The focus of the Ranger lab is to use principles of chemical ecology to develop strategies for managing horticultural insect pests. Program objectives include: (1) filling gaps in existing knowledge on the fundamental biology, behavior, and ecology of exotic ambrosia beetle and scarab pests; (2) exploiting vulnerabilities exhibited by horticultural pests; and 3) optimizing alternatives to conventional insecticides, including botanical formulations and plant defenses. Instrumental analysis and techniques are used to bioassay, isolate, identify, and implement insect attractants, repellents, deterrents, and toxins. A multidisciplinary approach integrates applied and basic research in an attempt to reduce conventional insecticidal inputs and improve production. Collaborative efforts are maintained with colleagues in natural products chemistry, plant biology and pathology, and agricultural engineering to assist with addressing complex problems related to societal and environmental issues.