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Rick Cooper Awarded Doctorate from Rutgers University

Posted by: Cooper Pest
Noted industry leader Richard Cooper successfully has defended his doctoral research on bed bugs, receiving his degree from Rutgers University, Graduate School of New Brunswick, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Department of Entomology.


Phillip Cooper CEO
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Richard Cooper Awarded Doctorate from Rutgers University, Cook College
Great day for the pest management industry

Lawrenceville, N.J. (December 9, 2015)—

Cooper’s doctoral committee consisted of two of the leading bed bug experts internationally, Dr. Changlu Wang, Rutgers University and Dr. Coby Schal, North Carolina State University. Joining Wang and Schal on the committee were Dr. George Hamilton and Dr. Mark Robson, also of Rutgers.

Earning the degree achieves a lifelong dream of Richard and at age 46 he returned to Rutgers, the home of his Masters degree earned in 1991. When asked about his brother’s accomplishment, CEO Phil Cooper said, “We always wanted Rick to receive his doctorate. The best part is that we were able to allow him to pursue his dream worry free of his obligations at Cooper Pest. He has been on sabbatical from the company since 2010, and we are thrilled that he has completed the degree and will be ‘coming home.’

Cooper’s dissertation, “Behavioral ecology and control of bed bugs, Cimex lectularius L., in multifamily housing communities” contains groundbreaking research that will fuel discussion for years to come.

Changlu Wang, Associate Extension Specialist at Rutgers, headed Rick’s committee and the two have collaborated on a host of projects, “Rick spent thousands of hours in the field and visited more than 1000 homes. The challenges he faced were enormous. But he was determined to succeed. He published four papers before dissertation defense, all in prestigious journals!”, stated Wang.

The plaudits extend to renowned entomologist Coby Schal, “Rick has conducted the most detailed spatial analysis of bed bug infestations, factoring in the size of the population, its age, resident behavior, and the type of eradication efforts that had been employed,” commented Dr. Dr. Coby Schal, Blanton J. Whitmire Distinguished Professor of Urban Entomology at North Carolina State University. “Rick conducted an enormous study with passive traps and several CO2 traps, as well as mark-recapture approaches, in dozens of infested homes. His results beautifully documented the demography of bed bug populations, the sex ratio at various sites within the home, and active dispersal of bed bugs within and between apartments. He smartly collected bed bugs and ongoing DNA analysis (in collaboration with Dr. Warren Booth) will reveal patterns of genetic differentiation within and between these apartments. Again, this is by far; the most thorough demographic study conducted to date on bed bugs.”

While receiving his doctorate Rick has continued to be a mentor to Jeff White, Director of Innovation and Technical Content for BedBug Central. Commented White, “Rick has given me every opportunity in my career to be the professional I am today.”

Rick is looking to continue his affiliation with Rutgers University and Wang’s lab as he integrates back to his full-time job at Cooper. Phil Cooper is excited about what the future holds, “We are looking forward to striking a balance that provides Cooper Pest and BedBug Central while ensuring that he continues with his passion for research at Rutgers. I expect it to be a win-win for our team, the team at Rutgers and the entire pest management industry.”

About Cooper Pest Solutions

Cooper Pest Solutions is a progressive and full-service pest management firm located in Lawrenceville, NJ. Since our founding in 1955 by Theodore H. Cooper, we strive to develop or adopt the most advanced and effective pest treatment methodologies available. We innovate and find tomorrow’s pest solutions today through a unique blend of our entomologists and team creating unique & effective pest solutions. To this end, we apply a multidisciplinary approach to pest elimination that ensures the most reliable and effective results while reducing pesticide usage and exposure. We are a family-run company that values our ability to Do the Right Thing, find solutions instead of problems and work collaboratively in a team environment. With every interaction we seek to achieve our company mission: WOW our clients, WOW our teammates, WOW our community and WOW our service partners.

About Bed Bug Central:
BedBug Central (www.bedbugcentral.com) is the nation’s most authoritative source on bed bugs and related issues such as health, detection, and treatment. Nationally regarded entomologist Richard Cooper helped develop the company in 2009, in response to the lack of quality information available on bed bugs. BedBug Central is home to the SenSci Volcano™, an interception device that captures bed bugs, and the SenSci Activ™, a bed bug lure developed and tested through laboratory research conducted by Rutgers University.