What is your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Entomology. My research program focuses on chemical interventions to reduce pathogen-transmitting arthropods and community disease transmission to humans, animals and plants. I am also responsible for undergraduate and graduate courses related to insect physiology and research design and application.
What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
I was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. After leaving Kansas 16 years ago, I have worked to bring my family closer to home. A faculty position opened in the Department of Entomology in 2016. I was fortunate to be provided the opportunity to join the UNL community and, here, I am home.
What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?
The opportunity to teach and work with students is the principal reason for my career in academia. It is my goal to assist young scientists as they develop the expertise and intellectual passion for their chosen research field. As well as guide them towards accomplishing their educational goals and advancing them towards successful scientific careers. The freedom to be a creative and independent scientist and work in a team-science atmosphere isn’t bad either.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I am a father to two outstanding young men, who keep me young and on my toes.
What is something that most people don't know about you?
I started university as a music theory/composition major. During that time, I met a biology professor, who taught me that science should be interesting, relevant and fun. She was right. It was an easy decision to start pursuing a career in science. I have never doubted my decision and I am thankful for the family, friends, mentors and peers who got me here.
What is your life like outside of work?
I have an “easy does it” attitude outside of work. This translates to spending as much time as I can with my family and friends, listening, learning and playing music, running and biking, playing board games with my six-year-old son (he is a relentless competitor) and traveling near and far with my wife. I have been fortunate to explore awesome places and meet incredible people around the world.