As a researcher of entomology, I am particularly interested in systematics of our disappearing planetary biodiversity -- those invertebrate lineages which are numerically the greatest yet remain the least well-understood to science. Systematic studies naturally lend themselves to studies of behavioral and ecological evolution, and are, I believe, the very backbone necessary for such work. My research is multidimensional but united in the commonality of the study of basic biodiversity and evolutionary research. In particular, I am fascinated by the evolution of insect-food preference.
I committed to teaching the scientific method and demonstrating to my students the power they posses through understanding and employing it. In our rapidly changing world, I believe that it is crucial for students to be immersed in nature to gain an appreciation for it. I think that studies of entomology are vital in an undergraduate curriculum because of the profound influence insects have in our daily lives. I feel that the best way for me to teach entomology is to show students that they are a part of nature, not separated from it. I take my students outside for field trips as often as I can. I think entomology is an excellent way to teach students about nature. Insects are ubiquitous. They exhibit behaviors as complicated as a mammal’s. They are present at all times of the year, one just needs to know where to find them. In a half hour tour of my favorite places on campus, we encounter all varieties of insect life, conducting business as though they were in the middle of an untouched forest, from leaf-cutter bees nesting in the ground next to the library to whirly-gig beetles hunting on the surface of a pond. To be a good teacher, I believe I must be willing to learn along with my students. Nature is dynamic and is as much a learning experience for me as it is for my class. I am as excited as my students when we discover something new; perhaps sometimes more so.