Mary Marek-Spartz - Ph.D Student

Mary Marek-SpartzAdvisors:

George Heimpel & Roger Becker

Previous Education:

B.S. Conservation Biology & M.S. Geographic Information Science

Hometown:

Bondurant, IA

Research Topic:

I am working on the garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) biocontrol effort, researching two Ceutorhynchus weevils from the plant's native range in Europe.

Why Insects?

I can't remember a time when I wasn't fascinated by the insect world. Their impact on us goes far beyond being a commodity or a pest.

Why University of Minnesota?

The last 8 years I have spent studying and then working at the U have allowed me explore many interests and I have always felt incredibly fortunate to be here. 

Aspirations:

I would like to continue weed biocontrol research either at a university, the DNR, the USDA, the Forest Service, or a similar entity. I also would like to raise sheep some day.

Favorite Insect:

Weevils. No contest. They are diverse, sassy, adorable, and full of surprises. To me, their success as herbivores makes them a paragon of the coevolution of insects and plants.

Other interests/hobbies:

Illustration, gardening, programming, ukulele, ham radio (KEØALJ)

Coffee or tea?

I like both, as long as I can add a little half & half ;)