WSU Department of Entomology

Crowder Laboratory


Principal Investigator

Dr. David Crowder

Dave Crowder, Assistant Professor

I use theory, experiments, and observational studies to understand the impacts of land-use and environmental variability on the structure and function of insect and plant communities. more

Postdoctoral Scientists

Robert Schaeffer

Robert is studying cross-kingdom interactions involving plants, pollinators, and microbes in natural and agricultural systems. He is co-advised by Rachel Vanette at UC Davis

Saumik Basu

Saumik is studying molecular and biochemical aspects of our model pea aphid-virus-legume system

Rob Clark

Rob is studying how host plant variation and predator effects impact aphid-virus vector biology in legumes

Javier Gutierrez Illan

Javier is interested in the effects of environmental changes on biodiversity. His major research deals with ecological modelling and the the whys and wherefores of biodiversity from a biogeographical and landscape perspective. At the moment, his research in the Crowder lab tries to address the question of how certain insect pest are evolving in the US Pacific Northwest and the potential to predict their effects.

Graduate Students

Eli Bloom
PhD Candidate in Entomology.

Eli is studying the stability and diversity of native pollinator communities in urban and organic farming systems.

Robert Orpet
PhD Candidate in Entomology (co-advised by Vince Jones)

Robert is determining if woolly apple aphid densities in organic and conventional orchards can be explained by factors such as soil quality, nutritional status of apple trees, and the presence of aphid predators and parasitoids.

Rachel Olsson
PhD Candidate in Entomology

Rachel is a recent graduate of The Evergreen State College. Her research interests include studying pollinator health and how interspecific interactions between pollinators affect foraging. Outside of the lab, Rachel enjoys knitting, listening to bluegrass music, and tasting new craft beers.

Abigail Cohen
PhD Candidate in Entomology

Abigail is working on the ecology of potato psyllids in the Pacific Northwest to understand the environmental and landscape-level factors affecting psyllid populations and Liberibacter pathogens. Abigail is also conducting experiments studying the ecology of psyllid-Liberibacter-potato interactions.

Ben Lee
PhD Candidate in Entomology

Ben is doing research on the influence of predatory insects on herbivores and the spread of plant viruses using peas as a model system. He is an amateur chef and a strong proponent of supporting local foods and farmers, and is excited to help benefit agricultural systems through research

Maggie Freeman
MS Candidate in Entomology

Maggie is conducting research on the effectiveness of parasitoids for providing biological control of lily leaf beetle

Liesl Oeller
MS Candidate in Entomology
Liesl is conducting research on the pest communities in quinoa crops, and determining host plant resistance of quinoa against various pest species

Dowen Jocson
PhD Candidate in Entomology
Dowen graduated from Saint Louis University with a B.S. and M.S. in Biology. She is interested in vibrational communication and sexual selection. Her project involves working on mate disruption using substrate borne vibrations in pear psylla as a pest management strategy.

Undergraduate Students

Lucy Eggleston
Pursuing BS in Viticulture and Enology

Lucy has worked in the lab since 2015, primarily on our pollinator project.

Logan Dean
Pursuing BS in Athletic Training

Logan has worked in the lab since 2017, assisting with all of our research projects

Wade Troutman
Pursuing BS in Agricultural and Food Business Economics

Wade has worked in the lab since 2017, assisting with our pollinator projects

Wyatt Mattingly
Pursuing BS in Wildlife Ecology

Wyatt has worked in the lab since 2018, primarily on our canola project

Jon Wallis
Pursuing BS in Biology

Jon has worked in the lab since 2018, assisting with our pea aphid-virus projects

Lab Alumni (Graduate Students and Postdocs)

Paul Chisholm
PhD in Entomology (May 2017)

Paul studied plant-insect-virus interactions, using the pea aphid and legumes as a model system. He currently works for the US Forest Service

Dr. Ivan Milosavljevic
PhD in Entomology (August 2015)
Postdoc (2015-2016)

Ivan studied the biology, ecology, and management of wireworms, a devastating pest of wheat throughout the Pacific Northwestern United States. He did his PhD and a brief postdoc in the lab. He currently works as a postdoc at UC Riverside

Dr. Eric Moise
Postdoc (2016)

Eric studied community and disease ecology, using the potato psyllid and Solanaceous plants as his model system. He is currently a research leader at the Canadian Forest Service

Dr. Elinor Lichtenberg

Dr. Elinor Lichtenberg
Postdoc (2013-2015)

Elinor’s research focused on the effects of farming landscapes on pollinator behavior and interactions between pollinator species. She is currently a postdoc at the University of Arizona

Elizabeth D’Auria
MS in Entomology (August 2015)

Lizz developed decision-support tools in Geographical Information systems to improve pest management for potato cropping systems. She is currently a lab manager at Michigan State University

Elliott Moon
MS in Statistics (co-supervised with Bill Snyder) (May 2013)
Elliott studied landscape ecology of herbivorous and predacious insect communities

Crowder Laboratory, WSU Entomology, 166 FSHN Bldg, PO Box 646382, Pullman, WA, 99164, 509-335-7965, Contact Us
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