Research overview

I am a supervisory research biologist with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), a part of the US Department of Agriculture, in Hilo Hawaii. I lead the TCCPU of the US Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center. My personal research focuses on the ecology and behavior of tephritid fruit flies, particularly species of economic importance in Hawaii and potential invaders of the US Mainland. My research program includes computer modeling of invasive pests, computer-vision analysis of fruit fly responses to lures, RFID-tagging individual fruit flies, as well as studies on fruit fly rearing and biological control. We have recently started work on GIS-based modeling to predict the density of Coffee Berry Borer, a recent invader on the island of Hawaii.

Prior to working at ARS I spent almost a decade studying the ecology, evolution and behavior of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae in Mali, West Africa. Sudies on mosquitoes included computer simulations of the spread of transgenes introduced for malaria control, a test of a speciation hypothesis, 3D computer-vision based analysis of swarms and mating within them, the ecology of malaria transmission and GIS-based models for predicting vector pressure.

My research has two disparate but complementary components: 1) Computer modeling and simulation and 2) Field experiments, often with application of novel sensing or computer-assited approaches. I have found it important to do both, and that one informs the other even more often than I expected. These two components are why I am fortunate enough to co-administer our Research Center's High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster, moana, spend time on computer programing and also work in the field.

You can see my official web page here.

Professional details

Even more information

Is available by following the links on the left. You can also read some older information here.