Community IPM Extension Area Educator
My role at the NYS IPM Program is to provide education and conduct research related to pest management in areas where people live, work, learn and play. I strive to provide proactive, long-term pest management solutions that minimize the environmental, health and economic risks associated with pests and the strategies used for their management.
I am most interested in the biology and management of commensal rodents, including rats and mice. Rodents are known reservoirs of human pathogens, which are transmitted to people either directly through contact with animals, their feces or urine, or indirectly via arthropod vectors such as mites, lice, ticks and fleas. Integrated pest management plays a critical role in reducing human/rodent conflicts by limiting pest access to food, water and harborage (shelter).
To date, I have participated in rodent research to identify the pathogens and ectoparasites associated with Norway rats in New York City. I am currently evaluating pest management practices at food distribution centers in New York, and as part of the Scientific Coalition on Pest Exclusion (SCOPE), I am interested in studying the role of exclusion in preventing human/rodent interactions.
Extension and Outreach Focus
As an Extension Educator, I endeavor to develop novel resources that enhance the level of IPM adoption by citizens, pest professionals and educators - and to conduct research that answers practical pest management questions for these audiences. In addition to presentations on a wide variety of topics offered to the pest management industry and Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, I have developed YouTube videos, updated technical fact sheets, written blog posts, developed a pest identification key, and created a series of bed bug informational fact sheets that rely on images rather than words. Along with Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, we created a popular hands-on training course for the identification of structural pests. Research efforts include the evaluation of trapping techniques to reduce yellowjacket populations, techniques to reduce carpenter bee damage, and an evaluation of the risk of encountering ticks in tree farms. The main areas of my extension and outreach efforts are rodent, bed bug and tick management.
Membership and Service
- Scientific Coalition on Pest Exclusion (SCOPE)
- New York State Senator Sue Serino’s Lyme Advisory Board
- Westchester County Pest Management Committee
- Nassau County Bed Bug Task Force
- Ph.D., Entomology, University of Delaware, 2010
- M.S., Entomology, University of Delaware, 2006
- B.S., Biology, Muhlenberg College, 2004