Anthony “Daniel” Greene is a second year Ph.D. student from Newport, TN, studying Agricultural Entomology. Daniel won first place in the Ph.D. student oral presentation competition at the 91st Annual Southeastern Branch Meeting of the Entomological Society of America recently held in Memphis, TN.
Get to know Daniel and see his accomplishments below!
How has your experience working/studying in this field helped you achieve your academic goals?
I have wanted to become a teacher at the collegiate level since my undergraduate years at Lincoln Memorial University. The work that I have completed in the Entomology Ph.D. program at Clemson University has helped me to further develop not only my teaching skills, but has allowed me to become a better researcher, communicator of science, and overall more creative individual.
Why is this field of research important to you? And what made you want to get involved in it?
Entomology is important to me because of the impact that it has on humanity and on the rest of the world's biota. Insects have colonized the majority of available habitats on the planet and their involvement in our lives should not be underestimated. Whether it's fending off termite damage to your home, helping to conserve native pollinators, or even enjoying honey on your biscuits, insects and humans have an intimate relationship.
What is the overall goal of your research and how will you able to achieve it?
The overall goal of my research is to better understand the relationship between predatory and herbivorous insects in soybeans. Specifically, how we might be able to better target the aforementioned herbivores so that crop yield is conserved and the environmental impact of our herbivore-limiting strategies is lessened.
Through the help of my colleagues, professors, and advisors, I will seek to answer these questions through experimentation and observation of insect dynamics in South Carolina soybeans.
Have you faced any obstacles academically or in your research? How did you overcome them?
Science doesn't stand still, and this can certainly be seen in biology. I have had to change my project several times in order for it to be feasible for me to complete. This isn't entirely a downside, however, as extra practice comes in handy for when you inevitably receive a curveball in life. I have some great advisors here at Clemson, as well as many other outstanding colleagues and professors, so even when I have had issues, I have always been able to find a way to overcome these problems.
What would you say is your biggest take-away from your research?
My biggest take away is to never be afraid to take on a task outside of your comfort zone. It will take a while for you to fully grasp the situation you are facing, but you will undoubtedly come out of it with a new perspective and a new set of tools to apply to your future endeavors.
How has access to Clemson’s research farms impacted your ability to conduct your research and make discoveries?
Access to the Clemson University research farms makes all the difference in the world. My research interests lie in the promotion of sustainable agriculture through innovative techniques and data collection. Not only is land available for the production of crops of interest, but a variety of tools are at my disposal—tools that allow for an in-depth understanding of the challenges that exist in crop production today. Thanks to the Clemson research farms, we are able to better understand how to manage crop pests on a fine scale, allowing for site-directed management options to be implemented, thereby reducing cost and environmental impact.
What are your future goals/aspirations?
I want to teach at the collegiate level. Entomology, ecology, biology, statistics, or something similar. I've had an incredible amount of support that has allowed me to reach this level, and I intend to help others reach their goals as well.
Quote from advisor Jeremy Greene (no relation), professor of entomology and advisor to Daniel Greene: “We are proud of Daniel's efforts and glad to have him assisting our programs.”
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.