Technical Consultant and Expert Witness specializing in Insecticide Toxicology & Environmental Toxicology
Schedule a Consultation: (515) 232-2998

Areas of Specialization

Technical Consulting

  • I have served on the scientific advisory panel of a company that develops and sells natural insecticides, repellents, fungicides and herbicides. My role included identification of potential target pests, delivery routes, and formulations, as well as evaluating biological efficacy results, potential non-target effects, mechanisms of action, chemical residue data, information that could be generated for registration of products, and new research directions.
  • I consulted for one agrochemical company, as a member of an expert panel, regarding the advisability of development of a pesticide for the market. After reading extensive background data on efficacy against different pests, potential for issues of toxicology and safety, ecotoxicology and residues in soil, water and air, I asked questions and then formed my opinions during discussions with company scientists and the panel members. Our panel then made recommendations to the company.
  • I have served on U.S. EPA Scientific Advisory Panels (1) regarding atrazine herbicide and potential effects on amphibians and (2) regarding methodology for studying pesticide dissipation in soils. I read extensive background documents in the form of reports and scientific literature, and evaluated the data generated and the methods used to produce that data in those reports and articles. This panel then provided guidance for the EPA and agrochemical companies on what data gaps were identified and what types of studies should be conducted (and what specific methods should be utilized for those studies).
  • I served on two panels that evaluated the information on new herbicide-tolerant crops (corn and soybeans) for the USDA APHIS, as they considered advisability of recommending registration of the products. Questions and comments from the public comment period were also addressed by these panels.
  • I served on two expert panels for an agrochemical company to prepare ecological risk assessment documents for an insecticide; one panel addressed the aquatic ecosystem risk assessment, and the other panel addressed the terrestrial ecosystem risk assessment. Evaluating and interpreting data from many sources (scientific literature, government reports, and company internal documents) resulted in documents for the company to submit to the EPA regarding probabilities of adverse ecological effects from uses of that insecticide on crops; it also produced two major publications on ecological risk assessment of the pesticide. My role later included assisting in presenting one of the assessments to the U.S. EPA.


  • I served as a technical consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice regarding a law suit that focused on the value of a novel group of pesticides that were patented but were similar in structure to others already on the market. I advised the attorneys of questions to ask and provided analysis of the novelty and the potential market value of the group of chemicals in question. I also provided an expert report of my opinions.
  • I consulted for attorneys who represented a major agrochemicals company involved in a patent infringement law suit over two subgroups of a new successful class of insecticides. I read the patents and evaluated the arguments for similarity, i.e. whether the structures of the second subgroup were “obvious from prior art.” I provided expert analysis of the chemistry, insect toxicology, mechanisms of action and metabolism of the two subgroups of insecticides to the attorneys, and I prepared an expert opinion report.
  • I served as a technical consultant on a legal case focused on a die-off at a shrimp farm that allegedly resulted from aerial application of a mixture of insecticides in adjacent agricultural fields. I read background information on the insecticides used, the rates and timing of application, the susceptibility of shrimp to those types of insecticides and the chemical residue analyses. I prepared an expert report on my opinions, and I gave a deposition.
  • I have been involved as a technical expert for several law suits regarding insecticides that were applied for termite control. I evaluated the background information regarding application methods, insecticide applied, rates and timing, and in each case I prepared an expert opinion report. I was deposed in several of those cases and testified in court once.
  • I have served as a technical consultant to attorneys in several cases involving herbicide drift and potential exposure of non-target species, including sensitive crops, vegetables, ornamentals, pets or people. I analyzed the location, timing, rates and location of the applications, as well as the herbicide used, the residue data collected and the degradation rates of that herbicide in the environment. I provided several expert opinion reports in those cases.

Joel R. Coats, Ph.D.

Joel Coats

President ENTOX, Inc. and Distinguished Professor of Entomology and Toxicology Pesticide Toxicology Laboratory, Department of Entomology.

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Contact Information


524 River Oak Drive
Ames, Iowa 50010-4755

Phone: (515) 232-3989
Fax: (515) 294-4757

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