I am an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland.
My program aims include developing and disseminating farming tactics that befriend the environment. Specifically we use a trans-disciplinary research partnership to develop farming tactics that concurrently suppresses above and below soil crop pests while improving soil quality and health. Our long term objective is to provide producers information needed to transition greater acreage of land from conventional to more sustainable habitats. Long-term goals are to introduce production strategies that will improve the productivity, quality, and environmental health of farming communities resulting in greater economical and ecological sustainability.
An additional program aim is to support small farmers. Limited land and a sustainable market are among those challenges faced by small farmers. Teaching small growers sustainable agricultural practices and how to effectively grow and market their crops are additional tools in our tool kit to protect and support socially disadvantaged small farmers. We aim to increase the economical sustainability and value of agricultural products sold per farm by small sized farms through the adoption of environmentally sustainable, economically viable best management practices.
Organic research is also a major part of my research program. The overall aim of the organic research program is to develop and disseminate information on production tactics that reduces off farm inputs while increasing profits. We specifically conduct research on lands going through organic transition and in double-cropping organic production systems with the long term goal to provide producers information that gives them greater economical sustainability and confidence in transitioning land to organic production. To accomplish our organic objectives, we employ a trans-disciplinary strategy that includes collaboration with Agricultural Economists, Acarologist, Weed and Soil Ecologists, Nematologists, and Entomologists. More specific information on our current organic research projects can be found under the Research - Grants category.