Crop Protection Technician
Edy grew up in Haiti and now makes his home in Salina, KS. He has a BS in Biology and an MS in Biology with a focus in Ecology. Besides his general research experience, his insect (and more specifically bee) identification skills are the most relevant to his position at The Land Institute. Crop protection involves managing both beneficial and detrimental organisms (usually insects), therefore the first step is to ID the insects found.
Edy was drawn to TLI by the company’s boldness of trying to change a significant portion of our agricultural system. Here, some of the crops are fairly new, so he gets to deal with new pests that very few other people have dealt with. He says, “This means that our findings could play a significant role in the future when these crops become commercially available.”
What would people never guess that you do as part of your role at TLI?
To manage organisms, you have to get to know them, so sometimes it is necessary to raise the very organisms whose population you are trying to reduce.
What TLI perennial crop do you look forward to eating most, and how would you prepare it?
I’m a big fan of pasta, so I am really looking forward to trying some Kernza® pasta. Typically after boiling pasta, I heat up a separate container, throw in some olive oil, spices (more is better), and my choice of meat. Then I throw the pasta in and cook it all together.
What else are you passionate about (outside of work)?
Right now, I’m passionate about two things: music and social insects, specifically ants. Instrumental music is especially fascinating to me because it can invoke such a wide range of emotion in humans. My question is what causes us to interpret specific sounds as either happy, sad, or uplifting? Ants are fascinating because they essentially do everything that we do (farm, build, wage war, enslave each other, protect each other, etc.) with a fraction of our brain size. From my perspective we are essentially bigger versions of ants.
What’s your motto / favorite quote?
“Fake it until you make it,” because as a shy person sometimes you just have to get out of your comfort zone.
Support the work of Edy and others at The Land Institute with a donation.