INTAD Student Spotlight: Po An Lin

Posted: October 3, 2016

Po An Lin is a Ph.D. student in Entomology and International Agriculture and Development. He is currently studying the impact of drought stress on the interaction between plant feeding insect and their host plant, and trying to understand how insect saliva could potentially involve in these interactions.

Po An is originally from Taiwan. He has a great interest in insect ecology and chemical interaction between plant and plant feeding insects. He used to be a butterfly collector in the past, and also enjoying studying and collecting different host plant in different regions of Taiwan.

“It was all the years of experience in the mountains chasing after butterflies that got me into studying plant-insect interaction,” said Po-An.

He obtained two Bachelor degrees in Entomology and Plant Pathology & Microbiology at National Taiwan University. Right after graduating from National Taiwan University, he participated in military alternative service. He served as a research assistant in Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute between 2014 - 2015, working on behavioral and vector biology of leafhoppers. Currently he is under the supervision of Dr. Gary W. Felton, who is an expert in insect oral secretion, with a specific focus on lepidopteran (moth and butterfly) oral secretions.

“With the increased intensity of global climate changes, insects and plants are dealing a more stressful environment,” Po An said. 

Climate change often leads to a change in plant-insect interaction and altered insect population dynamic, such as the outbreak of certain insect pest. As a result, it’s getting more and more important to understand how plant deal with multiple stresses and how insect responses to drought. His research interest focus more on the understanding of mechanisms underlying insect-plant-drought interaction. However, he also hopes to provide valuable knowledge on insect pest population dynamics in different regions. The INTAD dual-title degree program will provide opportunities and funding to expand his research and incorporate an international aspect.