Faculty Spotlight: Judy Wu-Smart

Wu-Smart
Judy Wu-Smart

About Judy Wu-Smart:

I received my B.S. in zoology at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, and received my M.S. in entomology at Washington State University under the advisement of Dr. Walter Sheppard. My M.S. research examined the effects of pesticide residue accumulation in brood comb on honey bee health. I continued on to a Ph.D. program with Dr. Marla Spivak at the University of Minnesota where I examined the effects of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides on honey bee and bumble bee queens and colony development. In my role at the UNL Bee Lab, I’m developing a pollinator health program to help understand the underlying pest and pathogen stressors in bee health and their interactions with environmental factors such as pesticides and lack of forage. My goal is to integrate research and extension efforts with policy to inform the regulatory decision-making process by identifying risk mitigation opportunities and best management practices that will better protect beneficial pollinators and safeguard the ecosystem services they provide in agricultural and urban landscapes.

 

What is your position at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln?

Assistant professor and extension specialist.

 

What drew you to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln?

UNL prides itself on its teaching and extension services, and I greatly admire the university’s focus on data-driven solutions to address current problems and its commitment to public engagement.

 

What aspects of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy engaging with the community and developing collaborations with other faculty, extension educators, industry partners, conservation groups and policy makers to find practical solutions that will benefit pollinators and promote land stewardship.

 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Balancing a career in science and a fulfilling family life.

 

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I really enjoy movies and books with mythical creatures and beasts.

 

What is your life like outside of work?

My life outside of work is kept busy with raising two young daughters (ages 3 years and 8 months) and occupying two large, high-energy dogs.