Department of Environmental Science and Policy

Joseph Staples

Lecturer in Environmental Science
Joe Staples

Office Location

105E Bailey Hall on the USM Gorham Campus

Faculty Office Hours Summer 2016

by Appointment



Academic Degrees

  • Ph. D, Biological Science, Illinois State University
  • M.S. Environmental Forest Biology & Chemical Ecology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Syracus
  • B.S. Environmental Forest Biology SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Syracus


Joe joined the Department of Environmental Science & Policy (ESP) as a part-time adjunct faculty member in 2006 and came onboard as a full-time lecturer in 2010.  He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Environmental Forest Biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University and his Ph.D. in Biology from Illinois State University. He conducts research in the areas of environmental entomology & physiology, chemical ecology, and integrated pest management - often in collaboration with other researchers at USM as well as local and national organizations.  

Joe is a graduate of the former Scholar Educator Program at Illinois State University and has taught more than thirty different courses in biology and environmental science.  

Courses Taught at USM

  • ESP 101-Fundamentals of Environmental Science
  • ESP 102-Fundamentals of Environmental Science Lab
  • ESP 110-Introduction to Nature Tourism
  • ESP 125-Environmental Ecology
  • ESP 125-Environmental Ecology Lab
  • ESP 150 Field Immersion
  • ESP 280-Research & Analytical Methods
  • ESP 412-Field Ecosystems Ecology
  • ESP 413-Forest Ecology
  • ESP 475 Senior Seminar
  • EYE 102-Sustainability Culture and the Environment
  • BIO 361-Parsitology Lect
  • BIO 361Parsitology Lab
  • LCC 130-The Biology of Human Health
  • LCC 230-Environmental Science, Policy, & Sustainability
  • SCI 130-Natural Science Topics
  • SCI 105K-Biological Principles I
  • SCI 106K-Biological Principles I Laboratory

Areas of Expertise


Forest Ecology

Chemical Ecology

Environmental Physiology

Research Interests

Joe’s current projects include the pheromone biology of the introduced forest pest known as the Pine False Webworm, Acantholyda erythrocephala; water balance and parasitism in pupal stages of the introduced pine sawfly, Diprion similis; assessing heavy metal uptake in aquatic insects as a mechanism for lateral transport of pollutants in natural systems; and along with students in ESP, is developing best practices methods for digital curation of insects and other biological specimens.  Joe is also co-investigator on the Maine Indoor Air Quality and the Long Creek research programs where he and his colleagues in ESP, along with their students, are developing methods and/or technologies for sampling and analysis of air, water, and sediments.  He is also working with USM’s Campus Ventures program in collaboration with the Maine Center for Enterprise Development in Portland on a new illumination system for microscopes.  The work involves students in USM’s Departments of Environmental Science, Engineering, and Technology .

Areas of Scholarship



Chemical Ecology


Recent Publications

Elias S.P., Lubelczyk C.B., Rand P.W., Staples J.K., St Amand T.W., Stubbs C.S., Lacombe E.H., Smith L.B., Smith R.P. Jr.  (2013) Effect of a botanical acaricide on Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) and nontarget arthropods. Journal of Medical Entomology 50(1):126-36.

Staples J. K., Bartelt R. J., Cosse. A. A., Whitman D. W.  (2009) Sex Pheromone of the Pine False Webworm Acantholyda erythrocephala (Hymenoptera: Pamphiliidae) Journal of Chemical Ecology. 35:1448-60.

Staples, Joseph K., 2008.  Natural Resource Inventory of Malaga Island, Phippsburg, Maine.  For: Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Topsham Maine

Staples J. K., B. S. Krall, R. J. Bartelt, and D. W. Whitman. (2002) Chemical Defense in the Plant Bug Lopidea robiniae (Uhler). Journal of Chemical Ecology.  28: 601-615