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2020 Lab Crew

2020 Nottingham Lab

(left to right) Robert Orpet, Jill Dinius, Sam Martin, Clare Nelle, Lauren Rooney, Louis Nottingham (not pictured Chris Sater and Gerardo Garcia).

Lab Leader

a man, a woman and a really cute dog with snow-covered mountains in the background
Louie Nottingham, Ph.D.

Louie is a native of Virginia who caught the Western expansion bug after graduating from college with a BS in Biology. Following stints working in fisheries and ornithology (ask him about birds!) in several states including Montana, Idaho, and California, he returned to Virginia Tech to work on Vegetable IPM in Tom Kuhar’s lab for his PhD. In 2017 he headed west again, leaving veggies in the dust (much to the delight of his back) and started a post-doc in pear IPM with Betsy Beers’ lab at TFREC. His work on the efficiency of kaolin clay for suppressing pear psylla led to the spectacle of beautiful white clay covered trees that adorn the valley each spring.  In 2019 he started his own lab at TFREC as a research assistant professor and is currently the benevolent overlord of 4 post-docs, 2 technicians, and 3 seasonal employees. Louie’s current research areas include developing a pear psylla decision support tool incorporating a phenology model, pest thresholds and natural enemy levels; and improving pest management strategies for leafhoppers vectoring x-disease in cherries.  Louie loves the outdoors and all of the recreational opportunities this area has to offer. He spends his free time hiking, cycling, skiing and hanging out with his wife Molly and their awesome dog Blackbird.



woman with short hair and glasses with her right elbow on a railing. a tree with green, yellow and red foliage fills the background
Katlyn Catron, Ph.D.

Dr. Katlyn Catron is a recent graduate of the Virginia Tech Entomology Department in Blacksburg, VA. She has experience in a wide range of entomological contexts, from stream invertebrates to bed bugs and cockroaches to vegetable pests. She hopes her extensive background in science communication and Extension will be a valuable addition to the Nottingham lab, where she is excited to begin working on X-disease in Washington cherries.

Robert Orpet, Ph.D.

Robert is a postdoctoral research associate focusing on various elements of pear IPM including biological control with earwigs and cultural control using reflective ground covers. Robert has a particular interest in understanding the roadblocks between research-based recommendations and commercial implantation. In his recent project testing reflective ground covers in commercial orchards, Robert is interviewing his orchardists to learn if these methods could be commercially viable. Follow Robert on Twitter @2robsterlobster.


Chris Sater

The lab cannot function without Chris! Chris manages administrative tasks like budget management, hiring, and purchasing, and is also critical to quality control of data, reports and publications. Additionally, Chris is our resident computer wiz, and is the one to go when you have an issue with MS Excel or need to make a spiffy PowerPoint slide. Finally, Chris is unofficially in charge of elevating lab moral with a contagious laugh and the best scones you’ve ever tasted! For cats, Legos, general ridiculousness, and sometimes even entomology, follow Chris on Twitter: @AppleCapChris

Gerardo Garcia Picture
Gerardo Garcia

Gera spends most of his days working for the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission as their equipment operator, but also helps our program and others at the TFREC in his off time by performing research and maintenance sprays. Gera grew up in an agricultural family and comes with a ton of knowledge about spray equipment and conducting both large and small plot spray trials. We are so grateful to Gera and the WA Tree Fruit Research Commission, because tractor sprayers are, like, really really complicated. Thanks Gera!


Hall of Fame

Clare Nelle
Clare Nelle

Clare is a Leavenworth, WA native and 2020 valedictorian of Cascade High School. She came to us in March 2020 when her school closed due to COVID. Although her long term goal is to get a Ph.D. in physics, she has shown a real passion for the world of insects. Clare started by compiling scientific literature on pear psylla ecology and pest management for a review article. Once the lab reopened for research, Clare led our BIOAg project to uncover unknown previous hosts of Spotted Wing Drosophila using gut content analysis. Clare is now a freshman at Hamilton College in Upstate New York, but she is still putting in some hours to get her first publication!

Jill using microscope
Jill Dinius

Jill worked for 3 years in the Vince Jones insect behavior and ecology lab before joining the Nottingham lab, where she worked on a number of projects including pear psylla biocontrol with earwigs and Spotted Wing Drosophila gut content analysis for determining unknown previous hosts. Jill is a natural entomologist and can ID just about anything you pull out of an orchard!  Jill is currently working for the Musacchi lab at WSU-TFREC.

Sam Martin
Sam is a Wenatchee native and WSU grad, but more importantly, he is the guy who can do it all! As an undergrad Sam worked in Dr. Cameron Peace’s genetics and plant breeding program on project RosBreed.  In our lab Sam spent his time in grower orchards IDing insects to them improve their management programs, scouting pear and cherry blocks for pests and natural enemies, and running insect bioassays or feeding trials in the lab. If you’re out hiking on the trails around Wenatchee keep and eye out, Sam’s likely to come flying past you on his mountain bike. Sam is currently a pest management manager for Anheuser-Busch.
Lukas picking pear leaves
Lukas Sherman i.e. “Big Sherm”, “Big Worm”, “Big Perm”, or “Guy with the bird” is a Wenatchee area native who earned an A.A. in the Sustainable Agriculture and Resources Program at Wenatchee Valley College. Lukas grew up in an orchardist family growing apples and cherries in Quincy, WA. His education and background in growing made him an incredible resource to our program. Lukas could do everything from designing experiments to operating commercial sprayers. Lukas has recently started a new job as an agricultural inspector with the newly formed Tri-County (Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan) Horticultural Pest and Disease board. We miss Lukas every day.
Bruce driving sprayer
Bruce Greenfield worked for the TFREC in various labs since the 1990s. He could build anything and always knew how to get the job done; he was also the only person tall enough to load a Potter Spray Tower without a stool! We wish Bruce the best in his retirement and new life in Oregon.
Lauren Rooney (not pictured) graduated from WSU’s food science program in the spring of 2020 before coming to our lab. Lauren’s keen attention to detail helped her quickly learn how to ID numerous orchard insects. We wish Lauren the best of luck in her future positions!

Previous Lab Photos

2019 Lab

left to right: Louis Nottingham, Lukas Sherman, Robert Orpet