James Villegas

Title Assistant Professor/Entomology
Department Dean Lee Research Station
E-mail JVillegas@agcenter.lsu.edu
Address 1 8105 Tom Bowman Drive
Alexandria, LA 71302
Phone 318-473-6520
Fax 318-473-6503

Ph.D. in Entomology, 2021

  • Louisiana State University
  • Dissertation Title: Investigating plant tolerance for the management of insect pests in rice

M.S. in Entomology, Minor in Applied Statistics, 2017

  • Louisiana State University
  • Thesis Title: Effects of soil silicon amendment and nitrogen fertilization on the rice insect pest complex

B.S. in Life Sciences, 2012

  • Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines
  • Specialization in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
  • Thesis Title: Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analyses of RNA segments 5 and 6 of rice ragged stunt virus transmitted by Nilaparvata lugens in Southeast Asia

Assistant Professor – LSU AgCenter, Dean Lee Research and Extension Center (Mar 2022–present)

  • Field crops entomologist with statewide extension responsibilities working in all field crops including cotton, corn, soybean, grain sorghum, and wheat. Applied research is focused on integrated pest management of insects affecting field crops.

Research Associate Specialist – LSU AgCenter, Entomology Department (Aug 2018–Mar 2022)

  • Responsible for conducting greenhouse, field, and laboratory experiments examining ecology and management of sugarcane and rice insect pests.

Greenhouse Services – LSU AgCenter, Central Research Station (Jul 2021–Mar 2022)

  • Provide insect pest management services as directed by greenhouse manager for all campus-based greenhouse facilities.

Graduate Research Assistant – LSU AgCenter, Entomology Department (May 2015–Jul 2018)

  • Conducted field, greenhouse, and laboratory research projects with a focus on rice pest management. Supervised >10 student workers both on-campus and the rice research station. Assisted visiting research fellows on their research projects.

Researcher – International Rice Research Institute, Entomology (Mar 2013–Apr 2015)

  • Project and research coordinator of a countrywide integrated pest management program for sustainable rice production. Our group developed ecological engineering approaches to restore and conserve ecosystem services for pest management in rice production. We also conducted nationwide training on insect pest management to Department of Agriculture officials and local farmers.

Research Assistant – Ateneo de Manila University, Biology Department (May 2012–Feb 2013)

  • Conducted molecular analyses on rice ragged and rice grassy viruses collected in Southeast Asian countries. Responsibilities included DNA and RNA extraction, Reverse-transcriptase PCR, sequence editing, phylogenetic analyses, manuscript preparation, and mentoring 8 undergraduate students on their research.

