Anh Tran

PhD Student

Anh is a Gaginang that was born in Vietnam and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2011, Anh earned her B.A. in Biology from Hiram, College. Afterwards, she worked for an environmental consultant company that released the biological control agent, the milfoil weevil, against Eurasian watermilfoil throughout the United States and Canada. She then moved to Minnesota and worked in a biocontrol research lab. Anh's previous experiences with using insects as biocontrol agents sparked her interest to pursue a graduate career in entomology. In 2016, Anh received her master’s degree in entomology at the University of Minnesota studying conservation biocontrol of the soybean aphid. Currently, Anh is a Ph.D. candidate in entomology investigation how the invasive vinegar fly, spotted-wing drosophila, survives the harsh winters here in Minnesota – either through migration or overwintering. A few things that Anh enjoys in her free-time includes sharing the wonders of insects through public outreach presentations, traveling, practicing yoga, running long-distances, drinking boba tea, and volunteering with her community. 

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Current Research

SWD

Global warming has led to the spread of many invasive insect pests to northern climates, and questions arise on how they survive the cold winters. My research is focused on determining whether the spotted-wing drosophila (SWD), an invasive fly pest survives the harsh Minnesota winters by overwintering or migrating to the state each spring from warmer regions. I am tackling this question by evaluating SWD’s flight behaviors in laboratory and field settings. I am also utilizing fixed-wing planes, passive traps, and validating degree-days models to understand SWD winter survival strategies. Results from my studies documents that the pest may be capable of both behaviors. These results are significant for developing tactics for suppressing the pest in its overwintering habitats or aligning management strategies to spring migrations. 


 

Studying SWD flight patterns
Anh Tran
Ahn Tran, PhD Student