Rachel is an Entomology Ph.D. candidate studying bumblebees and the landscape properties that affect their individual and colony growth. Originally from Olympia, WA, Rachel graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2014 with dual BA/BS degrees focused on community food system development and plant protection sciences. Rachel enjoys educating anyone who will listen about pollinators, and reminding everyone around her that "bugs aren't scary, they are awesome!" She is passionate about social media engagement as a tool for science education. Her favorite pollinators are bumblebees, specifically Bombus melanopygus. When she isn't high-fiving bees, Rachel plays flat track roller derby with the Palouse River Rollers, under the name Rumble Bee.
Elias H. Bloom is a Ph.D. candidate of Entomology at Washington State University, Pullman, WA. He grew up in Nebraska where his family owns and operates a small-scale organic farm. Bloom taught Introduction to Horticulture, Plant Propagation, and Insect Identification at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he received his Bachelors of Science in Horticulture and Entomology. His current research at Washington State University seeks to evaluate the bee species of small, diverse, farms of western Washington, and develop techniques for augmenting habitat. Bloom works extensively with local and regional non-for-profits, urban gardening associations, and small holder farmers. His areas of expertise include organic farming and plant propagation, but his research primarily focuses on bee community ecology and community engagement.
Dave Crowder is an Assistant Professor of Entomology at Washington State University. Dave received his BS and MS in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois, with a minor in General Engineering. He received his PhD in Entomology from the University of Arizona. Dave’s lab uses theory, experiments, and observational studies to address questions aimed at understanding the factors that shape insect communities and plant-insect interactions. Our research is mostly conducted in agricultural ecosystems and addresses both basic and applied issues; this allows us to ask fundamental questions while also developing solutions to real-world problems. Our research integrates theoretical work (simulation, analytical, and statistical models) with empirical studies (observational work, manipulative experiments). Our research is broad, currently focusing on areas including sustainable agriculture, landscape ecology, and pollinator ecology.
For more information, check out Dave's website!