New Diagnostician Staff at the ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic

Chelsea Harbach, Plant Disease Diagnostician

The ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic (PIDC) welcomes two new diagnostician staff.

Dr. Chelsea Harbach is the new plant disease diagnostician at the Iowa State University PIDC. This is a return to ISU for Chelsea after finishing her Ph.D. in the Department of Plant Pathology & Microbiology in 2019 with Dr. Greg Tylka. Between 2019 and 2022, Chelsea worked as a commercial agriculture Extension educator with University of Illinois Extension, stationed in the western region of the state at the Northwestern Illinois Agriculture Research & Demonstration Farm in Monmouth, IL. Chelsea is originally from Jo Daviess County Illinois (bordering Iowa & Wisconsin) and attended the University of Illinois for her B.S. and M.S. where she found her passion for plant pathology and diagnostics.

In her free time, Chelsea enjoys hanging out with her partner and her three-legged geriatric corgi, creating art (embroidery, jewelry, and more), cycling, and connecting with friends and family. She is absolutely thrilled to be back at Iowa State living out her dream of becoming a plant doctor and helping people who care about plants give them the best care possible.

Zach Schumm takes over as the insect diagnostician for the PIDC. Zach received bachelor’s degrees in entomology and wildlife ecology & conservation from the University of Delaware in 2016. As a student, he worked in partnership with the USDA Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit where he assisted with research on the biological control of the invasive and economically important brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). In 2020, he received a master’s degree in ecology from Utah State University where his research focused on the ecology and management of BMSB in the Utah agricultural landscape. After completion of his master’s degree, he was the arthropod diagnostician for Utah State University until landing here at ISU.

Zach Schumm, Insect Diagnostician

Zach loves identifying insects and helping clients with solving their insect-related pest issues. More importantly, he is passionate about changing perceptions surrounding insects and other arthropods and helping clients to better understand how insects and their relatives (even the ones we love to hate) are integral components of healthy ecosystems and communities. In his free time, Zach enjoys cycling, rock climbing, playing cello, photography, and much more!

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