(AGENPARL) – EAST LANSING (MICHIGAN), mar 04 agosto 2020
Aug. 4, 2020
Louise Labbate is a graduate student at MSU. She received an associate degree from Northwestern Michigan College and a bachelor’s of science in entomology from MSU. The following student view is repurposed content from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Q: What are you researching?
I am researching an invasive insect that entered Michigan in 2015 called the Asian chestnut gall wasp (Dryocosmus kuriphilus), which attacks and causes damage to chestnut trees. I am monitoring this pest’s phenology and its interactions with the chestnut trees and an introduced natural enemy. I have been working towards an integrated pest management strategy to limit yield loss while minimizing costs to the growers and negative effects on the environment.
Q: Why study entomology?
Entomology is one of those natural science studies that gets overlooked because it is not obvious how much insects are involved in ecosystem functions. Insects play a huge role in the health of many ecosystems and are crucial in the sustainability of the planet. As I continue learning about the many facets of this study, I am continually amazed by how intricate it is.
Q: What or who inspired your interest in entomology?
My first exposure to entomology was in a required class for my degree program taught by my current adviser, Deborah McCullough. In that class I met Sara Tanis, the McCullough lab manager and the person who would ultimately guide me to pursuing a master’s degree. Sara’s genuine passion and enthusiasm for entomology drove my interest and desire to learn more. She was, and continues to be, not only a mentor but a friend, and I would not be where I am today without her.
Q: What is your favorite activity or responsibility as part of your graduate studies?
Definitely the field work. I have always loved being outside and I feel like I really got to enjoy my summers because my job was outside. An added bonus was that my field sites were really close to Lake Michigan so after a long day in the field, I got to relax on the beach.
Q: What is your favorite thing about MSU?
At MSU, at least in the Department of Entomology, student life is easily accessible and widely encouraged. There are many opportunities to meet and interact with other students.
Q: What is your favorite insect?
The cicada. I think they are absolutely adorable, and we have a lot in common. Both the cicada and I have exactly one volume — loud!