Refereed Publications

  1. Wilson, B.E., J.M. Villegas, and M.J. Stout. 2022. Economic returns on seed treatment combinations in Louisiana rice. Crop Protection; doi: 10.1016/j.cropro.2022.105983
  2. Villegas, J.M., B.E. Wilson, and M.J. Stout. 2021. Integration of host plant resistance and cultural tactics for management of root- and stem-feeding insect pests in rice. Frontiers in Agronomy 3: 754673; doi:10.3389/fagro.2021.754673
  3. Villegas, J.M., B.E. Wilson, and M.J. Stout. 2021. Assessment of tolerance and resistance of inbred rice cultivars to combined infestations of rice water weevil and stemborers. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 169: 629–639. doi:10.1111/eea.13054
  4. Villegas, J.M., B.E. Wilson, M.O. Way, J. Gore, and M.J. Stout. 2021. Tolerance to rice water weevil, Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus Kuschel (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), infestations among hybrid and inbred rice cultivars in the Southern U.S. Crop Protection 139: 105368. doi: 10.1016/j.cropro.2020.105368
  5. Wilson, B.E., J.M. Villegas, M.J. Stout, and K.J. Landry. 2021. Relative yield loss from rice stem borers (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) and the rice water weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 114: 1159–1165. doi:10.1093/jee/toab046
  6. Wilson, B.E., L.D. Salgado, and J.M. Villegas. 2021. Optimizing chemical control for Diatraea saccharalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in sugarcane. Crop Protection; doi: 10.1016/j.cropro.2021.105843
  7. Villegas, J.M., B.E. Wilson, and M.O. Way. 2021. Management of stemborers (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) using foliar-applied chlorantraniliprole in rice. Florida Entomologist 104 (4): 274–281.
  8. Salgado, L.D., B.E. Wilson, J.M. Villegas, R.T. Richard, and H.J. Penn. 2021. Resistance to the sugarcane borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in Louisiana sugarcane cultivars. Environmental Entomology; doi:10.1093/ee/nvab118
  9. Wilson, B.E., J.M. Villegas, M.O. Way, R.A. Pearson, and M.J. Stout. 2020. Cyantraniliprole: A new insecticidal seed treatment for U.S. rice. Crop Protection 140: 105410. doi: 10.1016/j.cropro.2020.105410
  10. Holt, J.R., L. Bernaola, K.E. Britt, [et al., including J.M. Villegas]. 2020. Synergisms in science: Climate change and integrated pest management through the lens of communication – 2019 student debates. Journal of Insect Science 20(5): 31; 1–11. doi: 10.1093/jisesa/ieaa077
  11. Villegas, J.M., B.E. Wilson, and M.J. Stout. 2019. Efficacy of reduced rates of chlorantraniliprole seed treatment on insect pests of irrigated drill-seeded rice. Pest Management Science 75: 3193–3199. doi: 10.1002/ps.5437
  12. Parker, C., L. Bernaola, B. Lee, [et al., including J.M. Villegas]. 2019. Entomology in the 21st Century: Tackling insect invasions, promoting advancements in technology, and using effective science communication – 2018 student debates. Journal of Insect Science 19(4): 4; 1–11. doi: 10.1093/jisesa/iez069
  13. Vu, Q., A.F. Ramal, J.M. Villegas, A. Jamoralin, C.C. Bernal, J.M. Pasang, M.L.P. Almazan, D. Ramp, J. Settele, and F.G. Horgan. 2018. Enhancing the parasitism of insect herbivores through diversification of habitat in Philippine rice fields. Paddy and Water Environment 16: 379–390. doi: 10.1007/s10333-018-0662-y
  14. Horgan, F.G., Q. Vu, C.C. Bernal, A.F. Ramal, J.M. Villegas, and M.L.P. Almazan. 2018. Population development in rice black bug, Scotinophara latiuscula (Breddin), under varying nitrogen in a field experiment. Entomologia Generalis 37: 19–33. doi: 10.1127/entomologia/2017/0468
  15. Villegas, J.M., M.O. Way, R.A. Pearson, and M. Stout. 2017. Integrating soil silicon amendment into management programs for insect pests of drill-seeded rice. Plants 6:33; doi:10.3390/plants6030033.
  16. Horgan, F., A.F. Ramal, J.M. Villegas, M.L. Almazan, C. Bernal, A. Jamoralin, J.M. Pasang, G. Orboc, V. Agreda and C. Arroyo. 2017. Ecological engineering with high diversity vegetation patches enhances bird activity and ecosystem services in Philippine rice fields. Regional Environmental Change 17: 1355–1367. doi: 10.1007/s10113-016-0984-5
  17. Horgan, F., J.M. Villegas, A.F. Ramal, M.L. Almazan, C. Bernal, A. Jamoralin, J.M. Pasang, M. Perez, and A. Naredo. 2017. Effects of bund crops and insecticides on arthropod diversity and herbivore regulation in tropical rice fields. Journal of Applied Entomology 141: 587–599. doi: 10.1111/jen.12383
  18. Jones, C.R., M.R. Lorica, J.M. Villegas, A.F. Ramal, F.G. Horgan, G.R. Singleton, and A.M. Stuart. 2017. The stadium effect: rodent damage patterns in rice fields explored using giving-up densities. Integrative Zoology 12: 438–445. doi: 10.1111/1749-4877.12251
  19. Horgan, F., A.F. Ramal, C. Bernal, J.M. Villegas, A.M. Stuart, and M.L. Almazan. 2016. Applying ecological engineering for sustainable and resilient rice production systems. Procedia Food Science 6: 7–15. doi: 10.1016/j.profoo.2016.02.002

