I joined the Entomology and Plant Pathology Department in December of 2021 as the field crop entomologist located at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center in Jackson, TN. I came to UTIA from the LSU AgCenter Dean Lee Research Station in Alexandria, LA where I spent three years as the state-wide field crops research and extension entomologist. Although I have responsibilities as a field crop entomologist, my favorite crop to work in is cotton. My dissertation research focused on twospotted spider mite management and ecology in cotton.
At the University of Tennessee, I have a 25% research and 75% extension appointment. I perform applied research related to field crop entomology including evaluation of IPM tactics, insecticide efficacy, insecticide resistance and transgenic technologies for Tennessee producers. Much of this information is gleaned from producers, county agents, crop consultants, agrochemical industry professionals and field investigations. We provide answers to these questions through applied research designed to provide economically feasible and practical recommendations to our growers. Information is distributed to our clientele through county agricultural agents, UTcrops.com website utcrops.com blog, IPM newsletters, stakeholders and agent in-service meetings.
My research/extension appointment allows me the flexibility to readily address producer problems with my team at the WTREC in Jackson. To operate a successful field crop entomology program, teamwork is essential. I take a hands-on approach to every aspect of field crop entomology and leverage the skills of my team to accomplish the goals of the program. No one works for me, they work with me.