Vegetable Extension Specialist & Professor
Phone: (608) 262-3229
As a Vegetable Extension Specialist (65%) and Applied Insect Ecologist (35%) in the Department of Entomology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, my responsibilities include the development, implementation, and delivery of a research-based, extension program to support integrated pest management of insect and mite pests affecting fresh-market and processing vegetable production in Wisconsin.
My extension and research program is centered on the ecology and management of insects of commercial and fresh market vegetable crops. To meet current and emerging challenges, novel research approaches are formulated in response to the stated needs of Wisconsin vegetable growers and producers, cooperating statewide and regional Extension Specialists, County Extension Agricultural Agents, pest management practitioners, crop consultants, and other agribusiness stakeholders in order to assess immediate and developing pest problems. Next, my research program tests hypotheses that further the understanding of pest population biology based on sound ecological principles derived from a combination of both field and laboratory research. Here, it is essential to balance the development of short-term solutions to these immediate and emerging problems, which out of necessity may require purely empirical and at times ad-hoc approaches, with research to develop fundamental concepts and knowledge that will lead to the development of long-term sustainable solutions. Solutions and strategies developed for the commercial and fresh-market vegetable industry must be durable, economical and both environmentally and socially acceptable to remain effective against key, vegetable pest species affecting the industry.
As an extension educator, it is my goal to create an environment conducive to learning and information exchange where vegetable industry stakeholders can be motivated to acquire new information, concepts and skills. A successful extension and research program is most often the result of a team of collaborators working together. My extension and applied research-based program collaborates with research and extension faculty within the departments of Entomology, Horticulture, Plant Pathology, and Crop Science at the University of Wisconsin as well as scientists from other institutions.
Ph.D. Entomology – N.C. State University, 2001
M.S. Entomology – University of Arkansas, 1992
B.S. Forestry – Iowa State University, 1989