I am passionate about helping others and conserving the beautiful outdoors that we enjoy here in Oregon. One way that I love to connect with people and enjoy the outdoors is by fishing. The thing I love about fishing is its unpredictability. I want to take that passion for outdoor adventure and work to help conserve our amazingly diverse wildlife.
I chose Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences because I want to help manage our precious wildlife resources in Oregon and advance the agricultural industry through integrated pest management.
Recently, my studies have taken me into the world of entomology with Dr. Stuart Reitz researching flower color preference of pollinators in the Willamette Valley. The most enjoyable part of the experience was being able to conduct my own research study in the field; learning that some pollinators prefer certain flowers can help farmers use plants near their fields to attract beneficial insects.
I investigated whether there is a difference in flower color preference between bees and syrphid flies in the Willamette Valley. I collected around 300 insects over a seven-week sampling period in which I sampled five different flower colors from around 30 locations near Monmouth, OR. I found that syrphid flies preferred yellow flowers over several other flower colors and bees were less color selective. This can help inform beneficial plantings of flowering plants to attract these important syrphid flies. The flies' larvae are natural predators of crop pests such as aphids.
Being a part of the Branch Experiment Stations undergraduate research internship program was the most beneficial career guiding experience of my college career. It taught me valuable data analysis skills and gave me crucial hands-on experience in the field.
I would highly recommend the Branch Experiment Stations internship program to students in agricultural sciences because the practical experience was so valuable to me. I built great relationships and I learned more about my own career interests. I am so grateful for such an amazing opportunity and I am excited to take my experience into a future fish and wildlife career.