I started as a Ph.D. student in the lab in June 2010 and am broadly interested in questions of arthropod biodiversity and chemical ecology. I’m currently pursuing three related but divergent research avenues that focus on the integrated pest management of the asparagus miner. One research avenue is exploring how chemical ecology mediates the interactions between the asparagus miner and the asparagus crop. Another approach focuses on how to improve biological control of the asparagus miner by identifying its parasitoids, and through manipulation of the landscape to increase the abundance of natural enemies. Finally, in a more applied topic, I am developing a degree-day model as a tool for growers to help tailor management regimes for the asparagus miner. The ultimate goal of my research is to help reduce reliance on synthetic pesticides and external inputs, while encouraging the use of ecosystem services, such as biological control, in agricultural settings. I am projected to finish my degree in May of 2014, and hope to find a post-doctoral position in academia or government thereafter.
Rob is currently working on this USDA funded project.
Curriculum vitae (PDF download)
Email: morri362 ‘at’ msu.edu