Rebecca Schmidt-Jeffris

Assistant Professor
Vegetable and Strawberry Entomology
Horticulture Program Team, Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, Coastal Research and Education Center

Office: Coastal Research and Education Center, Charleston
Phone: 843-402-5311
Personal Website:


 Educational Background

Ph.D. Entomology
Washington State University 2015

B.S. Biology
Washburn University 2010


I am the vegetable and strawberry entomologist for South Carolina. I joined the department in February 2017. My responsibilities include building a research (70%) and extension (30%) program that improves management of mite and insect pests for our stakeholders.

I am involved in the Entomological Society of America and I currently serve on the Plant-Insect Ecosystem Section Governing Council and am the Program Chair for the 2019 meeting of the Southeastern Branch.

Recent Awards:
John Henry Comstock Award, Entomological Society of America (2016)
Richard and Constance Albrecht Award, WSU (2015)
Student Activity Award, ESA (2014)
Student Leadership Award, Pacific Branch ESA (2014)

 Research Interests

I am an applied arthropod ecologist. My prior studies have focused on improving sustainability in agriculture by understanding factors that affect pest and natural enemy populations in agroecosystems. I am interested in whole-system IPM approaches for solving pest management problems. In particular, I am building a research program that focuses on how cultural and biological control coupled with selective pesticide use can improve management outcomes. This includes examining effects of land management history, augmentative and conservation biological control, and pesticide efficacy and resistance management. I am also interested in the effects of soil health management, including cover crop use, on insect pests.

 Extension and Outreach

As part of my extension responsibilities, I offer relevant arthropod management training to stakeholders, aid in identification of arthropods and make management recommendations, and conduct on-farm trials to evaluate management practices and disseminate findings to stakeholders. I also contribute to the Southeastern U.S. Vegetable Crop Handbook, the Southeast Regional Strawberry IPM Guide, and the strawberry pests section of the myIPM app.


14. Leach, A., Fuchs, M., Harding, R., Schmidt-Jeffris, R., and Nault, B.A. (available as pre-print) Imported onion transplants as the principal source for iris yellow spot virus epidemics in New York. Plant Disease. DOI: 10.1094/PDIS-06-17-0793-RE

13. Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Beers, E.H. 2018. Potential impacts of orchard pesticides on Tetranychus urticae: A predator-prey perspective. Crop Prot. 103: 56-64. DOI: 10.1016/j.cropro.2017.09.009

12. Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Nault, B.A. 2017. Residual activity of diamide insecticides for Ostrinia nubilalis control in processing snap bean. Crop Prot. 98: 116-123. DOI: 10.1016/j.cropro.2017.03.019

11. Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Beers, E.H. 2017. Effects of foliar apple trichomes on Galendromus occidentalis (Nesbitt) (Acari: Phytoseiidae): preferences, fecundity, and prey consumption. Agric. Forest Entomol. 19: 93-100. DOI: 10.1111/afe.12184

10. Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Nault, B.A. 2016. Anthranilic diamide insecticides delivered via multiple approaches to control vegetable pests: a case study in snap bean. J. Econ. Entomol. 109: 2479-2488. DOI: 10.1093/jee/tow219

9. Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A., Huseth, A.S., and Nault, B.A. 2016. Estimating E-Race European corn borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) adult activity in snap bean fields based on corn planting intensity and their activity in corn in New York agroecosystems. J. Econ. Entomol. 109: 2210-2214. DOI: 10.1093/jee/tow149

8. Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Beers, E.H. 2016. Assessment of techniques for marking Galendromus occidentalis (Nesbitt). Biocontrol Sci. Techn. 26: 866-871. DOI: 10.1080/09583157.2016.1158782

7. Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Beers, E.H. 2016. Phenology of phytoseiid populations in an insecticide-free apple orchard. Exp. Appl. Acarol. 68: 173-182. DOI: 10.1007/s10493-015-9977-1

6. Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. and Beers, E.H. 2015. Comparative biology and pesticide susceptibility of Amblydromella caudiglans and Galendromus occidentalis as spider mite predators in apple orchards. Exp. Appl. Acarol. 67: 35-47. DOI: 10.1007/s10493-015-9931-2

5. Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A., Beers, E.H, and Crowder, D.W. 2015. Phytoseiids in Washington commercial apple orchards: biodiversity and factors affecting abundance. Exp. Appl. Acarol. 67: 21-34. DOI: 10.1007/s10493-015-9927-y

4. Beers, E.H. and Schmidt-Jeffris, R.A. 2015. Impacts of orchard pesticides on Galendromus occidentalis: repellency and irritancy. J. Econ. Entom. 108: 259-265. DOI: 10.1093/jee/tou047

3. Schmidt, R.A. 2014. Leaf structures affect predatory mites (Mesostigmata: Phytoseiidae) and biological control: A review. Exp. Appl. Acarol. 62: 1-17. DOI: 10.1007/s10493-013-9730-6

2. Beers, E.H. and Schmidt, R.A. 2014. Impacts of orchard pesticides on Galendromus occidentalis: lethal and sublethal effects. Crop Prot. 56: 16-24. DOI:10.1016/j.cropro.2013.10.010

1. Schmidt, R.A., Beers, E.H., Unruh, T.R., and Horton, D.R. 2013. Releases of insectary-reared Galendromus occidentalis (Acari: Phytoseiidae) in commercial apple orchards. J. Econ. Entom. 106: 1996-2005. DOI: 10.1603/EC13153


Clemson Vegetable Entomology Facebook
Schmidt Vegetable Entomology Lab Website