Graduate Students

Krishna Patel (PhD)

Krishna’s research centers on how drought conditions can influence pest outbreaks by affecting both natural enemies and plant defenses.

Carly Sharp (PhD)

Carly’s research explores the links between soil nutrients and densities of weeds and insect-pests. The objective of her research is to use organic fertility-management strategies to create more balance while promoting natural pest suppression.

Matthew Gillis (MS)

Matthew is testing how soil microbiomes (bacteria and fungi) and nematodes in cotton fields can effect plants leading to pest outbreaks like whiteflies.

Malcolm Peavy (PhD)

Malcolm is studying Harpalus pennsylvanicus by catching beetles to check what they eat throughout various seasons while trying to understand how what they eats persists.

Sofie Varriano (PhD)

Sofie is examining the contributions of wild birds and pastured poultry to food safety risks and biocontrol on farms, with the goal of increasing farm management safety and sustainability.

Graduate Student Alumni

Garrison PielMS 2023

Garrison used population genomics and bioinformatics to examine whitefly predator movement patterns across the southeast to inform landscape management decisions for conservation biocontrol.

Priscilla Howard – MS 2023

Priscilla researched the effects of the natural surrounding landscape and farming system on pollinator biodiversity within southeast Georgia’s blueberry farms

Joseph TaylorPhD 2022

Joseph used stable isotope & molecular gut-content analyses to track the feeding habits of predatory insects, to determine how/why predator diets differ in organic versus conventional farming systems.

Olivia Smith

Olivia Smith – PhD 2019

Olivia examined how local- and landscape-scale habitat features impact bird populations on vegetable and integrated-livestock farms.

Jessa Thurman

Jessa ThurmanPhD Student

Jessa was interested in conservation biological control at the local and landscape scales. Jessa completed a Fulbright year in Australia. more

Matt Jones

Matt Jones – PhD 2018

Matt looked at natural approaches to reducing food-safety risks on organic farms, and the ecology of human pathogens in farm soils. He currently is a postdoctoral scholar with Vince Jones at WSU-Wenatchee.

Yang Ge

Yang GePhD 2018

Yang examined the genetic basis of host-plant use by a polyphagous herbivore, the potato psyllid.

Karol Krey

Karol Krey – PhD 2017

Karol examined how organic farming impacts plant “health” – the ability of crops to defend themselves against herbivores. She is currently a postdoctoral scholar with the USDA in Wapato, Washington.

Amanda Meadows

Amanda MeadowsPhD 2016

Amanda investigated the community ecology of medically-important mosquitoes, and how aquatic predators impact mosquito immune function. She is a postdoc at Oregon State University.

Carmen Castillo Carrillo

Carmen Castillo Carrillo – PhD 2015

Carmen examined the ecology of the potato psyllid in agricultural and natural habitats. She is a Research Scientist studying potato agroecology at INIAP in Ecuador.

Christine Lynch

Christine LynchPhD 2013

Christine used molecular gut-content analysis to study the feeding habits of predatory bugs. She is a scientist with USDA-APHIS based in Hawaii.

Elliott Moon

Elliott Moon – MS 2013

Elliott examined the influence of landscape structure on pest and predator populations in potato. He now works as a statistical consultant in Seattle.

Joyce Parker

Joyce ParkerPhD 2012

Joyce explored trap cropping to control the crucifer flea beetle on organic vegetable farms. Joyce is Program Specialist at the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Lessando Gontijo

Lessando GontijoPhD 2011

Lessando explored biological control of the woolly apple aphid. He now is an Assistant Professor of Entomology at the Universidad Federal de Vicosa (Brazil).

Tobin Northfield

Tobin NorthfieldPhD 2011

Tobin examined predator complementarity and niche-breadth differences. He currently is an assistant professor in the Entomology Department at WSU .

Shawn Steffan

Shawn SteffanPhD 2009

Shawn is currently an Associate Professor of Entomology and USDA Scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. more 

Ricardo Ramirez

Ricardo RamirezPhD 2008

Ricardo examined the interactive effects of predators and pathogens. He now is an Associate Professor of Biology at Utah State University. more

Cory Straub

Cory StraubPhD 2006

Cory examined predator biodiversity & herbivore suppression. Cory completed a postdoc at UW-Madison, and now is an Associate Professor of Biology at Ursinus College. more

Renee Prasad

Renee PrasadPhD 2005

Renee examined the use of “beetle banks” for predator conservation. Currently, Renee is an Agriculture faculty member at the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia. more

Deirdre Prischmann-Voldseth

Deirdre Prischmann-VoldsethPhD 2005

Deirdre studied mite biocontrol in wine grape vineyards. Currently, Deirdre is an Associate Professor of Entomology at North Dakota State University. more