201 Center for Integrated Plant Systems
I joined the Isaacs Lab team in May 2016 as a Research Associate working on a number of projects focused on current pests of concern to berry crop growers in Michigan, and nationally. I’m currently working on two USDA projects, the first funded under the Speciality Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) program and the second by the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) program. Both are nationally coordinated projects involving collaborators across the country. These projects focus on conducting research to develop practical tools for growers to control the invasive fruit fly Spotted Winged Drosophila Drosophila suzukii. In addition to research on D. suzukii, I am also involved in research focused on Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp Hemadas nubilipennis. H. nubilipennis which is native to eastern North America is of increasing concern to blueberry growers, particularly in Michigan.
My primary research interests focus on the investigation of the biology, ecology and associated natural enemies of pest species. Along with the development of integrated pest management (IPM) strategies and how to implement control strategies for pests that complement existing IPM programs if present. My previous research experiences focused on the control leaf beetle pests in the biomass and the Eucalyptus cut-foliage industries in Ireland. These studies, which were part of my Ph.D. dissertation, were conducted under the Walsh Fellowship program, between Teagasc and the BioControl Research Group in University College Dublin, Ireland. Research interests include biological control, insect physiology and interactions with environmental factors, plant-insect interactions, and mostly recently the evaluation of emerging insecticides to control pests in different cropping systems.