I am a graduate student in Dr. Deborah McCullough’s lab, pursuing a master’s degree. I am interested in the role insects play in forest ecology, particularly related to pathogens of forest trees. My other research interests include tree physiology and phenology, and using molecular technology to learn more about insect phylogeny. My research focuses on one such interaction: the vectoring of the oak wilt fungus to red oak trees by insects. We are focusing on the beetle family Nitidulidae, commonly referred to as sap or picnic beetles. These beetles are small, but they may play a large part in the progression of oak wilt in forests. Through my research I hope to learn more about the details of that role, to provide forest managers with recommendations on limiting the spread of oak wilt throughout Michigan’s forests.