“I am excited to have joined the Renkema lab! I recently earned my PhD in Entomology from Washington State University with advisor Bill Snyder. My dissertation examined how “top down” and “bottom up” forces by predatory natural enemies and plant defenses might be enhanced under organic farm management. I used molecular tools to track predation (PCR) and quantify the deployment of plant defenses (qPCR and next-gen sequencing) for potatoes grown under organic or conventional practices in eastern Washington.
“I joined the Renkema lab to start working on developing and testing methods for molecular detection of trophic interactions among arthropods in central Florida strawberry and blueberry agroecosystems using NGS. The goal of the project is to see how the use of managed habitat (e.g., wildflower strips, hedgerows) has the potential to improve ecosystem services such as biological control.”