WOOSTER, Ohio -- Parwinder Grewal, professor of entomology, was honored April 5 with The Ohio State University's Distinguished Scholar Award.
Grewal was among six Ohio State faculty members to receive the distinction at a ceremony on the Columbus campus. He is based in Wooster at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and also has an appointment with Ohio State University Extension.
Through the use of entomopathogenic nematodes, or roundworms, Grewal has made important contributions to the mitigation of insect pests in both agricultural and urban settings.
His work, which provides safe, effective "green" methods for controlling insect pests, spans several organizational levels -- from the subcellular to the ecosystem. Nematodes are extraordinarily lethal to many insect pests yet are safe for plants and animals. Their sensitivity to environmental extremes such as heat and ultraviolet radiation has limited widespread use. Grewal is exploring the factors limiting their success in various commodities/crops to identify optimal environmental, cultural and management conditions that will favor their performance.
Grewal, an internationally known leader in urban entomology, created the interdisciplinary Urban Landscape Ecology program -- a program that brings together scientists from a wide range of disciplines to address challenges facing landscapes and ecosystems in urban areas. He is also director of the Center for Urban Environment and Economic Development, responsible for the development and commercialization of environmentally compatible methods for controlling pests.
"Dr. Grewal is the leader of the first complete genome sequencing project of an entomopathogenic nematode," said one colleague. "The sequencing project will not only lead to numerous new avenues to expand the biocontrol utility, but will also provide considerable insight into basic pathogen-host relationships."
Grewal's research has resulted in seven invention disclosures and three patents. He is the author of the most cited paper in the field of entomopathogenic nematology and has published 133 peer-reviewed papers. Grewal is also past president of the Society of Nematologists.
Grewal received his B.S. and M.S. from Punjab Agricultural University, and his Ph.D. from the University of London. He started his career at Ohio State in 1997.