Lab director

Sam WardAssistant Professor of Forest EntomologyPh.D. in Entomology (Minor: Biostatistics), University of Minnesota, Twin CitiesM.S. in Entomology, University of Minnesota, Twin CitiesB.S. in Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity, University of California, Davis 

Sam's research and teaching are centered around the ecology and management of native and non-native insects. Aside from work, Sam enjoys spending time with his wife (Becca), their sons (Owen and Callum), running, playing soccer, and hiking with the family dogs (Ani and Lulu).

Ward CV - Feb 2021 

ward.1792 'at'

OSU Department of Entomology Profile

lab members

Grace Amponsah, MS Student

B.S. Earth University (Limon, Costa Rica), Licentiate Degree in Agriculture 

Grace is pursuing a MS in Environmental Studies (Environmental  Studies Graduate Program) through the Department of Entomology. Her research efforts aim to optimize the timing of treatments to slow the spread of spongy moth. Grace enjoys kizomba dancing, climate activism, language acquisition, cooking, and travel. 

amponsah.37 'at'

David Long, Research technician

David contributes to all aspects of the lab's research, from paddling around baldcypress swamps in search of egg masses to curating biosecurity trap data. 

Kristy McAndrew, PhD student

M.S. in Entomology, Mississippi State UniversityB.S. in Forestry, University of Missouri, ColumbiaB.S. in Fisheries & Wildlife, University of Missouri, Columbia

Kristy is pursuing a PhD in Entomology (MS State) studying the baldcypress leafroller, a little studied pest of bald cypress trees in a small region of the southeastern US. She is working towards better defining the range and suitable host species for this native pest. When she’s not working Kristy enjoys hiking with her dog (Waylon), gardening, playing video games and reading.

kmm1280 'at'

Thomas Paul, PhD student

M.S. in Entomology, Mississippi State UniversityB.S. in Biology (Minor: Chemistry), Valparaiso University

Tom is pursuing a PhD in Entomology, researching drivers of global patterns of invasion by insects closely associated with trade. Outside of entomology and learning about critters, Tom plays his fair share of video games, spends time playing cello, and loves to hike and ID wildflowers along the way.

paul.1187 'at'

Afsoon Sabet, PhD student

Co-advised with Dr. Risa PesapaneM.S. in Entomology, Mississippi State UniversityB.S. in Molecular Biology, West Virginia UniversityB.A. in Music, West Virginia University

Afsoon is pursuing a PhD in Entomology, investigating hard tick ecology and behavior with a focus on tick questing. She is broadly interested in vector-borne diseases and public health. In her spare time, Afsoon enjoys reading and spending time outdoors.

sabet.17 'at'

Amber Stiller, MS Student

B.S. in Biology (Minor: Chemistry), University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Amber is pursuing a MS in Entomology, investigating the biological control of crapemyrtle bark scale, a common landscape pest of the southeastern US. She is most interested in urban tree entomology and how biological control may be incorporated into this system. Outside of the lab, Amber enjoys hiking, playing musical instruments, and reading.

stiller.13 'at'

LAb Alumni

Erika Wright

M.S. in Entomology, Mississippi State UniversityB.S. in Environmental Resources Management and Urban Forestry (Minor: Forestry), Virginia Tech University

Erika completed her MS degree in Entomology focusing on the dispersal of crape myrtle bark scale throughout the urban environment. With a background in urban forestry, she is interested in understanding urban ecology through the lens of entomology. Outside of research, Erika enjoys listening to music, playing guitar, hiking, and reading.

Meg Kilgore

B.S. in Biochemistry at Mississippi State University

Meg was a CALS/MAFES Undergraduate Research Scholar researching the questing behavior of lone star and Gulf Coast ticks. 

Ariadna Santos Chaves

B.S. in Biochemistry at Mississippi State University

Ariadna participated in research investigating the dispersal capacity of crapemyrtle bark scale as well as helping with the curation of biosecurity trap data.

Isaac Riggins

HS student at Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

Isaac conducted research on the dispersal capacity and behavior of the crawler stage of crapemyrtle bark scale.