Department: Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology
University System: Montana State University - Bozeman
My research focuses on a systems approach to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, particularly making use of natural products developed by plants for insect management, for example, exploration of the use of plant-based products with entomopathogenic fungi for management of insects in Montana irrigated crops and of malaria in West African (Malian) villages. Underlying all of my research is the use of the holistic process and the valuing of traditional ecological knowledge, particularly in addressing issues of rural poverty. These aspects of my own research are closely linked with my research mentoring and teaching responsibilities. Most of my research and teaching are tied to specific communities-of-focus with whom I have collaborated for the past 10-20 years, MT Native American communities, MT farmers, Malian subsistence farming villages. I was trained as a protozoologist, both freshwater (M.S.) and parasitic (Ph.D.), and as an entomologist (Ph.D.). For 30 years, I have directed inter- and trans-disciplinary projects in which we collaborated with subsistence farmers (China, Rwanda, Morocco, Mali) in a “farmer first,” participatory process. Since 2005 this has become more formalized as I adopted the holistic process. My teaching and research have become linked as I use the model we developed for teaching community-based research, The Expansive Collaborative Model (Dunkel et al. 20ll, NACTA Journal 55:65-74).