Zach Smith, M.S. Student

Zach Smith


Brian Aukema


Mora, MN

Research Topic

I am studying novel competitive interactions between mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) and bark beetles native to the Minnesota to help predict the effects mountain pine beetle could have if it reached the Great Lakes Region.

Previous Education

B.S. in Biology and B.S. in Environmental Sciences University of Minnesota Morris

Why Insects?

I am fascinated by the sheer diversity of insects and the magnitude of the impacts something so small can have on entire ecosystems.

Why University of Minnesota?

I was attracted to the University of Minnesota because of the great research coming from the entomology department and I love how genuinely nice and helpful everybody has been.


I would like have my own lab someday and perform research on the effects of climate change on insect populations and the implications these changes have on forest ecosystems.

Favorite Insect

I have some sentimental value with Pelecinid wasps because it’s one of the first insects I ever caught and they just look really cool!

Other interests/hobbies

I love to run, backpack, and mountain bike.  You’ll find me outside all year long!

Coffee or tea?

Team coffee all the way.  So much coffee.