In Spring 2017, Ariel Heminger joined the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences (SPES) as a Ph.D. student in Dr. David Haak’s lab. Ariel studies the relationships between plants, insects, and microbes. She is interested in understanding how biotic and abiotic factors can impact this relationship and shape traits found in plants and insects. Ariel received her B.S. from the University of Delaware in Entomology in 2014 and a M.S. in Entomology from Virginia Tech in 2016. During her undergraduate training, she worked at USDA-ARS in Newark, DE on the biological control of the brown marmorated stink bug and tarnished plant bugs. During her M.S program, she worked under Dr. Scott Salom on the biological control agent Laricobius nigrinus, assessing its impacts on the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid.
From an early age, Ariel has been curious about insects and plants and particularly insect-plant interactions. Through her research and IGC training at Virginia Tech, she is eager to collaborate across disciplines and learn how scientists approach complex problems that require interdisciplinary solutions.