Phipps recommends:
Cornelian Cherry Dogwood



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

Winter Light Garden
and Flower Show
Nov. 28, 2014 – Jan. 11, 2015;
Winter Light Garden open evenings 5 – 11 p.m.*
Take a walk in our Winter Wonderland as we bring to life one of the most beloved carols of all time. With glowing evergreens, festive poinsettias, illuminated glass and our stunning outdoor Winter Light Garden, Phipps will sparkle and shine like never before this holiday season.
*Weather permitting
Garden Railroad
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.
Candlelight Evenings
Nov. 28, 2014 – Jan. 11, 2015*
Extended Hours: Open until 11 p.m.
Winter Flower Show is even more enchanting at night – a time when glowing candles light your way and live music fills the air. 
*Note: Phipps will close at 5 p.m. on Dec. 24 and reopen at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 26.
Santa Visits
Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 21, 2014
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Bring the kids, or the entire family, to pose for a photo with Santa: It’s a perfect way to get into the spirit of the season and share a special memory with your holiday mailing list! Santa Visits are free with Phipps admission.
BETA Art Tours
First and third Saturdays, December 2014
Next Tour Dec. 20, 2014
11 a.m. – noon
Discover the BETA Project, a new collection of art at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes designed to enhance and restore the bonds between people and the natural world. Tours are free for members; however, space is limited and reservations are required by the Thursday prior to each tour date. To reserve, please contact us at 412/622-6915, ext. 6505 or
Family Fun Days
Dec. 26 – 30, 2014
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Featuring a variety of engaging educational activities, all free with the price of admission, these special days at the Conservatory are filled with adventure and fun.
New Year's Eve Family Celebration
Dec. 31, 2014
6 – 9 p.m.
At this family-friendly event, featuring a variety of activities for children, we will welcome 2015 with an early countdown at 8:45 p.m. so that everyone can join in the fun.
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.
Biophilia: Pittsburgh
Next Meeting February 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!
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 Magnetic 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.
Tropical Forest India
Now Open
Explore our new exhibit showcasing one of the most botanically rich regions of the world. Highlights include an Ayurvedic healing garden, spice and tea market displays, a stunning temple facade on Special Events Hall, and more!
Romero the Corpse Flower
Turns Over a New Leaf
Last year, he wowed thousands with his inimitable odor, and this year, he’s back with an amazing new look. After 10 dormant months, Romero has produced an enormous leaf to collect energy for his next big bloom. Visit the Tropical Forest Conservatory to see his transformation firsthand.