August Kramer

M.S. Student

Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota
1980 Folwell Avenue, 219 Hodson Hall
St. Paul, MN 55108
United States

Brian Aukema

I received a Bs. In forestry and a certificate in GIS from the University of Montana.



Mahtomedi, Minnesota

Why insects

I’ve loved insects since I was a kid, and during my time studying forestry and working for Montana DNRC I was exposed to the wide world of forest entomology. I developed a particular interest in bark beetles, and I am thrilled by the opportunity to continue studying them!

Why University of Minnesota?

I have a lot of reasons for choosing UMN. To list a few: the entomology program is fabulous and the campuses are beautiful, I am unironically a huge fan of Minnesota summer humidity, and most of my family resides in the state. One of my favorite things about UMN has always been the Bell Museum – the new facility is fantastic!


Prior to my enrollment at UMN I worked as a specialist in the Forest Pest Management program of the Montana DNRC and got to work closely with state and federal entomologists, and I have a great deal of respect for the people in those positions – I would love to find myself in a similar role someday. I am very interested in the fields of diagnostics and taxonomy and would love to work with those skills as well. Ultimately, I aspire to continue studying and learning about forest insects!

Favorite Insect 

I’m definitely a big fan of beetles – right now my favorite is the harlequin beetle. I love it for its size, colors, and relationship with phoretic pseudoscorpions (another favorite arthropod of mine)!

Other interests/Hobbies

I love to grow things! I am an enthusiastic gardener with a few dozen houseplants, a fan of fermentation projects (kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, etc.), and caregiver to my pet cat and a few blue death-feigning beetles. I am an extremely novice banjo player and an avid outdoorsman – I love spending time on the water or in the woods with my family.

Coffee or Tea?

Tea for me! I gave up coffee on a whim about three years ago and never looked back.

Areas of Interest

Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) and eastern five-spined ips (Ips grandicollis) dispersal in western Montana.