Tania Kim (Principal Investigator)
Department of Entomology
125 W. Waters Hall
1603 Old Claflin Place
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506-4004
- Visiting Assistant Professor in Biology. Swarthmore College.
- Postdoc. Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin Madison. Supervisor: Dr. Claudio Gratton
- Ph.D. Biological Science, Florida State University, Advisor: Dr. Nora Underwood
- M.Sc. Zoology, University of Florida, Advisor: Dr. Bob Holt
- B.Sc. Resource Conservation, McGill University (Montreal, Canada)
Hobbies: Gardening, hiking, running, cycling, and hanging out with family
CURRENT LAB MEMBERS
Marco Ponce (PhD student co-advised with Rob Morrison at USDA)
Originally from Tijuana, Mexico, Marco graduated with a B.A. in biology from Kalamazoo College in 2019. During his undergraduate studies, he mentored and introduced many elementary-aged children to the physiology and development of insects while providing opportunities to interact with live insects. He is dedicated to mentoring the next generation of STEM students, and he continues to advocate for equality and justice in under-served communities. Currently, he is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow and his research interests include post-harvest insect-microbe interactions and their implications for global food quality, human health, and insect behavior. Marco’s long-term goals include increasing the sustainability of global food production, enhancing food security, and improving human health.
Maggie Anderson (M.Sc. student)
Maggie is a graduate of Luther College where she examined the community structure of ground beetles in different habitat types. Maggie started in June 2021, and is examining arthropod spilloveracross different habitat boundaries with soybean using observational and mark-recapture experiments. In Maggie’s free time, she loves to play soccer, basketball, and card games.
Nicole Kucherov (PhD student)
Nicole recently graduated from Miami University with her Master’s degree in Biology where her research focused on the influence of climate and landscape variables on the abundance, richness, and composition of Lepidoptera populations. As a PhD student at K-State, Nicole will examine the spatial distribution of insect pests and beneficial insects in Kansas agroecosystems. Nicole’s interests include sustainable agriculture, insect-plant interactions, landscape ecology, and community conservation. She is passionate about mentoring environmental stewards of all ages from preschoolers (she ran a nature preschool) to high schoolers (she taught high school science) and beyond. In her free time, Nicole enjoys hiking, kayaking, gardening, reading, and spending time with her family.
Gus Brunette (MSc. student)
Gus graduated from UW-Madison with a B.S. in entomology where he worked on projects involving monitoring insect and plant communities in restored prairies and digitizing insect collections. At K-State Gus will be studying how restoration practices impact insect populations in tallgrass prairies. He is broadly interested in insect ecology and taxonomy, especially multi-trophic interactions and parasitoid Hymenoptera. In his free time, Gus enjoys camping, hiking, bird watching, and board games.
Bethany Plake (Undergraduate student)
Bethany is a current student in the Department of Agriculture, focusing in Agricultural Education. She joined the lab right before her junior year after just taking one of the many entomology classes K-State offers. In two years she hopes to be teaching at a high school as an ag teacher and FFA advisor, using what she’s been learning in this lab to teach her students. Bethany is a member of the Professional Agricultural Sorority Sigma Alpha as well as a member of the Agricultural Education club on KSU campus. She also enjoys cooking and baking for her friends in her free time.
PAST LAB MEMBERS
Rachel Harman (Postdoctoral Scholar)
Rachel’s research interests lie in understanding movement patterns of insects within fragmented landscapes. Rachel worked with Tania to characterize beneficial and pest insect movement patterns within landscapes that vary with land use and climate change. Rachel is currently on parental leave but will be starting a ORISE postdoc at the USDA-ARS in November!
Noelle Schumann (Undergraduate student)
Noelle Schumann is a Senior majoring in Biology. They first came into the lab by studying habitat edge effects as part of the Department of Entomology’s Undergraduate Research Experience. They have continued assisting research with projects in the lab such as lady beetle physiology, grasshopper microbiome, and arthropod spillover since January 2022. Noelle is also a member of Kappa Kappa Psi and the Kansas State University Marching Band. In their free time, Noelle enjoys rock climbing, painting, music shows, and traveling through the outdoors.
