University of Maryland (2012-2014)
At The University of Maryland I worked as Lab and Field Manager for Dr. Galen Dively studying insects in agricultural systems. During the spring and summer I led a crew of 11 technicians who prepared fields, planted and cultivated vegetables and field crops, and applied organic and conventional insecticides to measure their effects on dozens of pest and beneficial insect species. We also examined the efficacy of sustainable farming techniques on controlling pests, and conducted research on the evolution of insect resistance to Bt corn, and its effects on non-target species.
In autumn our research focused on studying the movement of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) in corn and soybean fields, and its distribution across the state of Maryland. We also worked on quantifying the damage caused by BMSB in soybeans which can result in Green Stem Syndrome.
In the winter we studied BMSB by maintaining a large colony which I used to study how diapause relates to survival and egg production, and to examine the relationship between BMSB and the mutualistic bacteria that live in its gut.
Virginia Institute of Marine Science (2009-2011)
At The Virginia Institute of Marine Science I worked first as a field technician under Dr. Stan Allen in the Aquaculture Genetics & Breeding Technology Center (ABC). The ABC uses a combination of selective breeding and genetic research to provide specialized brood stock of the Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica to industry.
In the fall of 2009 I began working for Dr. Jeffrey Shields, who studies parasitic diseases in crustaceans. My work focused on Hematodinium parasitic dinoflagellates that cause disease in Norway lobster, snow crab, Tanner crab, hermit crab, and American blue crab. Our field work aimed to examine the distribution of the disease in the blue crab population of the Chesapeake Bay, and our lab work focused on identifying the abiotic factors that contribute to disease risk, and studying the parasite's complicated life cycle.
University of North Carolina Asheville (2006-2009)
While getting my B.S. at the University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA) I participated in the undergraduate research program under Dr. Mike Stuart, and was awarded a research grant to study the life cycle of a native trematode parasite, Metagonimoides oregonenis. Concurrently I worked with Dr. Tim Forrest to describe the mating call of Atlanticus testaceus, the protean shieldback katydid, and how it is affected by changing temperature.