Amanda Stephens - M.S. Student



Rob Venette
Bill Hutchison


Minnetonka, MN

Research Topic

I am interested in the synthesis of conservation, ecology, and entomology, especially invasion biology and ecology. I am currently studying cold hardiness of the spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii), which is a pest of soft fruits.

Previous Education

B.S. Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University ofMinnesota

Why Insects?

Insects are an important foundation for any ecologist- almost all life cycles depend on them. They are found almost anywhere in such high diversity that you can never get bored!

Why University of Minnesota?

I came here as an undergrad and became associated with the department towards my senior year. When I started my graduate school search, I realized I had been quite spoiled with how awesome the department is here and I didn’t want to leave!


Short-term, I hope to go on to complete a Ph.D. in Entomology or Conservation Biology. Long-term, I would love to be a professor at a research university- molding minds and doing my own research!

Favorite Insect

Too many! I really like Assassin Bugs because they’re so bizarre- they will cover themselves in the corpses of their eaten prey for camouflage. I also really like luna moths, especially as caterpillars. They’re adorable.

Other interests/hobbies

Climbing, hiking, knitting, cats, reading, trying new foods, home brewing kombucha, music, learning

Coffee or tea?

Both, depending on my mood, and if they’re black