Eli Cox (Undergraduate student, University of Missouri Kansas City)
Eli is an undergraduate student visiting from UMKC working on a project examining ground beetle habitat use and foraging behavior. Eli is interested in regenerative agriculture and would like to pursue a career in conservation, Wildlife Biology, or natural resources. Specifically, he would like to help farmers and ranchers implements practices that regenerate their land from an ecological perspective
Jessica Butters (M.Sc. student)
Jessica graduated from Central College in Iowa. For her Master’s project, she examined the impact of different land management practices such as border crops, fire rotation, and grazing on pollinator communities. In her spare time, Jessica likes to hike, back, play guitar, sketch, swing dance, and even has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do! For past research, Jessica studied the benefits of planting tall grass prairie for soil health in poor quality, marginal, agricultural land. In the future, Jessica wants to continue research at the intersection of agriculture and ecology; to quantify the efficacy of ecosystem services, and discover new agricultural solutions that will be sustainable for crops and wildlife. Jess is currently the Pollinator Conservation Specialist at Prairie Rivers of Iowa.
Hannah is a recent graduate of K-State and examined how variability in food resources within agricultural landscapes affects the fitness and physiology of lady beetles and biocontrol potential. Hannah likes working with her hands and spending time outdoors and hopes to use her interest in insects to further conservation and awareness of insect interactions with ecological recovery. In her spare time she enjoys reading, drawing and exploring new places and experiences through travel. Hannah is currently a PhD student with Dr. Julie Peterson at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
Savannah Piper (Undergraduate student)
Savannah graduated in Fall 2019 in Animal Science with a minor in Entomology. Savannah was Tania’s research assistant and helped set up the new lab and greenhouse spaces, run bean beetle experiments, and helped with pollinator field work. In her spare time, she volunteered for the Purple Paws Cat Program, spent time with family and friends, played the piano, and paints. She is currently a research technician in Dr. Chuck Fox’s lab at the University of Kentucky.
Caroline Gatschet (Undergraduate student)
Caroline graduate from KSU in Biology and worked in the Kim Lab from 2020-2022. Caroline was involved in many projects including assessing the impacts of diet on lady beetle physiology. Outside of school, she enjoys drawing, reading, playing tennis, being outdoors, and traveling to explore new places. Caroline is currently a research technician in Dr. Lydia Zeglin’s lab.
Nora Bishop (Undergraduate student)
Nora is a sophomore in the Park Management and Conservation program. She is a lifelong fan of the natural world and excited to pursue a career to connect people with nature through both education, and recreation. She’s an active member of the George Wright Society and can be found any place people and the outdoors meet, from badlands to botanical gardens. Nora is excited to be gaining experience and understanding in the lab so that she can further deepen understanding of the natural world for both herself and others.
Weston Ahles (Undergraduate student)
Weston is an Animal Science Major and examined the benefits of lady beetle movement on feeding rates and the potential consequences for biocontrol. Weston was involved in the Undergraduate Research Experience program in 2019 and found that lady beetles given opportunity to move after diapause have a greater likelihood of feeding and feed faster!
Paige Connor (Undergraduate student)
Paige is a senior in biology at K-State. She examined the impact of bison grazing and fire rotation on the abundances of different guilds of insect pollinators. She found that bison grazing increased the abundances of pollinators (some groups more than others) but fire rotation had no effect.
Madison Lofing (Undergraduate student)
Madison is a senior at Kansas State University interested in Wildlife Conservation. Madison worked on an independent research project during Fall 2018 examining how flower morphology affects honey bee visitation rates.
Brian Spiesman (Assistant Professor, Kansas State University)
Claudio Gratton (Professor, University of Wisconsin Madison)
Ebony Murrell (The Land Institute, Salina KS)
Dan Sullins (Assistant Professor, Kansas State University)
Katie Burke (Assistant Professor, Kansas State University)
Brian McCornack (Professor, Department Head, Kansas State University)
Interested in joining the lab? Check out the opportunities page for more information on how to join!
Kim Lab 2020
Kim Lab 2019