2014 Class of Science Policy Fellows

ESA is pleased to announce its first class of Science Policy Fellows.

Dr. Marianne Alleyne is a research scientist in the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on the physiological aspects of host-parasitoid and host-pathogen interactions, but other physiological systems in insects and other arthropods are of great interest to her too.  Dr. Alleyne teaches a wide variety of course, including a graduate level course in insect physiology. She has also developed courses on bioinspiration in which insects are prominently featured. These courses challenges students  (biologists, engineers, designers, etc.) to come up with innovations based on structures and systems found in nature. Dr. Alleyne also has an interest in using social media and science writing to promote science in general and insects in particular.  In addition, Dr. Alleyne has been the coordinator for an online teaching and learning team for School of Integrative Biology that has developed an online Masters of Science program for certified Biology Teachers.

Alleyne, a citizen of the Netherlands, received her BA in integrative biology from UC Berkeley (Advisor: Robert J. Full) studying the energetics of locomotion in various invertebrates. She received her MS in entomology from UC Riverside (Advisor: Nancy E. Beckage) studying the metabolic costs of parasitization in caterpillars. Alleyne completed her PhD at Illinois (Advisor: Robert N. Wiedenmann) on the physiological factors that influence the host range of various Cotesia parasitoids of stemborers. Dr. Alleyne became a member of the UIUC Entomology Department in 2004.

Dr. Alleyne has served the Entomological Society of America in various capacities ever since she was required to attend a Section B business meeting after winning the Lillian and Alex Feir graduate student travel award. At that meeting she volunteered to serve on a small committee and she has continued to serve the Society ever since. Highlights include being an executive officer for her section (now PBT) during ESA’s reorganization, and being on the program committee and serving as Program Co-Chair for the Austin meeting in 2013.

Dr. Alleyne is very passionate about science literacy, issues related to diversity, and making the Society ‘s reach as global as possible. She hopes to learn new skills as one of the Science Policy Felllows to become better at communicating the importance of insect science, and funding for entomological programs, to non-biologists and in that way serve the Entomological Society of America. 

Dr. Anders S. Huseth is currently a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Entomology at Cornell University, under the direction of Dr. Brian A. Nault. Anders earned his PhD in entomology in 2013 from the University of Wisconsin, advised by Dr. Russell L. Groves. Anders is an applied ecologist whose research focuses on how crop production and insecticide use patterns affect insect pest populations and environmental health. As part of this effort, he has combined laboratory, small-plot, and on-farm studies to better understand the ecological impacts of pest management decisions at multiple spatial and temporal scales. He has published papers focused on insect colonization, phenology, insecticide use, resistance management, and groundwater contamination with insecticides. Anders has routinely presented novel pest management information generated from his research to stakeholders at local and regional agricultural industry meetings and via extension articles.   

Outside of research and extension, Anders has been active in departmental organizations, branch and national ESA activities, and international meetings. He has served as a member the North Central Branch Student Affairs Committee and later as Vice-Chair of that group. In 2014, Anders was chosen to participate in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Agriculture Connections Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. As part of this program, Anders and other scientists from around the world collaborated with African scientists to generate research solutions for small-shareholder agriculturists in Africa. In 2014, he co-organized an ESA program symposium with Dr. Jessica Petersen titled, “Agricultural Intensification and Insect Communities: Production Trade-Off Challenges with 9 Billion on the Horizon,” at the ESA Annual Meeting in Portland, OR.

Dr. Jamin Dreyer is a postdoc in the Department of Entomology at the University of Kentucky. Now supervised by Dr. James Harwood, Jamin was previously a postdoc with Drs. Jason Harmon and Deirdre Prischmann-Voldseth at North Dakota State University, an appointment that followed the completion of his PhD under Dr. Claudio Gratton at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Dreyer is currently researching predator-prey interactions in agricultural systems, and his prior work includes studies of aquatic insect ecology and spider taxonomy. He is a member of the American Arachnological Society, the Entomoloical Society of America, and the Ecological Society of America.

As an ESA Science Policy Fellow, Dr. Dreyer is most interested in policies that affect ecosystem services derived from beneficial insect abundance and biodiversity. Insects are major components of agricultural systems that may harm or benefit crops. Pests damage plants by feeding and transmitting pathogens, but are countered by insect parasitoids and predators. Crops also frequently rely on insect pollinators to achieve maximal yield. Commonly, both “good” and “bad” insects are associated with non crop vegetation at single to thousands of meters. Accordingly, management policies that impact marginal land or alter land cover types could have large effects on ecosystem services and ultimately the overall success of agriculture.

