Department of Entomology
Research Associate in Will Wetzel's lab205 Center for Integrated Plant Systems
I am a broadly trained ecologist who specializes in antagonistic interactions between plants and insects at the community level. Specifically, plant chemical traits are the key part of any interaction and I examine how defensive chemistry in plants mediates plant-insect interactions. I address questions such as:
1) Which plant chemicals attract colonizing insects to plants?
2) Which plant chemicals reduce insect damage on plants?
3) Does plant chemical diversity promote herbivore and natural enemy diversity?
To address basic and applied questions in regard to plant defense, I use cutting-edge techniques in quantitative statistics and organic chemistry to experimentally manipulate chemical traits and quantify its consequence on insect pests. The motivation driving my research is to merge fundamental questions in ecology with applied issues in agroecology with the goal of implementing these approaches into applied issues of pest control and management in agricultural systems.