Education and Background
PhD student, Zoology program and Entomology department
Minor: Science & Technology Studies
B.S. Cornell University, summa cum laude
Majors: International Agriculture & Rural Development; Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Thesis: Ladybird beetles in corn fields: interactions of generalist predators and landscape patterns at multiple spatial scales. Advisor: Alison Power.
I grew up in the wetlands and on the beaches of eastern New York, where my love for the natural world began. A desire to answer scientific questions of environmental and social importance has led me to ecology research in a wide range of landscapes, from New York, Mississippi, and Alaska to Belarus, India, and Uganda. Before joining the Gratton lab, I worked with the US Department of Agriculture Farmer-to-Farmer program in Eastern Europe and as a staff scientist for the US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticides in Washington DC, as well as the Office of International & Tribal Affairs.
My current research focuses on soybean aphid (Aphis glycines), an exotic agricultural pest, and its natural enemies across spatial and temporal gradients. I am broadly interested in the drivers and consequences of insect population dynamics across managed systems, both agricultural and non-agricultural, at landscape scales.
I’m also collaborating with Amy Alstad of the Damschen lab to examine linkages between plant and insect communities in remnant and restored tallgrass prairies. Other research interests include metapopulations, landscape metrics, nontraditional conservation corridors, restoration ecology, biological and chemical insect pest control, regulatory entomology, and policy applications of population biology for land management.
Dancing (square, contra, waltz, zydeco, cajun, blues, swing, anything!), backpacking, hiking, gardening, beekeeping, canoeing, biking, hunting, fishing, attempting to ski, and reading the New York Times. Nothing makes me happier than being outside or two-stepping.
O’Rourke, Megan E., Kaitlin Rienzo-Stack, and Alison G. Power. 2011. A multi-scale, landscape approach to predicting insect populations in agroecosystems. Ecological Applications 21:1782–1791.
Atwood, Donald; David Brassard, Nikhil Mallampalli, Kaitlin Rienzo-Stack, Derek Berwald, and TJ Wyatt. 2010. Qualitative assessment of the impacts of risk management strategies for endosulfan on multiple crops: extending restricted entry intervals and cancellation (DP #372055). United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA-HQ-OPP-2002-0262-0161.
On campus: Wisconsin Ecology Group, Center for Culture, History, and Environment, Holtz Center, Science & Technology Studies, Novel Ecosystems IGERT, Public Humanities Exchange and at times: GreenHouse, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery Emerging Interfaces Award