Benjamin Walter Lee
I’m a PhD Candidate at Washington State University interested in predator-prey interactions and disease ecology working with Dr. Dave Crowder. My research in the pea-enation mosaic virus (PEMV) pathosystem has focused on how aphid vectors’ anti-predator behaviors can affect rates of virus transmission on both individual and field scales. My current work seeks to identify the effects of diverse predator communities on anti-predator behaviors and disease transmission and how viruses themselves can manipulate the behaviors of infectious vectors. Other projects investigate interactions between pathogens, soil rhizobia, and non-vector herbivores, the effects of farming systems on global food security and socioeconomic status, and modelling contamination levels of insect pollinators with pharmaceuticals. I also helped found the Graduate and Professional Student Science Policy Initiative (GPSSPI) at WSU, aimed at providing science-policy focused networking, educational, and advocacy opportunities to graduate students.
Field cage set-up at Palouse Conservation Farm
Much needed break from fieldwork
Aphids attempting to hide during a predation experiment
Plant virus diagnostics