Lab News

April 7, 2023
This week was grad appreciation week!  We took a break from work and went bowling!  Continue the great work that you do, Nikki, Marco, Maggie, Gus!
Bowling with kids
April 1, 2023
Our pollinator showcase at the K-State Open House was a success!  It was chilly in the morning (mid-30s F) but quickly warmed up (low-60s F).  The live Painted lady butterflies, live bumble bee colony, and Make-A-Bee Puppet Arts and Craft table were hits!

Oct 27, 2022

Nikki and Maggie presented their research at Research and the State event.  Lots of great posters and research being done by grad students!  Great job to all!


Oct 25, 2022.  Marco’s photo appears on the cover of Environmental Entomology along with his new paper on insect-microbe interactions in stored products. Great work Marco!


Aug 22, 2022.  The Kim Insect Ecology Lab welcomes two new graduate students (Gus Brunette (top) and Nikki Kucherov (bottom))!  Gus is a Master’s student and will be working on restoration projects in the tallgrass prairie. Nikki is a Ph.D student and will be working on spatial ecology of insects in soybean.  Welcome to you both and excited to have you here at K-State.

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July 29, 2022. Great day for an undergrad research symposium and a lab picnic!  Eli did a wonderful job on their summer project and poster presentation. We need to work on our KUBB skills but had fun playing yard games to celebrate a great summer!



July 12, 2022.  Maggie and her field crew have been very busy this summer setting up pitfall and stick traps in soybean, corn, and grass fields to understand habitat use and insect movement. Can’t wait to see the results!  Stay tuned for more!


May 24, 2022.  Congratulations to Marco Ponce for successfully passing his PhD prelim exams!  With 6 committee members, it was 6 weeks of written exams and 4 hours of oral exam questions!  Great job Marco!


April 21, 2022.  My final paper from my postdoc is finally out! “Using high-throughput amplicon sequencing to determine diet of generalist lady beetles in agricultural landscapes.”  Check it out!  Only took 8 years from start to publication!

April 14, 2022.  Caroline Gatschet (undergrad extraordinaire!) presented her research at the Department of Biology Undergrad Research Symposium.  Caroline examined the effects of diet on macronutrient content in lady beetles.  Great work Caroline!


March 24, 2022. Jess’ first paper is out!  “Native Flowering Border Crops Attract High Pollinator Abundance and Diversity, Providing Growers the Opportunity to Enhance Pollination Services“.


March 7, 2022. Jess accepted a job at the Prairie Rivers of Iowa as a Pollinator Conservation Specialist!  We are so very excited for this new chapter in her life working at a non-profit and wish her all the very best!  Congrats Jess!  We will miss you!


December 10, 2021.  Graduation celebrations for the first two grad students to finish in the Kim Eco Lab!  HUGE congratulations to Jessica Butters (left) and Hannah Stowe (right).  Super proud to see you two walk across the stage!


December 9, 2021.  Three undergraduates in the Kim Eco Lab presented their research at the Annual Undergraduate Research Experience Symposium.  Congrats to Katie Janzen, Meghan Nipper, and Noelle Schumann!

Noelle worked with Dr. Rachel Harman to examine the movement pattern of flour beetles across different types of “edge” habitats.
Meghan worked with grad student Maggie Anderson to examine how insects captured along soybean edge habitats differed from those captured in the interior of soybean fields.
Using public data available from Monarch Watch, Katie worked with Dr. Tania Kim to investigate how public involvement in Monarch tagging efforts varied with time using citizen science data

October 25, 2021.  Took a little break from the usual lab meeting topics to carve pumpkins!

Kim Lab Oct 2021

July 18, 2021. Farewell BBQ with Jess and Hannah!  Great job on both your thesis defenses this summer!

Hannah And Jess

June 23, 2021. Beautiful day at the Konza Prairie with my former Master’s advisor, Bob Holt!

Konza 6-23ME and Bob Radina

April 29, 2021.  Our first lab photo where everyone was present!  Meet members of the Kim and Spiesman Labs (2020-2021)!


April 28, 2021. Congrats to Marco for publishing his first first-author paper! It’s part of a special issue on stored product insects.  This is the paper that started out as his review paper for my insect ecology class in Fall 2019. Great job Marco!

Mar 31, 2021. Lots of great presentations in the month of March!  First Dr. Rachel Harman gave a wonderful departmental seminar on habitat fragmentation and range margin effects for insect communities, next Dr. Brian Spiesman gave a talk about machine learning tools for pollinator conservation for the Linda Hall seminar series. Finally, Hannah presented her research at the K-Grad symposium examining how floral resource impact lady beetle flight and reproduction.  Great work to all!

