Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good

All Majors & Minors

Phoenixia Rene

2014 FUTURE Student

 For as long as I remember,  I have always been interested in how things work, especially how they worked to shape the living world around us.  This curiosity shaped my passion for ecology and medicine because I enjoyed studying how organisms interact with each other  and their environment and how the human body works to keep us alive.  My goal is to pursue ecology in my undergraduate career and get  an MD  and specialize in pediatrics.  This past summer I did research with Professor Straub in which we investigated the effect host plant resistance and intercropping has on the pest, the potato leafhopper.  

My Major / Minor / Campus Organizations

Major:  Biology , Minor: Latin / Biology 101 Tutor ,Mock Trial, Self-proclaimed bookworm and nerd

My Favorite CSCG Events

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My Research

This summer we investigated the effects of host plant resistance and intercropping on the potato leafhopper. The potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae,  is a huge pest to alfalfa , which is used to feed cows, resulting in major yield loss.  During the summer, we conducted a field experiment  where we used a nine acre field with alternating treatments and an enclosure experiment to test the effect the plant treatments have on the effectiveness of the predator, the damsel bug, Nabis americoferus . This semester we conducted feeding assays of the predator to see how long it takes the DNA to degrade in their gut for a comparison to those collected in the summer to see if the leafhopper is being eaten in the field.  We are also looking at the effect the plant treatments have on the aphids. 

My Conferences

This past November  Jamie Faselt ’14, Professor Straub and I went to Portland, Oregon for the ESA conference, where I not only got to present my research, but expand my knowledge on the field of entomology.

Life After Ursinus

After Ursinus, I plan to a get an MD  and specialize in pediatrics.