Jake Wittman

Ph.D. Student

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

Brian Aukema

B.A. Biology and Environmental Studies: Concentration Bioscience, minor in Secondary Education, Luther College, Decorah, IA



Cedar Rapids, IA

Why Insects?

I love the diversity and ubiquity of the insect world. They have a role in our life, whether we like them to or not, and I think they are critically under appreciated by society at large.

Why University of Minnesota?

I came here for the Aukema lab but am staying for all the fried food on a stick.

Seriously though, the Twin Cities are a great place. I taught high school in and around the Twin Cities for the last three years and thoroughly enjoy the people, location, environment, and culture. I can satisfy many of my itches here - there's a variety of (good) food, museums, concerts, and outdoor recreation (where I sometimes pick up more itches).


Contribute something to the conservation of our natural areas and heritage.

Favorite Insect

Jeff Goldblum in The Fly

(Actually, probably the luna moth. I think they're haunting and beautiful. Kind of like Jeff Goldblum)

Other interests/hobbies

I love to run, especially in the frigid Minnesota winters when my beard and mustache will freeze over with condensation (and probably more snot than I care to admit). I also like hiking, camping, biking, reading sci-fi, fantasy, and philosophy, watching movies (especially all the ones about superheroes). I also play the trombone.

Coffee or tea? 


Areas of Interest

Dispersal of gypsy moth larvae