Candidates for the North Central Branch Election
Elections will be held by electronic ballot and voting will open January 15, 2020 and close February 14, 2020 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time US. For additional information on voting, please refer to the ESA voting instructions.
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Dr. Mary M. Gardiner is a Professor and Graduate Studies Chair within the Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University. Gardiner received her Ph.D. in 2008 from Michigan State University, where she was advised by Dr. Doug Landis. Her research program is concentrated in Cleveland, Ohio – a city that has experienced significant population decline resulting in the demolition of unneeded infrastructure and the creation of 27,000 vacant lots. The Gardiner Laboratory studies the ecology, conservation value, ecosystem services potential, and societal acceptance of urban spontaneous vegetation as well as alternative green infrastructure designs such as pocket prairies and rain gardens within vacant lot habitats. Gardiner has published 47 peer-reviewed publications, which have been cited 1,690 times and has secured $5.2 million in grant funding, including an NSF CAREER Award. Mary is a State Specialist in Extension who has published 20 factsheets and bulletins, created three citizen science programs and works with several stakeholder groups including 4H, Master Gardeners, and Master Naturalists. In 2015, she released: Good Garden Bugs: Everything You Need to Know about Beneficial Predatory Insects, a book targeted towards home gardeners that has sold over 6,500 copies. Dr. Gardiner has been an active member of the Entomological Society of America since 1999. She has organized numerous symposia, was the 2014 recipient of the ESA Early Career Innovation Award and served as the local arrangements chair for the NCB ESA meeting in Cleveland, OH in 2016, which featured a tour of urban greening initiatives underway in the city.
Dr. Rob Morrison is currently a Research Entomologist for the USDA-ARS Center for Grain and Animal Health Research in Manhattan, KS, where his current research program involves elucidating the chemical ecology, behavioral ecology, and improving IPM of stored product insects. He graduated with his B.A. in biology from Kalamazoo College in 2006. Afterwards, he received his M.S. in ecology and evolution from the University of Munich in Germany. In 2014, Rob received his Ph.D. from the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University. His doctoral work focused on developing an IPM program for the asparagus miner. From 2014–2016, Rob was a post-doctoral researcher at the USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station where he investigated the chemical ecology, biological control, and IPM of the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, including attract-and-kill. Rob has been highly active in ESA for the past nine years, and has served on 25+ committees for ESA at the branch, section, and national level. He has organized 30+ symposia at ESA meetings, regularly acts as a judge for student competitions, and serves as a Subject Editor for Behavior in Environmental Entomology. Rob served as the 2017–2018 Chair of ESA’s Early Career Professionals Committee, and is currently the NCB Co-Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the 2020 NCB Meeting. He is committed to lifting up the voices of all members in ESA’s decision-making process, including underrepresented groups, and ECPs. He is excited for the opportunity to help make NCB as forward-looking and inclusive as possible.
Clinton D. Pilcher has been an active member of the ESA North Central Branch for 27 years. He currently resides in Johnston, Iowa where he works for Corteva Agriscience as a Global Biology Leader within Integrated Field Sciences (IFS). Clint obtained his B.S. in Bio-Agricultural Sciences from Colorado State University, and graduate degrees in Entomology, and Crop Production & Physiology from Iowa State University. His prior work experience includes research, technical product leadership, and people management roles at Monsanto Company (1999-2011). Since 2011, Clint has been accountable for DuPont Pioneer’s regulatory strategic direction for insect resistance management and now works on Corteva’s trait development team pursuing strategic research initiatives. He was recently named a “Distinguished Fellow” within Corteva for his technical expertise and leadership acumen. He led industry efforts within Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee and IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee). Clint provided strong leadership to the ESA as Annual Meeting Student Co-Chair (2008), Program Co-Chair (2009), and Poster Co-Chair (2010). He also served on the NCB-ESA resolutions committee (2004-06), and currently is NCB-ESA student awards committee member and chair (2015-2017), NCB Executive Committee Member-at-Large, and recently led the ESA “Science Policy Tour” in 2019 on pest resistance management. Clint has tremendous passion for sustainable integrated pest management and is energized to possibly serve the branch by collaborating with colleagues to explore new opportunities for entomology. “Our branch is extremely diverse and highly capable. Therefore, it is critical to be inclusive to ensure we accomplish great things in the future.”
Kayla Perry is a USDA NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow in the Entomology Department at Ohio State University. Her research aims to gain a mechanistic understanding of the drivers that structure insect communities with a focus on the role of natural and anthropogenic disturbance. Kayla’s current work investigates processes of insect community assembly in urban ecosystems with the goal of improving the conservation value of urban greenspaces for biodiversity. Kayla graduated with her B.S. in biology from Baldwin Wallace College in 2010. She received her Ph.D. in Entomology from Ohio State University in 2016 where her research addressed mechanisms that explain the role of disturbance caused by emerald ash borer, windstorms, and salvage logging in maintaining insect community diversity, structure, and function in forest ecosystems. Kayla joined ESA in 2009 as an undergraduate and has been an active member at the branch and national level. She has served on six ESA committees, including as Vice Chair (2015) and Chair (2016) of the NCB Student Affairs Committee and as Student Member-at-Large on the NCB Executive Committee. Since 2018, Kayla has served on the NCB Professional Awards Committee, and seeks to expand her leadership and service to ESA as an Early Career Professional Member-at-Large. Kayla is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion within ESA and is excited for the opportunity to advocate for all early career professionals in NCB.
Kevin Rice attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville where he received a BS in Biology, and later earned a Master of Science from Auburn University, then his PhD from The Ohio State University. Kevin completed post-doctoral training at Penn State University and the USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit research Station. Kevin is currently an assistant professor at the University of Missouri. Kevin’s research involves examining the economic damage created by invasive insects, monitoring dispersal patterns among habitats, creating new pest detection methods that help implement IPM strategies, and examining the effect of host plant species diet on insect development and fitness. He combines lab and field work that connects to ecological theory that ultimately can be translated and transferred to growers through Extension outlets. Recently, Kevin began a collaborative effort with the University of Ghana to research novel management options for invasive fall armyworms in West Africa. Additionally, Kevin serves as a partner on the Economic Community of West African States Task Force on phytosanitary inspection. Kevin currently serves as an associate editor for Environmental Entomology, and coaches the University of Missouri Linnaean team.
Hannah Quellhorst is originally from Indiana. She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Entomology at Kansas State University, where her research focuses on improving management of post-harvest maize pests in developing countries. She received her M.S. from Purdue University in the Department of Entomology where her work sought to understand insect growth in hermetic grain storage bags. Hannah has already been advocating and representing her peers for the past seven years at ESA and her local institutions. She served and is serving on ESA North-Central Branch’s local arrangements committee for the 2017 and 2020 meetings. In addition to supporting NCB-SAC, Hannah serves on ESA’s national SAC, and actively contributes by writing for EntomologyToday and the American Entomologist. She also serves on the judging panel for the Student Activity Award. She has organized section-approved symposia on improving global food security for the Annual ESA Meeting and NCB Meeting. She frequently publishes in ESA journals, and regularly participates in SAC-organized activities, including Linnaean Games and the Student Debates. Finally, she has been active at a local level, acting as treasurer for K State’s Popenoe Club. Her continued vision for the future of NCB-SAC includes meaningfully engaging and promoting an inclusive cohort of entomologists, including people of color, women, LGBTQIA, and others moving our discipline forward. Success will require making a conscious effort to identify marginalized groups in NCB and developing relevant programing. She is thrilled with the prospect of leading NCB-SAC into a bright, more welcoming future to all.