Areas of Expertise:
Population genetics, population genomics, genome assembly, diagnostics, aphidology, molecular ecology.
Navel orangeworm (Amyelois transitella), western tarnished plant bug (Lygus hesperus), soybean aphid (Aphis glycines)
I am interested in the evolutionary and ecological mechanisms governing adaptation in pest insects, and how these mechanisms can be manipulated to develop insect resistance management programs. My work takes a hybrid approach to understanding adaptation, coupling genomic/genetic tools with field trials. Through this approach I seek to clarify both the genetic basis of traits and the ecological variables that drive their proliferation in the field. In the past my work utilized population genomic approaches to address virulence adaptation in soybean aphid (Aphis glycines), but I am currently pivoting my program to address the needs of Californian growers. Ongoing projects include the development of diagnostic molecular tools for the identification of pest species, analysis of field management practices impact on pollinator efficiency in seed alfalfa, the population wide genomic patterns of insecticide selection in Lygus bug, and the population genetics of navel orangeworm over geographic space and host.