Potential projects/topics: Our lab examines the evolutionary ecology of invasive and pest insects. Insects are an excellent organism to work with due to their quick generation times and relative ease of care. Potential projects include opportunities to study ant-aphid interactions and the impact this has on ant colony growth, potential novel host varieties suitable for sorghum aphids, or bioinformatic mining of existing genomic data. All individuals will be trained on lab and field techniques.
Potential skills gained: Data collection, organization, time management, lab/field experience.
Required qualifications: Faculty/P.I.
Direct mentor: Faculty/P.I.
My research focuses on the evolutionary ecology of pest insects; particularly those associated with agroecosystems. I am interested in how population genetic and microbial composition modulate pest traits and their symbiotic interactions.
I combine field collections, experiments, and molecular approaches to answer questions related to insect pests. Through analyzing the population genetic and microbial composition of insects, we can better understand how these modulate pest traits such as host preference, behavior, or reproductive output. By integrating different approaches, we gain a more complete insight about insect pests and can use this to inform management practices.