Edwin Benkert, Ph.D. Candidate


Ken Ostlie


Burt, MI

Research Topic

I’m broadly interested in IPM and IRM solutions for crop pests in agriculture, including biological control, crop rotation, and other management practices. Currently, I’m interested in the costs and benefits of different control practices for corn rootworm populations, and different management practices in light of resistance.

Previous Education

B.A. Biology- Albion College, MI

Why Insects?

I chose insects because they are an interesting and diverse group of animals. They hold a major role in many processes and systems, and you’ll never run out of topics to study.

Why University of Minnesota?

The University of Minnesota is a renowned university with many different avenues and options for research, the department of entomology contains many faculty members from different disciplines that are a valuable resource for any student, and the twin cities are a great place to live.


After graduate school, I would like to work in industry, helping companies develop new ways to combat pests that agriculture may face. I also want to interact with growers and professionals to introduce them to new products and techniques so they are better prepared to manage the pests they face.

Favorite Insect

Currently, my favorite group of insects is the Ephydridae, or the shore flies. Some species have specialized to feed only on cyanobacteria, which is interesting because of how toxic it is.

Other interests/hobbies

I enjoy playing bass guitar, reading, and restoring old tractors on my family’s farm. I also like camping in the summer, and snowmobiling in the winter.

Coffee or tea?

Definitely coffee, but I also don’t mind a glass of ice tea at the end of a long summer day.