Ph.D., Entomology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. Expected completion December 2013
M.S., Biological Sciences, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL. August 2009
B.S., Biology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. December 2006.
My research aims to use conservation biological control, specifically habitat manipulation in the form of field-bordering weed strips, to aid in the control of aphid pests. These manipulations are used to increase the abundance and diversity of existing natural enemies, so that they may be more effective for pest suppression, by providing them with extra pollen, nectar, physical refugia, and alternative prey or hosts. I incorporate many techniques, including field sampling to study insect population dynamics, laboratory studies to identify feeding behavior and prey preference, DNA-based gut content analysis to identify food web interactions between predators and prey, and enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) of plants and arthropods to identify the presence (or absence) of Barley Yellow Dwarf Disease.
Primary Research Objectives
- 1. Identify the structure of the food web between generalist predators and their prey in winter wheat.
- 2. Examine the effects of habitat manipulation on natural enemy abundance.
- 3. Quantify the distribution of Barley Yellow Dwarf virus in winter wheat
- 4. Examine the predator response to Barley Yellow Dwarf virus.
Professional Affiliations• Entomological Society of America
• International Organization of Biological Control
• American Arachnological Society
• Delta Epsilon Iota
• Phi Sigma
Major AdvisorJames D. Harwood
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