Pesticide Evaluation Research

  1. Villegas, J.M., B.E. Wilson, S.A. Brown, and J.T Copes. 2021. Evaluation of insecticidal seed treatments and foliar-applied insecticides against rice billbug in Louisiana row rice, 2020. Arthropod Management Tests 46; doi:10.1093/amt/tsab073.
  2. Villegas, J.M., B.E. Wilson, and L.D. Salgado. 2020. Evaluation of Intrepid Edge for Control of the Sugarcane Borer in Louisiana Sugarcane, 2019. Arthropod Management Tests 45; doi:10.1093/amt/tsaa056.
  3. Villegas, J.M., B.E. Wilson, and M.J. Stout. 2019. Evaluation of foliar-applied insecticides against rice stink bug, 2018. Arthropod Management Tests 44; doi:10.1093/amt/tsz014.
  4. Villegas, J.M., B.E. Wilson, and M.J. Stout. 2018. Small field plot evaluation of foliar-applied insecticides against stem borers in drill-seeded rice, 2018. Arthropod Management Tests 43; doi:10.1093/amt/tsy104.
  5. Villegas, J.M., B.E. Wilson, and M.J. Stout. 2018. Efficacy of pyrethroid foliar application against rice water weevil, 2018. Arthropod Management Tests 43; doi:10.1093/amt/tsy098.
  6. Bernaola, L. M.M. Saad, J. Villegas, B. Wilson, and M.J. Stout. 2018. Control of the South American rice miner using chlorantraniliprole seed treatments, 2017. Arthropod Management Tests 43; doi:10.1093/amt/tsy056.

Extension Publications

  1. Villegas, J.M., B.E. Wilson, and K.J. Landry. 2021. Efficacy of seed treatment combinations against rice water weevil and stemborers. 112th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 112: 402–405.
  2. Villegas, J.M., B.E. Wilson, K.J. Landry, and M.J. Stout. 2021. Effects of planting date on rice water weevil density and stem borer injury. 112th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 112: 399–401.
  3. Villegas, J.M., B.E. Wilson, S.A. Brown, and J.T. Copes. 2021. Effects of seed treatments and foliar insecticide on rice billbug in Louisiana furrow-irrigated rice. 112th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 112: 397.
  4. Wilson, B.E., J.M. Villegas, and K.J. Landry. Screening of advanced lines in the variety development program for susceptibility to insect pests. 2021. 112th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 112: 396.
  5. Mulcahy, M.M., J.M. Villegas, B.E. Wilson, T.E. Reagan, and K.J. Landry. Assessing the feasibility of integrating chemical and cultural control methods for improved management of Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus Kuschel (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Louisiana rice. 112th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 112: 408–409.
  6. Villegas, J.M., B.E. Wilson, and K.J. Landry. 2020. Efficacy of foliar-applied insecticides against stemborers. 111th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 111: 460.
  7. Wilson, B.E., J.M. Villegas, and K.J. Landry. 2020. Evaluation of combinations of seed treatments for control of the rice pest complex. 111th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 111: 456–457.
  8. Wilson, B.E., J.M. Villegas, and K.J. Landry. 2020. Comparison of insect pest susceptibility among commercial and advanced experimental rice lines. 111th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 111: 458.
  9. Mulcahy, M.M., B.E. Wilson, J.M. Villegas, K.J. Landry, R. Diaz, and T.E. Reagan. 2020. Assessing the feasibility of using remote sensing to predict populations of rice water weevil. 111th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 111: 463–465.
  10. Villegas, J.M, B.E Wilson, M.J. Frey, and M.J Stout. 2019. Efficacy of select insecticides against rice stink bugs. 110th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 110: 428–429.
  11. Wilson, B.E., J.M. Villegas, M.M. Mulcahy, M.J. Frey, and M.J. Stout. 2019. Assessment of insecticidal seed treatment combinations for control of rice water weevil and stem borers. 110th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 110: 424.
  12. Wilson, B.E., J.M. Villegas, M.M. Mulcahy, and M.J. Frey. 2019. Examination of foliar-applied insecticides for control of rice stem borers. 110th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 110: 425.
  13. Wilson, B.E., J.M. Villegas, and E. Kraus. 2019. Insect pests drive regional differences in rice seed treatment usage. Louisiana Agriculture 62: 17.
  14. Wilson, B.E., L.D. Salgado, and J.M. Villegas. 2019. Assessment of varietal resistance to the sugarcane borer. Sugarcane Research Annual Progress Report 2018, 142–143.
  15. Wilson, B.E., J.M. Villegas, and M.M. Mulcahy. 2019. Evaluation of insecticides, application timing, and water volume for control of sugarcane borer. Sugarcane Research Annual Progress Report 2018, 144–146.
  16. Wilson, B.E., J.M. Villegas, and M.M. Mulcahy. 2019. Evaluation of soil-applied insecticides for control of wireworms at planting. Sugarcane Research Annual Progress Report 2018, 148–149.
  17. Villegas, J.M., L. Bernaola, E. Kraus, M. Mulcahy, B. Wilson, M.J. Frey, and M.J. Stout. 2018. Effects of planting date on stem borer populations in drill-seeded rice. 109th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 109: 358–359.
  18. Bernaola, L., M. Mohamad Saad, J.M. Villegas, E. Kraus, B. Wilson, M.J. Frey, and M.J. Stout. 2018. Effects of Dermacor against South American rice miner. 109th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 109: 353–355.
  19. Kraus, E., J.M. Villegas, M. Mulcahy, M. Saad, L. Bernaola, B.E. Wilson, and M.J. Stout. 2018. Rice varietal resistance to stem borers. 109th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 109: 361–362.
  20. Bernaola, L., M.M. Saad, J.M. Villegas, E. Kraus, and M. Stout. 2018. Plant resistance as a fundamental component of pest management in Louisiana rice. Louisiana Agriculture 16(1):12–14.
  21. Villegas, J.M., M.J. Frey, and M.J. Stout. 2017. Is hybrid rice more tolerant to rice water weevil injury than conventional rice? 2017. 108th Annual Research Report, LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, 108: 308–309.
  22. Wilson, B., L. Bernaola, E. Kraus, J.M. Villegas, and M. Stout. 2015. Mexican rice borer update. LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station News 12(4).
  23. Horgan, F.G., J.M. Villegas, A.F. Ramal, C. Bernal, A. Jamoralin, J.M. Pasang, C. Arroyo, V. Agreda, and G. Orboc. 2015. Striking a balance through ecologically engineered rice ecosystems. Rice Today 14(2).

