Prior to joining the Isaacs lab in the fall of 2008, I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Kalamazoo College where I completed an undergraduate thesis project investigating the interactions between ladybeetle predators and milkweed aphids that sequester plant chemical defenses. I received my Masters in Science degree from Western Michigan University where I completed my thesis on the dynamics and impact of chemical defense expression in plant-aphid-coccinellid interactions.
Now at MSU, my Ph.D research is focused on supporting beneficial insects in agricultural landscapes by establishing native wildflower plantings at fruit farms. The idea is that by creating a resource-rich habitat for beneficial insects, such as natural enemies and native bees, we can increase the abundance and diversity of beneficial insects at the farms. This will in turn (hopefully) increase pest suppression in crop fields while also increasing pollination and fruit yield.
For more information please see https://www.msu.edu/~blaauwb1/