2014 – 2015 Global Change Fellow
Where Are They Now?
Adam has joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist of Turf and Ornamental Entomology at the University of Florida.
Statement of purpose:
I am a Ph.D. student working with Dr. Steve Frank in the entomology department at North Carolina State University. My research focuses on urban ecology and the effects of urban habitats on street trees and arthropod herbivores. Cities create unique habitats that many herbivorous pests thrive in, but the reasons behind this are not well understood. As urbanization and climate change progress, we must develop management strategies to sustain urban forests and maximize their contribution of services to humans and the environment.
Description of research:
My research is focused on red maple (Acer rubrum) street trees and their most important insect pest in the southeastern U.S., the gloomy scale (Melanaspis tenebricosa). I am working to determine the effects of urban habitats on gloomy scale fitness and abundance in addition to the effects of gloomy scale and warmer temperatures on street tree ecosystem services. I hope to uncover mechanisms behind increased pest abundance in cities and reduced tree health so that management strategies can be developed to preserve urban forests and maximize the services they provide. My research falls under the SECSC Science Theme 4: Ecological research and modeling. I will address tasks 1 (determine highest priority species and populations for the development of distribution maps and modeling), 2 (test current and predicted responses of species to climate change), 3 (conduct lab and field experiments to document organismal responses of species to climate change), and 4 (identify altered species interactions that are likely to have disproportionate impacts on ecosystem function).