops. pp. 183-206 In Ehler, R. Sforza & T. Mateille (eds).Genetics and Evolution in Biological Control. CABI Publications. 288 pp.

Boughton, A.J., J.J. Obrycki, & B.C. Bonning. 2003. Effects of a Protease-expressing Recombinant Baculovirus on Nontarget Insect Predators of Heliothis virescens..  Biological Control 28: 101-110.

Ohlfest, J.R., L.C.H. Jesse, R. Jurenka, & J.J. Obrycki . 2002. Stability of insecticidal CryIAb protein in transgenic Bt corn pollen exposed to UV irradiation.  J. Kansas Entomol. Soc. 75: 48-51.

Losey, J.E., J.J. Obrycki , & R. Hufbauer. 2002.  Impacts of genetically-engineered crops on non-target herbivores: Bt-corn and monarch butterflies as a case study.  pp 59-81 In: Letourneau, D.K. & B.E. Burrows (eds).  Genetically engineered organisms: Assessing environmental and human health effects.  CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Obrycki , J.J., J.E. Losey, O.R. Taylor, & L.C. Hansen.  2001. Transgenic insecticidal corn: Beyond insecticidal toxicity to ecological complexity.   BioScience 51:353-361.

Obrycki , J.J., J.E. Losey, O.R. Taylor, & L.C. Hansen.  2001. Response to: Transgenic insecticidal corn: The agronomic and ecological rationale for its use.  BioScience 51: 903-905. Response to: Supporting a cautious approach to agricultural biotechnology.  BioScience 51: 906.

Stanley-Horn, D.E., G.P. Dively, R.L. Hellmich, H.R. Mattila, M.K. Sears, R. Rose, L.C.H. Jesse, J.E. Losey, J.J. Obrycki , & L.C. Lewis.  2001.  Assessing the impact of Cry1Ab-expressing corn pollen on monarch butterfly larvae in field studies.  Proc. National Academy of Sciences.  98: 11931-11936.

Jesse, L.C.H. & J.J. Obrycki . 2000.  Field deposition of Bt transgenic corn pollen: lethal effects on the monarch butterfly. Oceologia 125: 241-248.



Predatory Insects /  Coccinellidae / Biological Control


Krafsur, E.S., J.J. Obrycki, & J.D. Harwood.  2005.  Comparative genetic studies of endemic and exotic Coccinellidae in North America. European Journal of Entomology 102: 469-474.

Harwood, J.D. & J.J. Obrycki. 2005. Quantifying aphid predation rates of generalist predators in the field. European Journal of Entomology, 102: 335-350.

Harwood, J.D. & J.J. Obrycki. 2005. The role of alternative prey in sustaining predator populations. pp. 453-462, In Proc. 2nd Inter. Symp. Biological Control of Arthropods Vol II. M.S. Hoddle (compiler). Sept 12-16, 2005, Davos, Switzerland.

Harwood, J.D. & Obrycki. 2005. Web-construction behavior of linyphiid spiders (Araneae, Linyphiidae): competition and co-existence within a generalist predator guild. J. Insect Behavior 18: 593-607.

Zhu, J., J.J. Obrycki, S.A. Ochieng, T.C. Baker, J.A. Pickett, & D. Smiley. 2005. Attraction of two lacewing species to volatiles produced by host plants and aphid prey. Naturwissenschaften 92:277-281.

O'Neil, R.J., L.A. Caņas & J.J. Obrycki. 2005. Foreign exploration for natural enemies of the Colorado Potato Beetle in Central and South America. Biological Control 33: 1-8.

Wiebe, A.P. & J.J. Obrycki .  2004.  Quantitative assessment of predation of Galerucella pusilla eggs and larvae in Iowa. Biological Control 31:16-28.

Park, Y-L & J.J. Obrycki .  2004.  Spatio-temporal distribution of corn leaf aphids (Homoptera: Aphididae) and lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in Iowa cornfields.  Biological Control 31:210-217.

Matos, B. & J.J. Obrycki .  2004.  Abundance and parasitism of Lygus lineolaris in alfalfa and strawberry fields.  J. Kansas Entomol. Soc. 77:69-79.

Weiser, L.A., J.J. Obrycki, & K.L. Giles .  2003.  Within-field manipulation of potato leafhopper (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) and insect predator populations using an uncut alfalfa strip.  J. Econ. Entomol. 96: 1184-1192.

Wiebe, A.P. & J.J. Obrycki .  2002.  Prey suitability of Galerucella pusilla eggs for two generalist predators, Coleomegilla maculata and Chrysoperla carnea .  Biological Control 23: 143-148.

 Phoofolo, M., J. J. Obrycki , & L.C. Lewis. 2001.  Quantitative assessment of biotic mortality factors of the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in field corn.  J. Econ. Entomol. 94: 617-622.

Obrycki , J.J., N.C. Elliott, & K.L. Giles.  2000. Coccinellid introductions: potential for and evaluation of non-target effects. pp. 127-145 In:  Follett & Duan (eds) Nontarget effects of biological control. Kluwer Academic Publ.

Krafsur, E.S. & J.J. Obrycki . 2000. Coleomegilla maculata Degeer (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is a species complex.  Ann. Ent. Soc Am. 93: 1156-1163.

Phoofolo, M.W. & J.J. Obrycki . 2000. Demographic analysis of reproduction in Nearctic and Palearctic populations of Coccinella septempunctata and Propylea quatuordecimpunctata .  BioControl 45: 25-43.

Zhu, J., A. A. Cosse, J.J. Obrycki , K. S. Boo, & T.C. Baker. 1999. Olfactory reactions of the twelve-spotted lady beetle, Coleomegilla maculata and the green lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea to semiochemicals released from their prey and host plant: Electroantennogram and behavioral responses. J. Chem. Ecol. 25: 1163-1177.

Obrycki , J.J., K.L. Giles, & A. M. Ormord.  1998. Interactions between and introduced and indigenous coccinellid species at different prey densities.  Oecologia 117:279-285.

Obrycki, J.J. & T.J. Kring.  1998.  Predacious Coccinellidae in biological control.  Annu. Rev. Entomol. 43: 295-321.