Winners of Outstanding Masters Award
2016 - Ishan Samaranayake
Ishan Samaranayake is a MS student with Dr. Alejandro Costamanga at the University of Manitoba. His Master project addresses the control of soybean aphids, particularly on the role of landscape structure in maintaining effective populations of predators that suppress this pest. Ishan conducted a challenging series of field experiments that included a combination of experimental manipulations and sampling of 27 soybean fields. His studies go beyond the typical relationship between landscape complexity and pest suppression by explicitly quantifying insect movement between soybeans and neighboring fields using bidirectional Malaise traps. Ishan’s research is one of the first studies that attempts to explain insect interactions at the landscape scale based on their patterns of movement in different habitats. Ishan has also been very active as a teaching assistant and outreach with elementary school children.