Tania Kim (Principal Investigator)

Profile pic

Department of Entomology
125 W. Waters Hall
1603 Old Claflin Place
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506-4004



Curriculum vitae


Education and Affiliation
  • Visiting Assistant Professor in Biology. Swarthmore College.
  • Postdoc. Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin Madison. Supervisor: Dr. Claudio Gratton
  • Ph.D. Biological Science, Florida State University, Advisor: Dr. Nora Underwood
  • M.Sc. Zoology, University of Florida, Advisor: Dr. Bob Holt
  • B.Sc. Resource Conservation, McGill University (Montreal, Canada)

Hobbies: Gardening, hiking, running, cycling, newbie beekeeper, and hanging out with my family.


Jessica Butters (M.Sc. student)

Jessica recentJessica is a recent graduate from Central College in Iowa. For her Master’s project, she will examine the impact of different land management practices such as perennial crops as border plants or fire and grazing on pollinator abundance, diversity, and pollination services .  In her spare time, Jessica likes to hike, back, play guitar, sketch, swing dance, and even has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do! For past research, Jessica  studied the benefits of planting tall grass prairie for soil health in poor quality, marginal, agricultural land. In the future, Jessica wants to continue research at the intersection of agriculture and ecology; to quantify the efficacy of ecosystem services, and discover new agricultural solutions that will be sustainable for crops and wildlife.


Hannah Stowe (M.Sc. student co-advised with J.P. Michaud)

169hannahstoweHannah is a recent graduate of the University of St. Louis, MO. and will examine how spatial and temporal variability in food resources within agricultural landscapes affects the fitness and physiology of lady beetles and biocontrol potential. Hannah likes working with her hands and spending time outdoors and hopes to use her interest in insects to further conservation and awareness of insect interactions with ecological recovery.  In her spare time she enjoys reading, drawing and exploring new places and experiences through travel.


Marco Ponce (PhD student co-advised with Rob Morrison at USDA)

MarcoOriginally from Tijuana, Mexico, Marco graduated with a B.A. in biology from Kalamazoo College in 2019. During his undergraduate studies, he mentored and introduced many elementary-aged children to the physiology and development of insects while providing opportunities to interact with live insects. He is dedicated to mentoring the next generation of STEM students, and he continues to advocate for equality and justice in under-served communities. Currently, he is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow and his research interests include post-harvest insect-microbe interactions and their implications for global food quality, human health, and insect behavior. Marco’s long-term goals include increasing the sustainability of global food production, enhancing food security, and improving human health.

Savannah Piper (Undergraduate student)

Savannah Piper

Savannah is an Animal Science major within the Bio-science/Biotechnology option and minoring in Entomology. Savannah has been invaluable this year by helping Tania set up the new lab and greenhouse, prepare lab teaching specimens, and maintain live beetle colonies. She will be working with Tania and Brian this summer to assess pollinator community composition in restored and remnant tallgrass prairies. In her spare time, she volunteers for the Purple Paws Cat Program, spends time with family and friends, plays the piano, and paints. 



Madison Lofing (Undergraduate student)

Madison profile


Madison is a senior at Kansas State University interested in Wildlife Conservation.  Madison worked on an independent research project during Fall 2018 examining how flower morphology affects honey bee visitation rates.  See her poster here.



Brian Spiesman (Research Assistant Professor, Kansas State University)


Brian studies the landscape ecology of pollinators and plant-pollinator networks. We are working on 2 USDA funded projects: (1) the role of temporal heterogeneity  in food availability on consumer-resource interaction, and (2) the impact of perennial border crops on pollinator diversity.  We are also working to build a much needed pollinator conservation program in Kansas.


Claudio Gratton (Professor, University of Wisconsin Madison)


Claudio’s research centers around the landscape ecology of arthropods in both agricultural and natural systems.  We are working on a USDA funded project examining how temporal heterogeneity in food availability affect consumer (lady beetle) populations in Wisconsin.





Ebony Murrell  (The Land Institute, Salina KS)


Ebony is the lead scientist in crop protection at the Land Institute (a nonprofit research in Salina, KS). Her research centers around finding sustainable ways to manage pests and pollinators in agriculture through practices such as crop diversification and cover cropping. We are working on a project examining how different perennial crop borders might affect pollinator diversity.



Interested in joining the lab?  Check out the opportunities page for more information on how to join!