Studying insect prescence in an agricultural field in Vermont

VEPART is a transdisciplinary research team dedicated to using Participatory Action Research (PAR) methods to synthesize and integrate grower input at all phases of the research process. The co-founders of VEPART are Victor Izzo, an agricultural entomologist, Lecturer, and Educational Coordinator in UVM's Institute for Agroecology, and Scott Lewins, Entomology Extension Educator with UVM Extension Northwest Crops & Soils Program and Extension Coordinator with the Institute.

VEPART works with a multitude of growers in various crop systems to develop appropriate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) tactics for northeastern organic growers, and ultimately a more sustainable approach to pest management.

Current Intiatives

Pre and post-harvest strategies for leek moth control on diversified vegetable farms

Vegetables laid out on a table

We are testing pre and post-harvest tactics for reducing the impact of the leek moth at both the pre- and post-harvest stages of yellow storage onions. These tactics include: the release of a commonly available parasitoid wasp and the adoption of adaptive curing practices to reduce bulb damage from late season leek moth larvae. 

Read the 2020 Leek Moth Research Update here

Biological and cultural tactics for the control of wireworms in root crops

Root vegetables

We are investigating strategies to best prepare root crop growers for wireworm infestations and reduce the likelihood of significant wireworm pressure in root crop plantings. The focus is on not only on currently available tactics for wireworm management in temperate agroecosystems, but also exploring novel tactics to better manage wireworm pressure in sweet potato crops.

Using regionally adapted entomopathogenic nematodes as a biological control for Colorado potato beetle

Potatoes in soil

We are addressing the problems associated with managing Colorado potato beetle infestations and their subsequent damage. We are exploring the combination of above and below ground as biocontrol agents in order to expand the toolbox farmers have for CPB management.

Field assessment of a novel behavioral disruptor for spotted wing Drosophila management in Northeastern berry crops

biodegradable disruptor

We are assessing the utility and economic viability of a novel food-grade, biodegradable, low-tech behavioral disruptor, developed by colleagues at Oregon State University for the management of spotted wing Drosophila. In concert with our farm partners we are developing regional specific protocols for the use of this tool on Northeastern berry farms.


VEPART Research Updates


Our People

Scott Lewins

Scott Lewins
Entomology Extension Educator

Vic IzzoVic Izzo
Research Associate and Lecturer
Maryam Nouri AiinMaryam Nouri Aiin
Post-Doctoral Associate

Collaborators & Supporters

More information coming soon!