Cover art for podcast People Behind the Science Podcast - Stories from Scientists about Science, Life, Research, and Science Careers

People Behind the Science Podcast - Stories from Scientists about Science, Life, Research, and Science Careers

300 EpisodesProduced by Dr. Marie McNeely, featuring top scientists speaking about their life and cWebsite

Are you searching for great stories to ignite your curiosity, teach you to perform better in life and career, inspire your mind, and make you laugh along the way? In this science podcast, Dr. Marie McNeely introduces you to the brilliant researchers behind the latest scientific discoveries. Join us … read more


534: Investigating How the Development of Agriculture Has Shaped the Ecology and Evolution of Insect Pests - Dr. Yolanda Chen

Dr. Yolanda Chen is a Gund Fellow in the Gund Institute for Environment as well as an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Vermont. Through her research, Yolanda is working to understand the origins of insects as pests in agriculture. To do this, she investigates the origins of agriculture and crop domestication, and how these processes have changed biodiversity and the interactions between crops and insects. She is interested in understanding how insect pests have become so successful, including invasive insect pests like the swede midge that impacts local growers in Vermont. Much of Yolanda’s free time is spent with her family, including driving her 10 year old and 14 year old children to their rock climbing competitions, biathlons, and soccer games. Yolanda also enjoys running and cooking. In particular, she has been having fun trying new recipes and exploring the world through food with a local cookbook discussion group. Yolanda was awarded her B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Rutgers University and her Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of California, Berkeley. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research at UC, Berkeley as a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Fellow. She then worked as an entomologist studying host plant resistance at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines before joining the faculty at the University of Vermont. In our interview Yolanda shares more about her life and science.

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