Q & A: Matthew Quenaudon
Phipps’ new integrated pest management intern discusses his interest in the world of plants and insects.
Joining us from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in entomology is Matthew Quenaudon, our new integrated pest management (IPM) intern. Matt’s position at Phipps is funded by a grant from the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust. Through the generosity of the Trust, Phipps will be able to ramp up our already pace-setting IPM program in regards to our recordkeeping, follow-through and invasive plant management. During this time, Matthew will be immersed in IPM — an approach that employs innovative methods of pest control in order to mitigate environmental harm — gaining important skills and carrying an appreciation and knowledge of IPM forward into his budding career.
We sat down with Matthew to ask him about his new position and how he developed such a strong interest in the insect world.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your role at Phipps?
I graduated in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in entomology from the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources at Michigan State University. I am an aspiring entomologist looking to further my education and experience working along Scott Creary in the IPM program while here at Phipps. As an IPM intern, I will be developing and coordinating Phipps’ IPM program; monitoring and diagnosing all plant health problems, biotic and abiotic; keeping the IPM database current; and maintaining records of all control measures implemented, along with the monetary costs associated with them, with a goal of minimizing pesticide use while maintaining the health and beauty of all plants throughout the Phipps campus.
Can you briefly explain integrated pest management?
Integrated pest management is an environmentally and economically friendly approach to effectively control pests. By using a combination of practices, IPM strives to suppress a pest population below the economic injury level (EIL). IPM specialists utilize information on the life cycle of pests, as well as their behavior and interaction with the environment, when deciding whether or not action is needed with regards to the safety of people, property and the environment.
What attracted you to working at Phipps?
I was impressed with Phipps’ commitment to being as environmentally friendly as possible and the direction in which the organization was heading. I browsed Phipps’ website, agreed with all I saw and knew I shared the same outlook and approach as the Phipps team. I’m very happy to join the team.
How did you first become interested in bugs?
I’ve always been very outdoorsy and captivated by nature, as well as all there is to learn and take from it. Growing up, my mom was an active gardener and I often found myself crawling around in the dirt, fascinated by all the little insects I found under rocks and in between plants. I would collect insects, keeping them as “pets,” and genuinely enjoyed studying their behavior year after year. Science fiction, outer space, and the search for alien life have always intrigued me, so I figured, why not start with the “alien” life living all around us?
Photo © Paul g. Wiegman.
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