My research interests are in promoting participatory agricultural research, biological pest management and the sustainability of agroecosystems at the farm and community level. As the coordinator of the Farmscaping for Beneficials Project at the Integrated Plant Protection Center I am integrating farmer experiential knowledge of creating farm habitat for beneficials organisms with research questions on the effects of creating and enhancing such habitat on the populations of pest and beneficial invertebrates on the farm and local farming community. Examples of such habitat include hedgerows, beetle banks (permanent, undisturbed habitat for predacious ground beetles), and numerous configurations of farm insectary plantings (see Farmscapes Photo Tour).
I work with a dynamic team of local, organic vegetable growers, OSU researchers, and Oregon non-profit organizations coordinating experiential learning exchanges in the form of field classes, farm walks, BugScaping Fairs and interactive habitat planning sessions known as BugScaping Games (see Farmscaping for Beneficials Quick Link). Out in the field, I am currently working on a farmer directed project with four organic vegetable farms in Oregon. We are exploring the construction, maintenance and pest management value of on-farm beetle banks using native bunch grasses (see Oregon Beetle Banks Quick Link). I also design and conduct field experiments on three demo beetle banks at Hyslop Research Station.