Researcher biography

Jessa is an entomologist from a small part of Arkansas who moved to Australia in order to pursue her passion for studying insects. She's primarily interested in how we can decrease our usage of pesticides to save farmers' personal health and economic wellbeing, alongside decreasing the negative impact we have on the environment. We can do this by developing sustainable biological control programs using native insects to control crop pests in Australia and elsewhere. For her PhD at the University of Queensland, she's focusing on controlling two major pests, the Diamondback moth (DBM) and Large Cabbage moth (LCM) which wreak havoc on broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and many other crops. While we have a successful biological control program for DBM, it co-occurs with LCM which is only known to be controlled by pesticides. In order to continue our control of DBM, we need more wholistic biological control programs that can manage our suite of other pests like LCM. Insights from her research in Australia can also be used abroad as these pests occur throughout the Pacific Islands.

Jessa's principal advisor is Dr. Mike Furlong.