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Cornelian Cherry Dogwood

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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.



Other Featured Exhibits & Events

Three More Nights of Winter Lights
Jan. 30, 2015; 5 – 11 p.m.
Feb. 6 and 13, 2015; 5 – 10 p.m.
Take one more walk through the dazzling light displays in our Outdoor and Children’s Discovery Gardens while our indoor spaces transform for the Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show.
Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show
Jan. 17 – March 1, 2015
Chase away the winter blues with the spectacular sight of orchid specimens arranged in beds and baskets, and see unique selections from our permanent collection of tropical bonsai.
Tropical Sundays
Sundays, Feb 1, 8, 15 and 22, 2015
Wear a tropical shirt and receive 50 percent off admission to relax under the palm trees, sway to music of Matthew Mazza and Carmen Bruno of the Tropical Sands Steel Band, and taste tropical fruit.
Biophilia: Pittsburgh
Next Meeting Feb. 5, 2015
6 p.m., with networking and refreshments at 5:30 p.m.
Biophilia: Pittsburgh is the pilot chapter for a Biophilia Network of creative minds meeting monthly to discuss strengthening the bond between people and the natural world through education, discussion and action. Meetings are free to attend; advance RSVP is required. Join the conversation!
Tropical Forest Congo
Opens Feb. 7, 2015
The beauty of the tropics flourishes as we unveil Tropical Forest Congo, a new exhibit featuring some of Africa’s lushest landscapes. See varieties of flora never before showcased at Phipps and discover how indigenous tribes use plants to sustain and enrich their lives.
Tropical Forest Congo Opening Festival
Feb. 7, 2015
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Be among the first to see our new Tropical Forest Congo exhibit as our guest at a special opening celebration. Family-friendly activities include a storytelling performance, African-inspired food sampling, cultural crafts and a pot-a-plant station — all free with Phipps admission.
Party in the Tropics
Select Fridays
Next Party Feb. 13, 2015
7 – 11 p.m.
Ages 21+
Gather your friends and get ready to dine, drink and dance the night away at Phipps! Make our paradise your own as you indulge in sweet and savory morsels, taste unique cocktails, and dance to the beats of a live DJ in our Tropical Forest Conservatory. Entry is free with Conservatory admission.
Hothouse Happy Hours
Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015
6 – 8 p.m.
Join us on Feb. 19 as we partner with the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (PUMP) to kick off Hothouse Happy Hours, a series of events for young professionals, featuring specialty cocktails, beer and wine, inspired bites and dynamic special guests.
Seed, Perennial and Seedling Swap: 2015 Garden Season Opener
Feb. 28, 2015
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main
Join Phipps and Grow Pittsburgh at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Oakland to swap seeds and plants, learn tips and get ready for a great season of gardening. Bring seeds you saved from last year and take home an exciting selection to grow in your garden this year. Admission is free to the public.
Garden Railroad
Closes March 1, 2015
A unique twist on the traditional Garden Railroad, this year's display takes you back in time to the California Gold Rush — complete with water features, interactive buttons for children to push, and miniature living plants.