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Cal Poly Pomona Experts Guide


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Eileen Cullen

Eileen Cullen is an entomologist and educator with over 20 years of experience researching issues in agriculture. Her work has resulted in crop protection recommendations to mitigate stink bugs affecting California processing tomatoes and invasive soybean aphids throughout the Midwestern US. She led a team of growers and wildlife conservationists to successfully register the first food crop use of a biopesticide that protects corn from sandhill cranes without harming the birds, and she was among the first scientists to document corn rootworm resistance to transgenic corn and make recommendations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for responding to the issue.


After working on a wide range of farming systems in the U.S., she is focused on building resilient, equitable and participatory urban food systems with students, faculty, community organizations, and government agencies. A trained organic inspector, she has overseen conversion of university farmland to USDA National Organic Program Certified Organic status, at both Cal Poly Pomona and the University of Wisconsin-Madison .She teaches courses on urban agriculture, crop ecology, organic agriculture and environmental toxicology. Examples of research by her student advisees include microbial food safety on urban farms, hydroponic vegetable production, urban farm soil quality, and edible insect food ingredients. She co-directs the Urban and Community Agriculture Minor at Cal Poly Pomona.

Recent Grants and Fellowships:

  • Co-Principal Investigator, USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grant, “SOCAL Farm to Table: Experiential Learning and Leadership Development in Direct Marketing, Food Safety, and Urban and Community Agriculture,” $246,912(2020–24)
  • Principal Investigator, Agricultural Research Institute, Cal Poly Pomona, “Food Safety on California Urban Farms: Harnessing biological soil amendment microbial activity without increasing risk of microbial foodborne Illness,” $60,000 (2019-21)
  • Principal Investigator, USDA National Institute Food & Agriculture Food Safety Outreach Program, “Equipping Quality Urban Agriculture Leaders (EQUAL): Food Safety Training Customized for Urban and Community Food Production Systems,” $60,000 (2016–18)

Selected Publications:

  • With R. Giordano, “Soybean aphid biotype 1 genome: Insights into the invasive biology and adaptive evolution of a major agricultural pest,” Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 120: 103334, 2020
  • With J. Tao, G. Davidov-Pardo, B. Burns-Whitmore, and O. Yao, “Effects of edible insect ingredients on the physiochemical and sensory properties in extruded rice products,” Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, 3(4): 263-278, 2017
  • With E.G. Murrell and C. R. Hanson, “European corn borer oviposition response to soil fertilization practices and arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization of corn,” Ecosphere, 6(6):95, 2015
  • With K. Reilly, T. Lola-Luz, D. Stone, J. Valverde, M. Gaffney, N. Brunton, J. Grant, and B.S. Griffiths, “Effect of organic, conventional, and mixed cultivation practices on soil microbial community structure and nematode abundance in a cultivated onion crop,” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 93(15), 3700-3709, 2013
  • With M.E. Gray, A.J. Gassmann and B.E. Hubbard, “Resistance to Bt corn by western corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in the U.S. Corn Belt,” ​Journal of Integrated Pest Management, 4(3), D1-D6, 2013 
  • With K.M. Holm, “Aligning insect IPM programs with a cropping systems perspective: Cover crops and cultural pest control in Wisconsin organic corn and soybean,” Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 37(5), 550-577, 2013 
  • “Extension specialist roles in communities of interest and place: An example from the agriculture-wildlife interface,” Journal of Extension, 48(1), 1FEA2, 2010



Ph.D., Entomology; M.S., Plant Protection and Pest Management, University of California, Davis
B.S., Agriculture Education, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

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