Mar 5, 2021. Great job to Hannah Stowe for being a finalist in the K-State 3-minute thesis competition.  Title of her talk was “Giving lady bugs a seat at the table: Pest control through predator diet improvement Congrats Hannah!

Hannah Stowe

Dec 23, 2020. Multidisciplinary summer undergraduate research and extension experiences in plant health at KSU! For more info, click here.

Plant Path REEU

Dec 14, 2020.  We are looking for a Master’s student to study cross-habitat spillover of insects in human modified landscapes.  Please visit Opportunities for more information.

Dec 14, 2020.  Look!  I made the news!

Mercury photo

Dec 9, 2020.  Last year, we decorated a gingerbread house.  This year, we transported ourselves into a JibJab video.  Stay safe and happy holidays from the Insect Ecology Lab at K-State.

Dec 1, 2020.  Congrats to Marco for a successful PhD research proposal seminar! Giving your first 1-hour long seminar is stressful enough but add to that presenting on Zoom. You killed it! Job well done!

Dec 1 Marco

Nov 1, 2020. Chilly fall outdoor lab gathering during COVID.  We are hanging in there!


Oct 29, 2020.  Hannah was one of 10 students to be selected to represent K-State at the 18th Capitol Graduate Research Summit in Feb 2021.  Graduate students will present their posters and discuss the implications their work has on issues in the state of Kansas.  Way to go Hannah!

Oct 23, 2020:  Brian and Caleb from the Spiesman Lab were interviewed by the local news about Bee Machine, a web-based bumble bee identification tool.  Link to news story is here.  Way to go fellas!


Oct 12, 2020:  Hannah’s first chapter of her thesis was accepted for publication in Environmental Entomology!   The title of the paper is “The Benefits of Omnivory for Reproduction and Life History of a Specialized Aphid Predator, Hippodamia convergens (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). ”  Congrats to Hannah on a job well done!

Sept 28, 2020: The Kim Lab welcomes our newest member, Caroline Gatschet! Caroline was a former student in Tania’s Economic Entomology Class in Spring 2020 and will be helping with pollinator and lady beetle specimen preparation.  Caroline is an Animal Science major with interests in large animal veterinary medicine.  Welcome Caroline!


Sept 22, 2020:  Hannah and Jess presented their M.Sc. research proposal seminars to the department over Zoom!  We now await for Marco’s presentation which will occur in December.  Great job to all!

HStowe Research Proposal Sept 2020(5)

Sep 1-Butters-39pp

July 24, 2020:  We said good-bye and thank you to Savannah Piper as she starts her new adventure in Oregon!  Savannah was the first undergrad in the Kim Lab and was extremely instrumental in helping Tania set up the space and get started with local research.  Below is one of Tania’s favorite pictures of Savannah.  We gave Savannah a crash course in bumble bee ecology and she killed it sharing what she learned to the public at Open House 2019. Best of luck Savannah!  We will miss you!

Open House

July 6, 2020:  Brian and Tania made a quick trip to the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory to visit their former PhD advisors (Nora Underwood and Brian Inouye) and lab mates (David McNutt, Jane Oglivie).

Brian and NoraRMBL


Mar 9, 2020: Welcome to our newest lab member, Rachel Harman!  Rachel will be working with Tania to characterize insect movement across landscapes that vary in land use and climate change.


Dec 19, 2019. This weekend, Savannah Piper (undergrad extraordinaire) graduated with a BSc in Animal Science.  Not only did she walk across the stage, she sang the national anthem!  Check her out here at 7:50 min!  Congrats Savannah!

Dec 10, 2019.  Two of our undergraduates presented research at the K-State Undergraduate Research Symposium.  Great job Weston (top) and Paige (bottom).

Weston's poster

Paige's poster

Dec 5, 2019: We spent our last lab meeting of the semester reflecting on EntSoc 2019 and holiday crafting!

November 22, 2019: Members of the Kim lab presented research at the Entomological Society of America Meeting in St. Louis, MO.  Marco Ponce presented a poster examining the role of fungi on insect damage in stored grain products, Jess Butters presented a poster on pollinator and natural enemy diversity in different border crops, and Hannah Stowe presented a talk looking at the role of diet diversity on lady beetle fitness.  Great job to all!

Marco (left), Jess (middle), and Hannah (right) presented research projects at ESA in St. Louis, MO.

November 12, 2019: We are looking for a postdoc in Insect Movement Ecology.  Check out the job description here.

October 21, 2019: Insect sampling at the Konza Prairie is finally over!  Congrats to Jess and Savannah for their hard work in the field!

Jess and quadrat

Sept 4, 2019: Our good friend, Dr. Rachel Mallinger visited us from the University of Florida.  Rachel spoke about scale-dependent factors that affect pollination services by bees in sunflower, apple, and blueberries.

