Small insects. Big challenges.

In the forest insect ecology lab, we study how forest insects manifest global change in areas such as invasion biology and climate change. We work on insect challenges to trees and forests that span state, region, national, and international scales.

Come explore who we are and what we're working on.

News and Events

31 May 2024

Who doesn't enjoy a good tractor pull!? Spring rains + field work = grad school stories. The spongy moth crew appreciates our local Minnesota [non-judgmental] farmers with John Deere tractors.

30 May 2024

And congrats to Emily, who has accepted a faculty position at U Missouri in Extension starting this August. Very, very proud to see a student get her "dream" job close to home! Mizzou, you're getting a good one!

29 May 2024

Paying in forward: Congrats to Kristy McAndrew, who became the first PhD graduate of one of our of our lab's graduates (Sam Ward). Well done Kristy! She starts as Asst. Prof. Extension Forestry at Mississippi State U in July.

04 May 2024

Has it been four years already? Brian donned his regalia and hooded Emily at commencement ceremony today. Her PhD will be conferred following defense this summer.

22 Apr 2024

Grace and Rose are taking a break from writing their Masters theses to share their work at the Western Forest Insect Work Conference in Missoula, Montana

20 Apr 2024

We repurposed a flock of old Christmas trees from this paper into a scavenger hunt at The Great Minnsect Show that hosted close to 2,000 of our closest friends.

20 Apr 2024

The scavenger hunt for forest insects at The Great Minnsect Show was a hit, as was our local emerald ash borer!  This one looked friendlier than most, and looked a lot like Sayesha 

15 Apr 2024

Congrats to Jess who received a 2024 President's Student Leadership & Service Award after nomination from her peers. Thanks for all you do to improve our community!

26 Mar 2024

Congrats to our most recent alum, August Kramer, for his new position as the Central Region Forest Health Specialist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources! Go August!

23 Mar 2024

Brian was in Northfield to talk to growers at the 15th Annual Upper Midwest Hazelnut Growers Conference. Gutsy move by the organizers to put the bug guy between the flavor talk and lunch!

11-13 Mar 2024

Despite a flight cancellation, every one of our three grad and postdoc visitors made it for a recruiting visit.  We think they'll make great additions to the team; stay tuned for exciting announcements soon!

28 Feb 2024

Many thanks to our Forest Service partners for the invitation to present a research synopsis at the Forest Health Coop meeting in Roseville! Always great to see so many friends and colleagues.

21 Feb 2024

Rose and Grace presented work on host screening and tree defense with attendees at the 2024 Forestry and Wildlife Research and Practice Review. Always great to share results with land managers!

12 Feb 2024

Elucidating host breadth is a cruical component to forecasting potential tree mortality for an invasive species. Check out this new paper on elongate hemlock scale led by Dr. Robert Venette.

6 Feb 2024

Packed house at the annual DNR/US Forest Service Forest Health Day in Grand Rapids, where Jess and Grace shared their work. Everyone is hoping that conditions in 2024 fare better than 2023!

9 Jan 2024

Emily's working with a collaborator at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC this week, describing and identifying what appears to be a new species of parasitoid from her field work! 

8 Jan 2024

Sayesha is presenting a poster on her research plans with spongy moth at the USDA Interagency Research Forum on Invasive Species in Annapolis, MD.

1 Dec 2023

Oh she does so, so much more than budworms. Congrats to Jess, who just won the college graduate student chili cookoff! Bravo!

25 Oct 2023

Welcome to our newest team member, Clarissa, who joins us on the elongate hemlock scale project. As it turns out, she shares a birthday with the PI. Big party next month!

6 Oct 2023

Emily and Sayesha just wandered in carrying three enormous puffballs! We're pretty sure they're edible, although we might consult with our friends in plant pathology before making risotto. 

15 Sep 2023

There were some great student presentations at the North Central Forest Pest Workshop this week. Congrats to Jess, Emily, and Rose for the UMN sweep of the student awards!

12 Sep 2023

Our newest lab member Sayesha is also giving a presentation today: the Valedictory Address at the MS graduation ceremony for the Erasmus Mundus program in Valencia, Spain!

11 Sep 2023

With posters printed and slides assembled, the lab is off to Wausau, Wisconsin for the North Central Forest Pest Workshop.

24 Aug 2023

The lab made cookies together today. Yes, a few trees were sectioned during chainsaw training. We are proud to use Stihl products.