Kelsey Schall, 2016 Scholarship Recipient

Kelsey Schall

2016 Scholarship Recipient

Kelsey Schall is a third year Ph.D. candidate in the Entomology Department at the University of California, Riverside. In 2009 she graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara as a Regent’s Scholar with a B.A. in Biology from the College of Creative Studies. Her interest in insects started with a high-school entomology course and matured throughout her undergraduate studies. As a student researcher at UCSB she became fascinated by parasitic interactions, first studying them in marine life, and later through an independent insect biodiversity survey at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve. Her strong interest in parasitology and entomology made biocontrol a natural fit for a graduate-level program.

Following acceptance into the Entomology Ph.D. program at the University of California, Riverside in 2013, Kelsey began her research on biocontrol of ant-tended honeydew-producing insects infesting California’s iconic citrus crop. The most significant of these pests, the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, in combination with its vectored disease, huanglongbing (caused by the CLas bacterium) poses an unprecedented threat to the state’s $3-billion-a-year citrus industry. Substantial psyllid population reduction is necessary to curtail disease spread through commercial production areas. As part of a comprehensive approach aimed at long-term integrated pest management of D. citri in California, Kelsey’s research investigates the efficacy of ant control strategies for augmenting D. citri biocontrol. These strategies focus on suppression of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, the most ubiquitous and problematic tramp ant found in Southern California citrus.

In upcoming work she will test a novel, low-toxicity and biodegradable baiting system for L. humile in citrus. Baits and application methodologies derived from this research could be expanded to other valuable crops that suffer greatly from ant-tended pests (i.e., wine grapes and tree nuts), considerably improving biological control across California and upholding its historical precedent of strongly successful IPM programs.

Kelsey will utilize funds from the Harry Scott Smith Biological Control Scholarship to purchase ant bait stations and a field vehicle to travel to her experimental citrus groves stationed across Southern California. The award will additionally support her travel to an international academic meeting (International Congress of Entomology, Orlando 2016) as well as several industry meetings hosted by organizations such as the Professional Association of Pesticide Applicators, UC Master Gardeners, and the Citrus Research Board’s ACP BioControl Taskforce. These opportunities will allow her to continue to extend her critical, practical research findings to both members of the academic community and end-users –California’s pesticide applicators and growers. 


Kelsey's scholarship is made possible in part by these 2016 donations

A special thanks to Robert and Carol Hardison, Ed Clarke and Jane Delahoyde, Mera Gaut, Dr. Marshall Johnson and Dr. Lynn LeBeck, California Avocado Commission, Jim Finch, Carol and Wayne Elder, Durling Nursery, Ed Traynor, CAPCA San Diego, Glenn Rees at Rees Agricultural Services Inc., Gary Veeh, Leavens Family Ranches, Jim Pardee, Dwight Tate, Carol and Logan Hardison, Dr. Betsy Boyd and Dr. Justin Nay, Scott Van Der Kar at Pinehill Ranch, Mr. John Grether at Grether Farming Company Inc., Rachel Levin, Dr. Nora Hackett, Barton and Merla Gaut, Steve and Robin Smith at Mud Creek Ranch, James Llyod Butler at Lloyd Butler Ranch, Peter Butler at Famly Growers LLC, Patrick Butler at PL-B Ranch, Reetha Keenan, Dorcas Thille at J.K. Thille Ranches, John and Pamela Pavela, Tim Spann, Joe Barcinas at FAR Inc., John Orr at Oro del Norte LLC., California Organic Gardening Club, Jim Davis at American Insectaries Inc., Colleen Klapproth, Oscar and Minda Suguitan, James Mickey, Leffingwell at Ag. Sales Company, Lindsay California, Ruth Wilson, Allen and Cynthia King at King and King Ranch, Richard Pidduck at Santa Paula Creek Ranch, George McEwen at McEwen Nursery, Dr. Fred and Mrs. Suzanne Legner, Marjie Bartels at Bartels Ranch, Warren Nishimura at Nishimura Farms, California Avocado Development Organization, Dr. Richard Goeden and Mrs Joan Goeden, Nora Hackett, Joe Barcinas F.A.R. Inc., Kouichi and Grace Tanaka, Limoneira Ranch, Robert and Marth Orth, Roger and Patricia Essick, Dr. John and Mrs. Janet Kabashima, Sinthya Penn at Beneficial Insectary, Dan and Carolyn Cahn, William (Bill) Hahlbohm at Sundance Natural Foods Co, William Carleton at Las Palmitas Ranch, Devin and Claire Carroll, James McMurty, Scott Van Der Kar, Susan and Donald Deardorff, Carl Stucky, Phil and Robin Tognazzini, Glenna Horton, Carolyn Louise, Villines, Leffingwell Ag. Sales Co, Lindsay California and Lorraine Forster. 

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