  • Southern Sustainable Agriculture, Research & Education (SARE) Graduate Student Grant. 2018-2021. Investigating the role of plant tolerance as a defense against rice water weevil in irrigated drill-seeded rice in Louisiana. Funded $ 16,471.

2022 John Henry Comstock Award, Outstanding Ph.D. Student, ESA-SEB Annual Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico

2020

The Boethel Scholarship Graduate Student Award in Entomology, Department of Entomology, LSU

2019

Overall Winner, Student Debates, ESA Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO

2nd Place, PhD Poster Presentation, ESA-SEB Annual Meeting, Mobile, AL

2nd Place, PhD Poster Presentation, 10th Annual Entomology Graduate Student Symposium, LSU

2018

Topic Winner, Student Debates, ESA Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC

1st Place, PhD Poster Presentation, 9th Annual Entomology Graduate Student Symposium, LSU

2nd Place, Robert T. Gast Award, PhD Oral Presentation, ESA-SEB Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL

Kirby L. Hays Memorial Award Winner, Outstanding Master Student, ESA-SEB Annual Meeting, Orlando FL

Friends of IPM Master Student Award, Southern Region IPM Center, Orlando, FL

Louisiana Agricultural Consultants Association Scholarship, Outstanding Master Student

2017

2nd Place, Student Poster Presentation, Field Crops 2, ESA Annual Meeting, Denver, CO

1st Place, Outstanding MS Poster Presentation, ESA-SEB Annual Meeting, Memphis, TN

2nd Place, MS Oral Presentation, 8th Annual Entomology Graduate Student Symposium, LSU

John and Grace Roussel Graduate Student Award, Outstanding MS Student, Department of Entomology, LSU

2012

Departmental Research Award, Ateneo de Manila University, Department of Biology, School of Science and Engineering

2007–2012

Republic of the Philippines Vice President Noli de Castro Ten Public School Student Academic Scholarship and Award

Full Academic Scholarship, Ateneo de Manila University

2005–2006

Entomological Society of America (ESA) (2015–present)

  • Judge – ESA-SEB Branch Meeting (2021, 2022)
  • Moderator – ESA-SEB Branch Meeting (2022)
  • ESA – Southeastern Branch, (Member 2015 - present)
  • ESA – Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section, (Member 2015 - present)

The International Society for Silicon in Agriculture and Related Disciplines (ISSAG) (2016 - present)

  • Organizing Committee (2022)

LSU Entomology Graduate Student Association (2015 - present)

  • Vice President (2019 - 2020), Media Chair (2018 - 2019), Treasurer (2017 - 2018)
  • LSU Linnaean Games Team to ESA (2017 - 2019)
  • LSU Debate Team to ESA (Team Captain 2018, member 2019)

Rice Technical Working Group (RTWG) (2016, 2018, 2020)

  • Moderator, Crop Protection Session (2020)

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2020)

American Field Service (AFS) (2005 - present)

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture

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