Theresa Barosh

As a PhD student in Dr. Paul Ode's lab working on Russian knapweed (Acroptilon repens) biological control, plant-insect interactions fascinate me. Particular concern with invasive species compels me to pursue research that I find fascinating and full of potential for further applications. Russian knapweed can overwhelm and dominate the landscape, choking out other plants. I am examining two biological control agents for Russian knapweed: a gall midge, jaapiella ivannikovi, and a gall wasp, Aulacidea acroptilonica. With interested in comparing the effectiveness of these gall-forming insects I plan to examine whether they influence the plant more when introduced together or separately. Do multiple natural enemies compete as they utilize the same resources, or do they more effectively control Russian knapweed when both attacking the plant? I am excited to be collaborating with Dr. Dan Bean and Jess McKenney at the Palisade Insectary. Earning my Bachelor's degree at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, I was privileged to participate in an integrative systematics study on Camassia (Agavoideae; Asparagaceae) in Dr. Susan Kephart's lab with additional advising from Dr. Kathryn Theiss. In the lab and in the field I also pursued studies of a newly discovered species of gall midge (Cecidomyiidae; Diptera) and its interaction with the wildflower, Camassia. I also enjoyed collaborating with gall midge specialist, Dr. Ray Gange.