What are we working on now?
My current research interests include how urban trees serve as hosts for insect herbivores and how urban street trees structure urban insect communities and plant-insect dynamics along street tree corridors. Some areas of interest include insect biodiversity, insect conservation, demography, invasive species management, urban planning and multitrophic interactions in urban systems.
More information coming soon!!
Research with the USDA included working with the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and three parasitoid species currently used as biocontrol agents. Our three main biocontrol agents included Spathius galinae, Oobius agrili, and Tetrastichus planipennisi. Through in-lab and field experiments we assessed biocontrol's ability to protect ash trees from EAB infestation.
Research with the Doug Tallamy lab at the University of Delaware included conducting arthropod surveys on newly reforested plots with the Delaware Mount Cuba Nature Center. These reforestation projects involved planting hundreds of biodiversity-supporting native trees. Experiments were conducted to see how variables like pesticide use, mowing, and distance between plantings affected the numbers of arthropods that visited and utilized various tree species (i.e. oaks, maples, cherries, etc.). In this lab, we also monitored Bluebird nesting boxes to see how prey items varied in species and size over the course of nestling development.