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Michigan State University

Kelsey K. Graham, PhD

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I'm an insect ecologist working within agroecosystems. I'm particularly interested in questions related to integrated pest management and pollination services. I blend the use of theoretical frameworks from insect behavior, landscape ecology, and community ecology with applied methods to tackle real-world problems facing growers. 

 

I am currently a USDA NIFA postdoctoral fellow working in Dr. Rufus Isaacs' lab in the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University.  My work focuses on questions related to pest management, pollinator conservation, and changes in insect communities over time. These projects have been developed in consultation with stakeholders and target important problems for growers. See Extension for more details. Also, see news coverage about my work. 

I completed my PhD in behavioral ecology and invasion ecology at Tufts University in 2017. Working in Dr. Philip Starks' lab, my work focused on the behavior of an invasive bee, the European wool-carder bee. 

 
Bumble bee visiting a blueberry flower

Bumble bee visiting a blueberry flower

Grasshopper hiding under a flower

Grasshopper hiding under a flower

Fruitworm trap

Fruitworm trap

We use these pheromone traps to monitor for cherry and cranberry fruitworms, insect pests that need to be managed during blueberry bloom

PPE is fun!

PPE is fun!

Dr. Graham led a study testing the efficacy of night time pesticide sprays on reducing exposure to bees during bloom. Personal protective equipment required, but that didn't stop us from having some fun :).

Collecting pollen from bumble bees

Collecting pollen from bumble bees

Method for collecting pollen off the legs of returning bumble bee foragers

Pesticide extraction

Pesticide extraction

Jackie Albert (Isaacs lab Lab Manager) helping out with pesticide extractions

Leaf cutter bee (Megachile)

Leaf cutter bee (Megachile)

We set up nest boxes filled with reeds to see if leaf cutter bees would nest near blueberry fields

Bee identification

Bee identification

Dr. Graham and undergrad Mike Killewald testing their Dialictus identification skills

Yellow sticky card

Yellow sticky card

We use these to help us find natural enemies in blueberry fields

Collecting pollen from bumble bees

Collecting pollen from bumble bees

Dr. Graham collecting pollen from bumble bees during blueberry bloom 2018

Honey bees in Tart Cherry

Honey bees in Tart Cherry

Bowl trapping bees in corn fields

Bowl trapping bees in corn fields

This trapping method was used to identify long term trends in the wild bee populations across multiple landscapes in Michigan

Outreach event

Outreach event

Dr. Graham gives attendees a look inside a live bumble bee colony

Collecting wild bees

Collecting wild bees

Katie Manning (field technician) collecting wild bees at Kalamazoo Nature Center

Floral transects

Floral transects

Alex Peake, undergrad at MSU, collected data on what's growing in pollinator plantings adjacent to blueberry fields

News and media featuring Dr. Graham:

Connect with Dr. Graham

kelsey.katherine.graham(at)gmail.com

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Pesticide extraction

Jackie Albert (Isaacs lab Lab Manager) helping out with pesticide extractions