William Ravlin

Professor & Chairperson

William Ravlin

PhD - Michigan State University, Entomology (1980)
MS - Michigan State University (1975)
BS - Michigan State University (1973)

Natural Science Bldg.
288 Farm Lane Room 245
East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: 517-355-4665

Click here to see a list of William Ravlin's publications on Google Scholar.


Dr. Ravlin has a diverse background in basic and translational science with 35 years of academic and administrative experience in research, teaching, and extension. He has been principal and co-principal investigator on grants and contracts totaling over $17M. He published and presented over two hundred papers and presentations in the general areas of insect population dynamics, pheromone-based communication, biological control, integrated pest management, and computer-aided decision making. While at Virginia Tech (1980-1998), he and colleagues developed a nationally recognized gypsy moth integrated pest management program, which became the basis for the current national gypsy moth management program. He also served as the Virginia Integrated Pest Management program coordinator. Between 1998 and 2014 he was the Assistant and then Associate Director of Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. While at OSU, Ravlin developed several interdisciplinary research teams, was a liaison with private industry and economic development organizations, and worked with faculty, staff, and students to increase extramural funding coming to the university. Dr. Ravlin became Chairperson of Michigan State University’s Department of Entomology August 1, 2014.

Current assignment: Research 33% | Teaching 34% | Extension 33%

Program Description

As Department Chairperson, I serve as chief academic and administrative officer of the Department of Entomology and I provide leadership in developing, budgeting, and administering all teaching, research, extension/outreach and international activities. I manage positions and resources and communicate with faculty, students, staff, and MSU administration. I also work closely with industry leaders, clientele groups, professional organizations, and the public. I pursue endowment and other funding opportunities and provide vision and leadership for long-term planning. I report to the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and work with the Dean’s office and the Directors of MSU AgBioResearch, MSU Extension and the Associate Dean and Director for Academic Student Affairs to accomplish departmental goals and objectives.

The Department of Entomology currently has: 37 faculty (tenure system and fixed term), 13 professional staff (academic specialists), 23 technical research staff, 7 office staff, 10 post-docs, 38 graduate students, and an undergraduate program with 17 students. Areas of departmental emphasis include:

  • Securing the world’s food, fuel, and fiber
  • Improving human health
  • Supporting natural resources and biodiversity
  • Bridging fundamental to applied research.

We have major teaching, research, and extension programs in: ecology of pest and beneficial insects and nematodes; integrated pest management; pesticides, toxicology, and resistance; pollinator management and ecology; invasive species ecology and management; chemical ecology of insects and nematodes; aquatic entomology; forensic entomology; systematics and evolution; biomedical entomology; and molecular entomology. The MSU Department of Entomology has strong linkages across campus to interdisciplinary programs, including: Neuroscience; Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior; The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center; Kellogg Biological Station, Long-Term Ecological Research; Environmental Science and Policy; Center for Watershed Studies; Center for Global Change and Earth Observations Sustainable Agriculture; IPM; Pesticide Safety Education Program; Institute for International Agriculture; IR-4; and the U.S. Forest Service. The annual departmental budget is approximately $19 million, with over two thirds coming from extramural funding. More information is available at the Department of Entomology website.


  • Integrated pest management
  • Computer-aided decision making
  • Forest entomology
  • Insect photography

Professional Experience

  • 2014-Present - Professor & Chairperson, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 2014-Present - Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Entomology, Ohio State University
  • 1998-2014 - Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Ohio State University
  • 1980-1998 - Asst., Assoc., Full Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Virginia Tech
  • 2006-2014 - Assoc. Director, Ohio Agric. Research & Development Ctr., Ohio State University
  • 1998-2006 - Asst. Director, Ohio Agric. Research & Development Ctr., Ohio State University

Selected Publications

  • Ravlin, F. W. et. al. 2010. A Science Roadmap for Food and Agriculture for the Land Grant University system”. Ravlin chaired the Experiment Station Committee on Policy Science & Technology Committee and collaborated with over 300 scientists and ESCOP regional executive directors to develop the roadmap for the Land Grant University system.
  • Gray, D. R., and F. W. Ravlin, J. A. Blaine. 2001. Diapause in the gypsy moth: a model of inhibition and development. J. Insect Phys. 47: 173-184.
  • Gray, D. R., and F. W. Ravlin, 1998. Microprocessor controlled mini-environmental chambers capable of subfreezing temperatures in constant or time-varying regimes. Can. Entomol 130: 91-104.
  • Carter, J. L., F. and F. W. Ravlin. 1995. Evaluation of binomial egg mass sampling plans for low density gypsy moth populations in continuously forested habitats. J. Econ. Entomol. 88: 890-896.
  • Gray, D. R., F. W. Ravlin, J. Regniere, and J. A. Logan. 1995. Further advances toward a model of gypsy moth egg phenology: respiration rates and thermal responsiveness during diapause and age-dependent developmental rates in postdiapause. J. Insect Physiology 41: 247-256.
  • Schaub, L. P., F. W. Ravlin, D. R. Gray, and J. A. Logan. 1995. A landscape framework to predict phenological events for gypsy moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) management programs. Environ. Entomol. 24: 10-18.
  • Ravlin, F. W. 1991. Development of monitoring and decision-support systems for integrated pest management of forest defoliators in North America. Forest Ecol. and Manage. 39: 3-13.
  • Grosman, D. M., S. M. Salom, F. W. Ravlin, and R. W. Young. 1997. Geographic and gender differences in semiochemicals in emerging adult southern pine beetle (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Amer. 90: 438-446.
  • Liebhold, A. E. Luzader, R. Reardon, A. Bullard, E. A. Roberts, F. W. Ravlin, S. Delost, and B. Spears. 1997. Use of geographic information system to evaluate regional treatment effects in a gypsy moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) management program. J. Econ. Entomol. 89: 1192-1203.
  • Leuschner, W. A., J. A. Young, S. A. Waldon, and F. W. Ravlin. 1996. Potential benefits of slowing the gypsy moth’s spread. S. J. Appl. Forestry 20: 65-73.