Seth Davis is the PI of the Forest Health group, with specialization in insect chemical, microbial, and behavioral ecology. Davis received his PhD from Northern Arizona University, and his current interests are related to vector biology, plant chemical phenotypes, bark beetle symbioses, and pollinator biodiversity. Davis is involved with a variety of basic and applied research projects and extension activities, as well as consultations with government agencies and private industry.
Khum Thapa-Magar is a PhD Candidate at Graduate Degree Program in Ecology & Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship whose research revolves around community ecology to understand plant-insect interaction. He likes to use functional traits and behavior as basis to understand their interaction across landscapes (specifically in dryland ecosystems). In his PhD, he has conducted three different research projects focusing on the ecology of native bee species. His first project investigated how native bee communities respond to livestock grazing and cheatgrass invasion in rangeland habitats of Colorado. His second project focuses on understanding how wild bee behaviors vary across taxa and their relative roles in providing pollination services in the same region. Lastly, his third research project used meta-analysis to evaluate how habitat aridity and evolutionary history of grazing interact to drive pollinator richness and abundances at a global scale. Khum completed his master degrees from Stony Brook University in New York and Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Jessie Dodge is a Forest Stewardship Ph.D. candidate at Colorado State University. Her research focuses on how disturbances, l ike wildfire and restoration treatments, affect bee health, measured through bee growth and reproduction, in forested ecosystems of the Front Range, Colorado. Over the course of her Ph.D., she hopes to determine how high severity wildfires and mechanical thinning affect 1) bee growth and reproduction; 2) pollen quality, found within local flowering plants and within bee nests, and how that relates to bee growth and reproduction; and 3) the microbiome and pathology interactions of native bees. She received her M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho studying decadal effects of restoration treatments and wildfire on vegetation and bee populations.
Cora Davies is a masters student interested in bee ecology within forested systems along the Colorado Front Range. Her research focuses on how forest management practices affect native bee populations and what factors contribute to those effects. Cora’s research also aims to better understand the drivers of bee-flower interactions and how they change throughout the growing season. Cora completed her BA in Biology from Occidental College in 2019.
Ryleigh Gelles is a Ph.D. student whose research focuses on the effects of disturbance, both natural and anthropogenic, on native insect pollinators in various settings. She has recently completed thesis work assessing the effects of forest management and wildfire on native bees within lower-montane ponderosa pine forests within the Colorado Front Range. From here, Gelles’ current projects have shifted to exploring relationships between land management methods and insect communities along a land use gradient. Prior to her work in the Forest Health Lab, Gelles worked in various roles within the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute monitoring ecological restoration treatments. She earned her B.S. in Natural Resources Management and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University – Fort Collins in 2019.
Ehsan Khedive is a Ph.D. student interested in tree physiological ecology and tree response to biotic and abiotic stresses with an emphasize on volatilomics. His current research focuses on defense response of Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) to bark beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) attacks and their symbiont fungi. His aim from this project is to decode how the trees recognize the attackers, what arsenals they will use against them, and how abiotic stress diminish their defense systems. Ehsan completed his masters degree with a focus on tree BVOC emission under urban conditions at the University of Tehran, Iran.
Evan Gerry is an MS student examining spruce tree defense and bark beetle interactions in high elevation forests of Colorado. His current project investigates spruce tree chemical defense in response to bark beetle attack, using induced resistance to gauge qualitative and quantitative tree chemical defenses. Evan’s work seeks to understand the capacity of and limits on tree defense responses to bark beetles and their symbionts. Prior to working on his degree at CSU, Evan worked seasonally for the National Park Service as a ranger, firefighter and hazard tree faller. He earned his BS in environmental sustainability from William Paterson University in New Jersey. Outside the lab, his interests include photography, splitboarding, rock climbing and cycling.