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Sara Emery

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Ecology specifically with the Agricultural Entomology working group. I am interested in conservation biological control, community ecology, sustainable agriculture and the effects of climate change on invertebrate community structure and phenology.


My current projects use population and community ecology research to increase sustainable crop protection in agriculture. Crop pests that affect oilseed rape in the establishment phase (slugs and flea beetles) and their predators (primarily carabids) are used as a model system. Analysis of long term data sets, field work incorporating landscape-level effects and molecular gut content analysis are all components of my current research. My main supervisors are Ola Lundin and Riccardo Bommarco.

The crop protection against slugs and cabbage stem flea beetles when establishing winter oilseed rape project is funded by the Swedish farmers foundation for agricultural research 2019-2021. This project is being carried out in collaboration with Georg Carlsson and Albin Gunnarson in addition to my main supervisors. 


I completed my PhD at the University of California Berkeley in 2019 under the supervision of Nicholas J. Mills. My research focused on the effects of land-use intensity on pest insect communities as well as conservation biological control. This research incorporated intensity metrics on both local and landscape scales and included relevant environmental factors. I also analyzed long-term datasets to answer questions about the changing phenology of pest species and investigated how the sign and strength of indirect interactions can change given varying circumstances.

Selected publications

Emery, S., M. Jonsson, A. Ribiero, H. Silva, N. Mills. (2021) High agricultural intensity at the landscape scale benefits pests, but low intensity practices at the local scale can mitigate these effects. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 306: 107199.

Emery, S.E. & Mills, N.J. (2020) Effects of predation pressure and prey density on short-term indirect interactions between two prey species that share a common predator. Ecological Entomology, 45: 821-830.

Emery, S.E. & Mills, N.J. (2019) Sources of variation in the adult flight of walnut husk fly (Diptera: Tephritidae): a phenology model for California walnut orchards. Environmental Entomology, 48, 234-244.

Emery, S.E. & Mills, N.J. (2019) Effects of temperature and other environmental factors on the post-diapause development of walnut husk fly Rhagoletis completa (Diptera: Tephritidae). Physiological Entomology, 44, 33–42.