Kelly Ann Izlar

New circles of science

I have never thought too hard about insects – good or bad. I don’t like it when spiders find their way into my bed or when moths find their way into my flour, but beyond that, entomology, plant virology and the like were beyond the scope of my interest.  This was the case up until November 2013, when I was hired by the Office of International Research, Education and Development to communicate the mission of USAID-funded project called Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab.

Tuta Absoluta, aka the tomato leaf miner, has wreaked havoc on tomato crops all over Europe and in many Mediterranean countries. It has recently made the jump to Africa. Photo by Amer Fayad at Virginia Tech

Tuta Absoluta, aka the tomato leaf miner, has wreaked havoc on tomato crops all over Europe and in many Mediterranean countries. It has recently made the jump to Africa. Photo by Amer Fayad at Virginia Tech

IPM IL (just rolls of the tongue, don’t it?) is based at Virginia Tech, and this group of highly passionate people work together to raise the standard of living of people in developing countries by researching non-evil solutions to agricultural challenges. We focus primarily on finding sustainable, non-toxic alternatives to pesticides.

That, my friends, is the reason for the changes you will see in the content of this website.

Stay tuned for some interesting science documenting the interaction of farmers in developing nations, sustainable agriculture practices, crop science, international development, crisis management, not to mention mad bug stuff.

My first love is still Astronomy followed closely by particle physics, but this is a new adventure; I am excited to learn.