Mallinger Visit

August 23, 2019: Well it’s been a very busy summer with field work, travel, and settling into the lab.  Jess has been hard at work collecting data for her Master’s project. Hannah arrived this week and finishing up a project with JP Michaud examining how prey diversity influence lady beetle fitness.  Marco also arrived recently in late July and has been working in Rob’s lab in preparation for his PhD research.  Tania has been busy travelling to WI for field work, starting new field projects in KS at the Land Institute and the Konza Prairie, and preparing for a new Insect Ecology grad course.  Sad that the summer is almost over but excited for a new academic year!

April 29, 2019:  The Kim lab welcomes 3 new students (Jessica Butters, Hannah Stowe, and Marco Ponce) to start in Summer/Fall 2019. The Kim lab is slowly growing! Stay tuned for post-doc news!

April 6, 2019: We survived our first open house at K-State!  It was a beautiful day to showcase our pollinator conservation research and bumble and honey bee colonies!  Thanks to Nikki Bowman from the Konza Beekeeper Association for helping out.  Here is Savannah and a mesmerized 7-yr old.

Open House

February 20, 2019: A global synthesis disentangles the effects of land use change on pollinators, natural enemies, and crop yield through their effects on insect abundance and richness. Check out our preprint.

Jan 22, 2019: Interested in how insects impact plant health? If so, then apply for a paid research and extension internship  through the Plant Pathology Department.  The stipend is $4900 for the summer (May 29-July 26, 2019).  Deadline is Feb 18, 2019.

Jan 13, 2019: Happy New Year!  January and February will be very busy in the Kim Lab.  First, I will at the University of KY to give two talks, start teaching a new undergrad course (Economic Entomology), participating in two beekeeping boot camps, host prospective students who will be visiting my lab, AND I have agreed to give two more talks in Biology and Plant Pathology this semester! Ack!! Super excited but a little overwhelmed!  When is spring break??

Dec 6, 2018: Madison Lofing presented her research at the Undergrad Research Symposium on Dec 6.  Madison examined whether flower morphology affected honey bee visitation rates.  She found that honey bees preferred composite flowers over non-composites but that there was also preference for certain plant species.  Way to go Madison on your first independent research project!

Nov 7, 2018: The Kim lab is heading to the Entomological Society of America meeting in Vancouver, BC.  Tania will be presenting a poster on Tuesday 11/12 entitled “Using Next Generation Sequencing to Determine Predator-Prey Associations” while Brian Spiesman will be presenting a poster on Tuesday as well entitled “Temporal variability & complementarity of resources in the landscape: Modeling the consequences for predators and their prey”.  Come by and say ‘”Hi!”

Oct 9, 2018: Our ant diversity paper entitled “Disturbance differentially affects alpha and beta diversity of ants in tallgrass prairies” is finally published in Ecosphere!  We found that harvesting grasslands had contrasting effects on local (alpha) diversity of ants and species turnover (beta-diversity) suggesting trade-offs in maintaining different forms of diversity.

Sept 7, 2018: I currently have funding for a Master’s or PhD student to start Fall 2019 (or Spring 2019 at the earliest).  Highly motivated students interested in landscape ecology, community ecology, plant-insect interactions, agro-ecology, or conservation, should contact me during fall 2018 for 2019 enrollment. See here for more information.

I currently do not have funding for postdoctoral research but am willing to write grant proposals with prospective postdoc.  Please see opportunities page for more details.

Sept 6, 2018: Are you an undergrad interested in gaining research experience?  If so, check out the Undergrad Research Experience in Entomology program!

Aug 16: The Kim lab was awarded two USDA grants. Grant #1: In collaboration with Claudio Gratton (UW Madison) and Brian Spiesman (KSU), we will examine how spatio-temporal heterogeneity in prey resources affect predator population dynamics in ag landscapes in WI. Grant #2: In collaboration with Ebony Murrell (The Land Institute) and Brian Spiesman (KSU), we will examine how border crops affect predators and pollinators in KS.

Interested in helping out? Check out the opportunities page for details on how to get involved.

Aug 1, 2018: Honored to be part of this review article (I’m author 76 of 157 authors!) published in PNAS this week. This review article, which utilized data collected from 132 studies from 31 countries worldwide, showed that natural habitat surrounding crop habitat may not consistently provide increased biocontrol of crop pests.  Click here for UC Davis press release.

July 29, 2018: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program applications are due in October 22 for Life Science.  Students interested in putting together an application to work in my lab should contact me in early fall.

July 24, 2018: Tania will be heading to New Orleans for the 103rd Annual Ecological Society of America meeting (#ESA2018). Students interested in joining my lab should contact me and we can meet up for coffee!

July 1, 2018: The Kim lab moved to Kansas State University!