I am a biologist, ecologist, and forest entomologist. I am interested in population dynamics and mortality of insects, particularly of invasive forest insects. I am currently a Biological Scientist with USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine Science & Technology, working in the forest insect methods laboratory.
My dissertation research was on population dynamics of winter moth, an invasive pest in the northeastern United States. My research evaluates the identity and role of natural enemies present in North America (predators, parasitoids, and pathogens) on winter moth, and their interactions with mortality from the introduced biological control agent C. albicans. Additionally, my research considers different agents of mortality on winter moth, as compared to the mortality acting on a native congener Bruce spanworm, quantifying the interchange between natural enemies (pathogens, parasites, and predators) between these two species and their population-level effects.
Current research focus
Currently, my main research focus is on understanding the general biology and the host range of Anastatus orientalis, a parasitic wasp of the invasive spotted lanternfly. Spotted lanternfly is a new, destructive pest of trees and woody shrubs in the Eastern U.S. and my research on parasitoids of spotted lanternfly is essential for development of biological control of this recent invader. I am starting a new project aiming to determine the distribution and natural enemy complex of the Roseau cane scale insect in Asia. I also collaborate on gypsy moth and emerald ash borer research.