Michelle Reid

Introduce yourself... 

I'm doing my Master's in Plant Agriculture. I knit and garden in my spare time. Sharing my love for agriculture and doing my best to improve the way we look at and make our food.

What are you researching and what do you hope comes out of your research?

I am researching what is happening with the alfalfa fields of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Looking at what insects are present when, how that impacts management decisions, and also how management decisions impact what is occurring within the fields. In doing this we will give the alfalfa farmers more information so they can make the best decisions to grow their crop.

How did presenting a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) help explain your research to the public?

When people come to me and ask what I do in my Master's, a lot of people just tune out once they realize that people can be this excited about insects. I love them and how they interact with humans, but I realized that most people just don’t really care. This drove me to want to talk about my research and get people to realize that research can be fun and engaging regardless of what the topic is. The 3MT allowed me a platform to try this out, get feedback, and fall in love with sharing and listening to what people are doing and be just amazed at the sheer vastness in experiences that everyone has.

What inspires you to do research?

I love agriculture, I grew up on a mixed hobby farm and I know that there is a lot of negative images towards agriculture and not all of them are unfounded. So, I really enjoy doing my research because it brings agriculture back to the foreground and it also improves the agriculture that is being done.

What are three keywords important to your 3MT? 

agriculture, insecticide resistance, alfalfa weevil

How has your research changed during COVID-19? 

Everything has changed, it's almost what hasn't changed. There was very little field session last year and little lab access this past winter. So I brought as much lab work I could do from my desk at home. My desk is one ever-shifting surface, an insect sorting table, paper writing, sewing desk... it's been a busy time but I am glad that my research was still able to continue even if it had to be adjusted.

If you had to dedicate your research to anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why?

My research is for the future. The future of all people, understanding what is occurring within our fields is vital to improving the management of them as well as the overall health of the plant, soil, and food that is produced—today and into all the tomorrows.