Faculty Spotlight: Julie Peterson

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Julie Peterson
Julie Peterson
About Julie Peterson:
I started with UNL in the Department of Entomology in March of 2014 at the West Central Research & Extension Center in North Platte. My lab, the agroecosystems entomology lab, focuses on integrated pest management and pesticide resistance management for field crops, with an emphasis on biological control, food webs and beneficial arthropod conservation.

What is your position at UNL?
Assistant professor and extension specialist

What drew you to UNL?
I first got to know many of the faculty and students in the entomology department from working together for the Entomological Society of America. I was so impressed by the passion and dedication of the department, as well as the entire university, and the value it has placed on agricultural research and extension.

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?
I love the extension component of my job; working with both adults (farmers, crop consultants, etc.) and youth is a lot of fun. I have found myself in the middle of a corn field looking at caterpillars with a farmer or watching a kid hold a Madagascar hissing cockroach for the first time and thinking, “I can’t believe I get paid to do this!”

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I’m really proud of what has been built, both literally and figuratively, for the agroecosystems lab. We have a wonderful new lab building and excellent students and technicians. I also received a graduate student award in 2012 called the Comstock Award from the Entomological Society of America that I am very proud of.

What is something that most people don't know about you?
I have seen the millions of monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico.

What is your life like outside of work?
I live on 19 acres near Hershey, Nebraska, with my husband, pet rabbit, pet tarantulas and honeybees. I really enjoy seeing wildlife and doing outdoor things like hiking, fishing and gardening.

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