Born and raised near Lake Michigan, Dr. Dreyer received his bachelor's degree from Hope College in his hometown of Holland, Michigan where he majored in biology education and participated in undergraduate research. Today, Jamin lives in Lexington, Kentucky, heart of the Bluegrass Region and home to world famous thoroughbred horses and bourbons. When not active at the university, Dr. Dreyer spends the majority of his free time conversing with friends, pursuing his hobbies, and enjoying the tastes, sights, and sounds of Central Kentucky. A competitive swimmer in high school and college, Jamin loves the water and maintains his passion for boating and water skiing on frequent visits to his family's home in Michigan.

Dr. Rayda K. Krell is an independent consultant specializing in entomological and agricultural communications.  Her current work includes online education and training for Dow AgroSciences. 

Krell received her BA from Middlebury College in Vermont with a double major in biology and Russian language. She earned her MS and PhD degrees in entomology from Iowa State University. Her MS research focused on the potential of precision agriculture for soybean insect management. Her PhD research was with the bean leaf beetle and its role as a vector of bean pod mottle virus.  She continued her interests in integrated pest management and insect vectors as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Riverside working on the epidemiology of Pierce’s disease in grapevines. 

Krell has been very active in the Entomological Society of America since she first became a member in 1997. As a student, she participated in the ESA student debates, the Linnaean Games, and student competitions. Krell has served on many ESA committees, including leadership roles as North Central Branch Student Affairs Committee Chair (2000­–2001), Membership Committee Chair (2004–2005), Chair of the former Sub-section Cc (2006–2007), and ESA Annual Meeting Local Arrangements Co-Chair (2007). She has organized symposia at meetings, judged and moderated meeting sessions, been a reviewer for ESA journals, and assisted with editing biographies of ESA Fellows for posting on the ESA web site.  Krell has been an active advocate for women in entomology by working to offer childcare or child care support for ESA meetings, organizing and speaking in symposia, working on the committee to evaluate ESA Awards, and assisting with the Women in Entomology breakfast. 

More recently, she has been involved with the Entomological Foundation through her service on the Board of Counselors (2010–2014) and Executive Board (2013–present). In her community, Krell has served on civic boards and currently serves as PTA Co-President at her son’s elementary school.  In her personal life, Krellfrequently leads entomology outreach programs for girl scouts and local schools.

Krell is thrilled to be a part of the first class of ESA Science Policy Fellows to make a strong contribution to entomology. She sees it as a chance to combine her professional expertise with her enthusiasm to ensure the voice of entomologists is heard when developing science policy.

Ariel Rivers is currently a dual-title doctoral candidate at Pennsylvania State University, studying entomology and international agriculture and development. A native of California, Ariel holds a BS in soil and water science (2004, University of California, Davis) and an MS in environmental studies (2009, San José State University). She is broadly interested in sustainable resource management in developing country agriculture, with a focus on agricultural practices which conserve abiotic and biotic resources. It was her MS research that stimulated her interest in arthropods, for which she studied pasture productivity and arthropod diversity below dispersed trees in cattle pastures of Nicaragua.

Ariel now applies her interdisciplinary background to her research in central Pennsylvania and central Mexico, studying the ground-dwelling arthropod community in diverse, reduced-tillage cropping systems. She hopes that understanding the populations at the soil surface will help inform the impacts of different agricultural practices on biocontrol. In addition to her brief time as an entomologist, she has also served as a soil conservationist with the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service in Hanford, California, and worked with Clark County Public Health in Vancouver, Washington to develop a food garden education program to assist low-income families. Because of these previous experiences, and her interdisciplinary background, Ariel is aware of the various policy opportunities and constraints affecting agriculture, natural resources management, and food security, both within the United States and abroad. As such, she is excited to expand her knowledge of the various drivers affecting science, agricultural and environmental policy through the ESA Science Policy Fellowship. Upon graduation, Ariel hopes to continue to work internationally, and to look at the nexus between low-input cropping systems, their environmental benefits, and impacts on local food security.  

Ariel also serves as Vice President of the Department of Entomology’s Graduate Student Association, and the Treasurer of the International Agriculture and Development Student Organization. In her free time, Ariel enjoys cooking, and hiking and camping with her dog Potún.