Hannah Levenson: A Community Ecologist Making Strides in Entomology

Hannah Levenson: A Community Ecologist Making Strides in Entomology

Meet Hannah Levenson, a postdoctoral research scholar at North Carolina State University, whose work as a community ecologist is focused on mitigating human impacts on the environment.

Hannah Levenson, Ph.D., is a rising star in the field of entomology. As a community ecologist, she is dedicated to understanding and mitigating the negative effects of human activities on the environment. Levenson’s unconventional path to entomology has equipped her with a unique perspective and a passion for finding innovative solutions to complex ecological challenges. In this article, we delve into Levenson’s research, her journey to entomology, and the impact she is making in the field.

A Journey of Discovery and Connection

Levenson’s journey to entomology began with a focus on design studies, exploring how human habitats can be made more sustainable. However, her interest in understanding the negative impacts of food production led her to shift her focus towards the environment. Levenson recognized the power of building connections between people and their surroundings, and entomology became a perfect medium for fostering this connection. By studying insects, both beneficial and pest species, Levenson aims to engage people emotionally and inspire them to care for the environment.

Investigating Sustainable Pest Management

Levenson’s current research focuses on developing sustainable management strategies for an invasive fruit fly, Drosophila suzukii, in berry crops. Collaborating with researchers from across the United States, Levenson is working to develop field-realistic monitoring techniques and recommendations for growers. By studying pollinator and parasitoid wasp populations on blackberry farms, she aims to understand how pest management practices impact these crucial insects. Levenson’s research is grounded in practical applications, ensuring that her findings can be implemented immediately in the field.

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Bridging the Gap between Science and Stakeholders

One of the most significant challenges Levenson faces in her research is working with stakeholders and bridging the gap between scientific recommendations and real-world implementation. To overcome this challenge, she focuses on building relationships with stakeholders and understanding their perspectives. By administering surveys and documenting stakeholders’ viewpoints, Levenson ensures that her research is communicated effectively and that solutions are practical and adoptable.

Lessons Learned and Advice for the Future

Reflecting on her journey, Levenson advises her graduate-student self to embrace diverse experiences and training opportunities. She emphasizes the value of unexpected experiences and how they can contribute to unique solutions in research. Levenson’s unconventional path has allowed her to think creatively and apply her diverse skill set to her work in entomology.

Finding Balance and Relaxation

When not conducting experiments, Levenson finds solace in spending time outdoors. Whether it’s backpacking or simply enjoying the company of friends on a porch, being in nature helps her unwind. Additionally, Levenson finds relaxation in creative activities such as sewing, knitting, and working with clay. A strong support system, including family, friends, and her beloved puppy, also contributes to her overall well-being.


Hannah Levenson’s journey to entomology showcases the power of interdisciplinary thinking and the importance of building connections between people and the environment. Her research on sustainable pest management and her dedication to bridging the gap between science and stakeholders demonstrate her commitment to making a positive impact. As she continues to explore innovative solutions to ecological challenges, Levenson’s work serves as an inspiration to aspiring researchers and environmental advocates alike.

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