I received my Hon.BSc at the University of Toronto in Life Sciences, with a specialist in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a minor in Environmental Biology. My curiosity about plant and animal interactions, as well as my natural scientific curiosity, is what led me to pursue research in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. My research interests are focused on conservation efforts, environmental assessment, and evolutionary conflict and cooperation. During my third year at U of T, I had the opportunity to conduct research for a field course at the Koffler Scientific Reserve, which sparked my curiosity of pollination and plant-animal interactions. After my undergrad I had the opportunity to work at the Royal Ontario Museum to do exactly the work I loved – insect pinning and identification in the entomology lab.
My MSc position with Andrew MacDougall has given me the opportunity to delve deeper into my insect interests and ask the question: what constitutes the predator-prey insect food web in an agricultural setting? In collaboration with ALUS, my project will investigate how non-crop vegetative areas adjacent to crop fields affect biological control of insect pests. Farmers have expressed concerns about these 'weedy' areas as possible source areas for agricultural insect pests, which may spread to adjacent crop fields. However, these same prairie areas are known sources for parasitic wasp species that specifically attack pests. I would be testing multiple prairies and related areas on ALUS farms for 'pest' and 'beneficial predator' insect species.