2021 Bill Duesing Living on the Earth Awardee: Dr. Kimberly Stoner

This award is given to an individual or organization who has worked to advance organic living on our earth and supports the continuation of the life work of Bill Duesing.  We continue to cherish the legacy of our founder through this annual celebration of his many contribution.

The 6th recipient of the Bill Duesing Organic Living on the Earth Award: Dr. Kimberly Stoner

Kim is one of the early board members of CT-NOFA and was Chairperson and Board President (years unknown). Kim single-handedly founded the Organic Land Care Program – an arm of CT-NOFA that deals with the well-being of our landscapes and its inhabitants. She was the first Chairperson of the Committee. It was her vision that shaped the direction and depth of the program, which has helped to educate and empower thousands of persons in the land care profession. She worked closely with Bill to advocate for an Organic Connecticut and beyond.

Her work as an organic vegetable entomologist continues to inform organic farmers and gardeners. Her work with bees and pollinators: to understand their challenges and inform farmers and land care persons how to nurture these essential allies, is a keystone of her life’s work.

She is first a scientist, but with the uncanny ability to recognize and embrace the metaphysical aspects of science. Kim is a devout Quaker, tirelessly advocating for peace in the world, between people and all the living organisms on the planet.

Dr. Stoner’s Research:

Dr. Stoner has expertise in developing alternatives to insecticides for managing vegetable insects, working with organic farmers and land care professionals on pest management, and studying the exposure of pollinators to pesticides in pollen and nectar.

Education:

B.S. in Zoology, Duke University 1979
Ph.D. in Entomology, Cornell University 1987

Station career:

Assistant Scientist 1987-2001
Associate Agricultural Scientist 2001-2019
Agricultural Scientist 2019-Current

Past research:

Dr. Stoner’s research has identified a variety of possible alternatives to insecticides for managing insects in several different vegetable crops. One alternative is to grow varieties with resistance to insects, such as brassicas (cabbage, broccoli and related crops) that resist caterpillars due to differences in the waxes on their leaves. Another is the use of cultural methods, such as use of straw mulch on potatoes and eggplants, which increases the effectiveness of predators against the Colorado potato beetle. Another method she has studied is biological control of the Mexican bean beetle, using the parasitoid wasp Pediobius foreolatus. She has also participated as a member of the Northeast Organic Network in an intensive case study of organic vegetable and cash grain farms in the Northeast.

Current research:
Dr. Stoner’s research focuses on several aspects of bees and pollination:
1. Exposure of bees to pesticides in pollen and nectar, in collaboration with Dr. Brian Eitzer of the Analytical Chemistry Department
2. Attractiveness of ornamental plants to honey bees and native bees
3. Pollinator habitat on Connecticut farms and practices to create or improve habitat
4. Pollination of pumpkins and winter squash