I joined the Entomology and Plant Pathology Department in December of 2021 as the field crop entomologist located at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center in Jackson, TN. I came to UTIA from the LSU AgCenter Dean Lee Research Station in Alexandria, LA where I spent three years as the state-wide field crops research and extension entomologist. Although I have responsibilities as a field crop entomologist, my favorite crop to work in is cotton. My dissertation research focused on twospotted spider mite management and ecology in cotton.

At the University of Tennessee, I have a 25% research and 75% extension appointment. I perform applied research related to field crop entomology including evaluation of IPM tactics, insecticide efficacy, insecticide resistance and transgenic technologies for Tennessee producers. Much of this information is gleaned from producers, county agents, crop consultants, agrochemical industry professionals and field investigations. We provide answers to these questions through applied research designed to provide economically feasible and practical recommendations to our growers. Information is distributed to our clientele through county agricultural agents, website blog, IPM newsletters, stakeholders and agent in-service meetings.

My research/extension appointment allows me the flexibility to readily address producer problems with my team at the WTREC in Jackson. To operate a successful field crop entomology program, teamwork is essential. I take a hands-on approach to every aspect of field crop entomology and leverage the skills of my team to accomplish the goals of the program. No one works for me, they work with me.

Research Focus

My research focus is centered around current and emerging issues in row crops. The type and magnitude of insect problems facing our clientele fluctuates greatly from year to year. It is important that my lab be flexible and ready to address a broad range of immediate pest problems.

We routinely conduct insecticide screening trials, seed treatment efficacy, Bt resistance monitoring in cotton/corn, systems tests and application timing studies on a broad range of insects. I am continuing the lab’s efforts in monitoring tobacco thrips resistance to acephate, examining the fit of new transgenic Bt technologies in the Tennessee landscape and working with agrochemical companies to determine new attributes of proprietary insecticide compounds. My lab is also involved in conducting investigative studies with the Midsouth Entomology Working Group (MSEWG) into insect management strategies across different field crops.

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Extension and outreach focus

My extension philosophy is centered on communication and collaboration with stakeholders. Our clientele are often faced with dynamic problems that evolve from year to year or field to field. Working with county agents and growers allows me to gain first hand knowledge of potential problems that often are not confined to a specific county or field. This approach allows me to have a transparent program that welcomes participation by my clientele.

An example of this is our H. zea moth trapping locations. Bollworms/corn earworm are significant pests of field crops in Tennessee. By identifying locations with county agents, we are able to continuously monitor locations across West TN for adult migrations during the summer months. This forecasting system allows us a way to detect moths, in a given area, and communicate those findings to county agents.

With the ever-changing status of insects and introductions of invasive species, agricultural professionals rely on extension to provide valuable information on management tactics and effective methods of reducing insect damage to their crops. My lab collaborates with numerous national and international programs to help keep Tennessee and Midsouth producers informed of changing pest dynamics in field crops.

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Teaching focus

My teaching focus emphasizes a hands-on approach to learning. I encourage active participation at all levels from 4H to farmers. By encouraging an active learning environment, new ideas and questions can freely flow which helps create solutions and increases retention. With graduate and undergraduate students I take an active role in their education while also promoting critical thinking skills and applied problem solving.

Sebe Brown

Assistant Professor
office (731) 425-4793
cell (318) 498-1283
EPP main office (865) 974-7135

West Tennessee Research and Education Center
605 Airways Boulevard
Jackson, TN 38301

UT Crops

B.S., Entomology, Texas A&M University
M.S., Entomology, Louisiana State University
Ph.D., Entomology, Louisiana State University

75% Extension, 25% Research

Sustainable Disease and Integrated Pest Management Systems

field crop entomology, insecticide resistance, plant insect interactions

population genetics and genomics, pathogen spread, diversity and spatial distribution, thousand cankers disease, Geosmithia spp., host-pathogen-vector interactions, phytobiome, molecular detection

I am always seeking motivated individuals to work in my laboratory. Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about research opportunities in my laboratory.

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  • What role does new transgenic technologies play in Tennessee agriculture?
  • Do commercially available Bt corn and cotton varieties control target insects in the landscape?
  • What use rates and application timings of commercially available insecticides provide the greatest level of insect control while also providing the best ROI?
  • What factors increase pest densities in field crops?
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  • Sandy Steckel, Research Technician
  • Mathew Williams, Research Technician
  • Alexandra Crowder, M.S. Student

For complete list of publications please visit my