Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.  – Amy Poehler

Current Openings

Aukema Lab - MPB - Graduate OR Postdoctoral Position.pdf

Postdoc or Graduate Student

Mountain pine beetle

Aukema Lab - EAB - Postdoctoral Position.pdf


Emerald ash borer

Current Team

Professor of Forest Entomology

Brian Aukema

Brian moved the lab to the University of Minnesota in 2010 after a few years as a research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service at the University of Northern British Columbia. He has degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in forest entomology (MS, PhD) and biometry (environmental statistics, MS). In 2011, he was awarded a University McKnight Land-Grant Professorship. As a transplanted Canadian, his favourite type of stick is a hockey stick.

PhD Candidate

Emily Althoff

Following an undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois and a Masters at the University of Missouri, Emily arrived to help elucidate the chemical ecology of eastern larch beetle and study its natural enemies. Emily has completed the Preparing Future Faculty track for a career in teaching. She hails from Belleville, Illinois and is a Swiftie.

PhD Student

Jessica Rootes

Following a six-year stint in the US Air Force as a linguist working in intelligence, Jess arrived to study the dynamics of eastern spruce budworm in Minnesota and on Isle Royale in Lake Superior. She remains the only lab member past and present with a course on her transcripts entitled "Predictive Battlespace Awareness." Jess is an accomplished photographer and also enjoys all things crafty.

MS Student

Rose Picklo

Rose came to us from with a strong biomedical and microbiology background, including several years in which she oversaw the quality control lab for a local brewery. She is now unraveling the secrets of diapause in eastern larch beetle. Need a beer recommendation? She's got you covered. 

MS Student

Grace Graham

Grace is studying resin production in eastern larch, which grows from here all the way to the state of Alaska that she calls home. Grace has certainly lived in some interesting places, such as on a fishing boat in the Bering Sea and at the McMurdo research station in Antarctica. Grace spent six years working as a science educator at The Anchorage Museum prior to joining our team. Her work is co-advised by Prof. Marcella Windmuller-Campione.  

PhD Student

Sayesha Khanna

Sayesha joined us Fall 2023 after completing her Masters as India's representative to the Erasmus Mundus joint MS program in Plant Health sponsored by the European Union. She gained a strong background in Integrated Pest Management from studies in Spain, Italy, France, and the Netherlands and was elected valedictorian of her graduate cohort. She is working on adapting management of spongy moth with Btk to Minnesota's climate.

Research Technician

Ian Grossenbacher-Mcglamery

Ian recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor's in Biology. After two summers of work with us, he's stayed for the academic year. Ian is an avid runner and skier and has a strong beard game.

Research Technician

Clarissa Moore

After an undergraduate degree at Wellesley College in Boston that included semesters in the Caribbean and South Africa, Clarissa returned home to MN. She is leading the project studying the cold tolerance of the elongate hemlock scale. Clarissa enjoys road trips and outdoor adventures, where she often pauses to identify plants that no one asked about.

Voice of Wisdom / Best Lab Assistant Ever

Val Cervenka

Val retired from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in 2023 and decided to... come volunteer with us for a few hours every week!? How did we get so lucky! She helps process field samples, provides artistic advice, proofreads paragraphs, dispenses career guidance, identifies insects, embellishes stories, and much, much more.


Graduate Students