Jaimie Kenney

Joined: Aug 24, 2018 Last Active: Oct 13, 2021 iNaturalist

Naturalist from eastern Washington state, currently based in southern California.

I have a B.S. in biology, with an emphasis on botany. During my undergrad I especially enjoyed working as a field resarch assistant identifying plants for a project monitoring restoration of natural habitat after dam removal on the Elwha River, Washington, and my passion for identifying native plants persists to this day.

However, at a certain point I became fascinated with plant-microbe biology, especially the tri-trophic interactions between plants, insect-transmitted microbial pathogens, and their insect vectors. Thus, I now find myself working on a PhD in Entomology at U.C. Riverside, where I'm studying patterns of association between California native psyllids, their host plants, and associated bacterial plant pathogens, with a special focus on the potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli).

My goals on iNaturalist are to:

  1. Connect with other native psyllid enthusiasts and help to build a community for crowd-sourcing research grade data on the spatio-temporal distribution and host plant associations of native California psyllids. In 2021 I'm especially interested in collecting specimens of potato psyllids from native vegetation across North America for a population genetics study for my PhD research--if you've collected any potato psyllids you wouldn't mind sharing, please message me for further information!
  2. Keep learning! Participating in iNaturalist has emphasized to me that there is a virtually endless diversity of life out there to discover, and for me there's nothing more fun than spotting a plant or animal I've never noticed before and temporarily immersing myself in learning all about this new and amazing critter.
  3. Foster an appreciation for ecology and a passion for conservation in everyone I meet! As a biology and entomology teaching assistant, I'm always looking for ways to get my students interested in learning about and fighting to protect the natural ecosytems around them. I think iNaturalist is an excellent way to actively engage both students and the general public in order to further this mission!

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