Can a leafhopper rescue tea from climate change?

When insect herbivores feed on agricultural crops, they are labeled as destructive "pests". In addition to decreasing crop yields, feeding by insects causes plants to defend themselves by producing secondary metabolites, many of which are important …

The effects of climate change on tea quality mediated by insect herbivory

The most popular beverage in the world, tea, is made from the leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis). The flavor, aroma, and health benefits of tea are determined by plant secondary metabolites. Changes in tea secondary metabolites such as …

Differential Changes in Tea Quality as Influenced by Insect Herbivory

Tea quality depends on plant metabolites that impact flavor, aroma, and health beneficial properties. Plants respond to insect herbivory by altering the concentration and blend of these metabolites and many secondary metabolites are produced only …

Finding Cryptic Insect Eggs With Fluorescence

I recently gave a talk on some of my work as a PhD student on experiments manipulating densities of the tea green leafhopper (Empoasca onukii) on tea plants. What the audience liked most, I think, were my methods for finding leafhopper eggs in the field and rearing them in the lab (well, a guest room at a tea farm).

Last Fieldwork Season in China

I’m currently in Hangzhou, China at the Tea Research Institute(TRI) for my fourth and last time. It’s bitter sweet (like my favorite teas ;-) ) since I’m both glad to be nearing the end of my PhD, and sad to say goodbye to all the friends I’ve made and a city I’ve really grown to enjoy living in.

Quantifying leafhopper damage with automated supervised classification

As part of my fieldwork in China, I collected harvested tea leaves that were damaged by the tea green leafhopper. I want to quantify the amount of leafhopper damage for each harvest.

Non-linear effects of tea green leafhopper (Empoasca onukii) density on tea (Camellia sinensis) secondary metabolites and implications for tea quality.

Plant metabolic responses to herbivory are generally elucidated using experiments that compare the metabolite concentrations in attacked plants to un-attacked plants. In these experiments, herbivore density is often arbitrary, and may only elicit one …