Jennifer Otani has worked as an entomologist in agricultural field crops grown in the Peace River region since 1999. Jennifer grew up in southern Alberta in the town of Warner and completed a B.Sc. at the University of Lethbridge. During her studies, she applied to work as a summer student with the Government of Canada with the notion of working with Canada Customs in the nearby border town of Coutts AB. Instead, she was called to interview for a job at the Lethbridge Research Centre which lead to her working as a student assistant for the resident weed scientists (J. Moyer, R. Blackshaw) then the economic entomologist (R. Butts). Jennifer began a M.Sc. with Dr. Butts which focused on Lygus in canola grown in southern Alberta. The project involved field research at the Lethbridge Research Centre and she was enrolled in Canada’s last remaining Department of Entomology at the University of Manitoba. Before she defended her thesis, Jennifer jumped at the opportunity to work on arthropod biological control in the areas of both weed biocontrol (AAFC-Lethbridge) and agricultural insect biocontrol (CABI Bioscience Switzerland) using arthropod agents. She then completed the M.Sc. in 2000.
Fast-forward to the present where Jennifer is a Biologist leading the Integrated Pest Management program at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Beaverlodge Research Farm. The program investigates and monitors insect pests and beneficial parasitoids and predators occurring in canola, clover, creeping red fescue, timothy, and wheat grown throughout both the BC and Alberta portions of the Peace River region. She Tweets in-season as @bugs5132 and the program Blogs with observations and updates at http://insectpestmanagement.blogspot.ca/ . Since 2010, Jennifer has supported the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network as its Coordinator and she will be introducing the Network’s Blog located at http://prairiepestmonitoring.blogspot.ca/ .