Nick Planting PotatoesI am a PhD student in Dr. Jennifer Thaler’s Lab at Cornell University studying the sensory ecology of plants, herbivores and predators.  In this tri-trophic system, I am particularly interested in how chemical and acoustic cues mediate species interactions.  The thesis of my research is to develop new management options that exploit the sensory systems of agricultural pests.

Prior to coming to Cornell, I received an MS degree working with Dr. Richard Hofstetter at Northern Arizona University, where I studied the effects of bark beetle acoustic signals on their behavior.  This research highlighted the potential of acoustic treatments for this ecologically and economically important group of insects.

After receiving my degree, I started a position with Washington State University as a project coordinator.  This opportunity allowed me to work on a diverse set of projects ranging from the development of new chemical lures for bark beetles, to the construction of a rapid-response protocol for insect and disease outbreaks in the Columbia River Gorge region.