My name is Whitney Hadden, and I am an Entomology PhD student at the Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Winchester, VA. I began my PhD at Virginia Tech in 2017 under the direction of Dr. Chris Bergh and Dr. Tracy Leskey (USDA). In 2014, I graduated from Emory University with a BS in Environmental Science, and in 2016, I graduated from the University of Georgia with an MS in Entomology under the direction of Dr. Michael Toews. During my Master’s project, I examined the movement and impact of brown marmorated stink bug in southeastern cotton, corn and soybean fields.
My research interests include invasive species, integrated pest management, and ecology. For my PhD, I am focused on the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) and factors which drive its abundance on a local scale among orchards and the surrounding woodland environments. My research can be broken down into four main components: 1) fluctuations in BMSB population density as a function of the presence or absence of a cultivated crop, 2) factors influencing populations among orchards and non-orchard sites on a localized scale, 3) the suitability of cultivated and non-cultivated tree hosts on BMSB nymphal survivorship and development, and 4) seasonal patterns of host plant utilization by BMSB.