imageCarmen Blubaugh (carmen.blubaugh at

Assistant Professor, University of Georgia
PhD, Entomology, Purdue University (2015)
MS, Environmental Science, Indiana University (2010)
BA, Environmental Studies, Florida Atlantic University (2006)
Carmen’s CV

Graduate Students

lighter-nick.jpgNick Lyon (PhD student)

Nick came to us in August 2019 after finishing an MS at Iowa State University where he studied native bee community responses to prescribed fire and sustainable pasture management.  Nick will examine costs and benefits of weed diversity in agroecosystems, focusing on functional traits of non-crop plants that promote conservation biological control while protecting crop yields.

Christiana Huss (future MS Student)

Christiana finished her BS in Environment and Natural Resources at Clemson University in 2020. She moved with us to UGA after spending a summer working with our collaborators at Growing Green Family Farm, and she plans to start a MS in the lab starting January 2021! Christiana’s research focuses on the yellow-margined leaf beetle, an invasive pest of turnips that is rapidly expanding its range Northward. She is curious about what makes this invader so successful, how plant chemistry and plant diversity influence its suppression by predators.


img_20190522_092709193-1.jpgMary-Frances Behnke (MFB)

Mary-Frances is a Plant and Environmental Sciences major at Clemson, and spent summer 2019 and 2020 measuring the pest management consequences of excess organic fertilizers. As our resident insect taxonomy expert, Mary-Frances completed insect surveys on thousands of squash, tomato, and bean plants. She’s analyzing her huge data set to examine relationships between soil fertility, plant chemistry, herbivore pressure, and natural enemy attraction. 


Melina Madden

Melina joined us for an internship in 2018 as a high school senior through Clemson’s Summer Program for Research Interns. Then she returned for summer 2019 as a full-time research assistant, where she grew almost 2 acres of squash, tomatoes, and beans (and endured all the sweat and tears that come with farming!). Then she joined us the ANOTHER summer (during a pandemic, no less) and counted bugs and weeds on more than 20 organic farms in SC and GA!  Melina examined relationships between weed diversity, predator diversity, and biological control of insect pests and weed seeds. She’s presented her work at three meetings, and is submitting her first manuscript soon!  Melina is now a sophmore at the University of South Carolina.



Danielle Gray-Lewis (MS 2019)

Danielle is an MS student in the Blubaugh Lab (co-advised by Matt Cutulle and Rebecca Schmidt-Jeffris), and came to us after completing her BS in Biology and Art at the College of Charleston. Danielle’s thesis grapples with the challenge of harmonizing mechanical, chemical, and ecological weed control tools in organic vegetable systems.

Ivy Widick (BS 2015, MS 2018, Lab manager, 2019)ivy

Ivy is a wildlife ecologist who uses species distribution models informed by local adaptation and biotic interactions to forecast changes in distributions of endangered giant kangaroo rat populations under varying climate change scenarios. Ivy worked with us as an undergraduate at Purdue University to describe small mammal movement and microhabitat use under varying risk conditions. She joined us again three years later to help get the new lab rolling, and used video surveillance to examine antagonistic interactions between small mammals, invasive fire ants, and native insects. Ivy is now a landscape ecologist with the Wisconsin DNR


Andrew Godard

Andrew is a Plant and Environmental Sciences major at Clemson, and took Dr. Blubaugh’s IPM course in spring 2018. Andrew’s measuring weed seed predation services and examining beneficial insect communities over a gradient of weed management intensity.

annie.jpgAnnie McElvenny

Annie is an Environmental and Natural Resources Management major, and  joined us for a research internship this summer through Clemson’s EUREKA program, and examined effects of structural habitat complexity on seed consumption by small mammals, fire ants, and native insect granivores.


Although she’s very bad at following instructions, Rosie is an occasional field assistant and a placeholder for future amazing students!  We’re currently recruiting students, so please check out my mentoring page if you’re interested in joining the lab.