My lab studies plants and insects that make up urban landscapes and the spaces people use to live, work, and play.
Most people in Florida, the U.S., and the world live in or around cities. These people rely on turfgrass and ornamental plants to beautify their landscapes but also provide valuable services like air and water filtration, temperature reduction, wildlife habitat, and recreation. Unfortunately, arthropod pests reduce these services, which makes effective pest management essential. The overriding objectives of my lab are to develop short and long-term strategies to manage insect pests in turf and ornamental systems by determining and addressing the factors that lead to pest infestations and outbreaks.
We use ecological principles to develop insect pest management strategies with the objective of building well-rounded IPM programs. My lab’s research interests include insect ecology, plant-insect interactions, and developing sustainable pest management practices. We approach these by investigating immediate pest control strategies, longer-term ecological tactics, and determining how these will change under future habitats and environmental conditions. Ultimately, sharing the results of this work through various outlets of my Extension program is how we aim to support and advance the turf and ornamental industries in Florida and the Southeastern U.S.