Gwendolyn Ellen
Senior Faculty Research Assistant

My research interests are in promoting participatory agricultural research, biological pest management and the sustainability of agro-ecosystems at the farm and community level. As the coordinator of the Farmscaping for Beneficials Project at the Integrated Plant Protection Center I am integrating farmer experiential knowledge of creating farm habitat for beneficials organisms with research questions on the effects of creating and enhancing such habitat on the populations of pest and beneficial invertebrates on the farm and local farming community. Examples of such habitat include hedgerows, beetle banks (permanent, undisturbed habitat for predacious ground beetles), and numerous configurations of farm insectary planting.

  I work with a dynamic team of local, organic vegetable growers, OSU researchers, and Oregon non-profit organizations and NRCS conservationists coordinating experiential learning exchanges in the form of field classes, farm walks, BugScaping Fairs and interactive habitat planning sessions known as BugScaping Games (see ). Out in the field, I am currently working on the third and forth year of a farmer directed project with 2-3organic vegetable farms in Oregon. We are exploring the construction, maintenance and pest management value of on-farm beetle banks using native bunch grasses. You can go to to read more about our work. I also design and conduct field experiments on three demo beetle banks at Hyslop Research Station and insectary hedgerows. We have planted a demonstration hedgerow at the USDA NRCS Plant Materials Center in Corvallis and have one in the works for an organic blueberry plot at OSU’s North Willamette Research and Education Center in 2010.   I facilitate the Western Region Functional Agricultural Biodiversity (FAB) Work Group. We are a group with 30 members from Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and California who work in all aspects of functional agricultural biodiversity. We are farmers, researchers, industry personnel and conservationists committed to furthering FAB concepts in the western region through research, collaboration, and adoption of farm practices. We sponsored a four-farm, Willamette Valley FAB Tour for Ag Policy makers and regulators in the summer 2009 in place of a winter symposium.     Oregon Beetle Banks   Farmscaping for Beneficials Project   Participatory Potato Project   Participating Non-profit Orgs Links Xerces Society Oregon Tilth   Additional Links   Hedgerows for California Agriculture, Sam Earnshaw, available on line at CAFF                                                              Farmscaping to Enhance Biological Control and many other publications at                                                                 ATTRA   Biodiversity Conservation. An Organic Farmer’s Guide. Wild Farm Alliance          Farming for Pollinators. Native Bees and your Crops. Xerces Society                                        Insect identification                 A Pocket Guide to the Common Natural Enemies of Crop and Garden Pests in the                                        Pacific Northwest. IPPC Mario Ambrosino at                   Insect Images.                                 U of Idaho ID site:                                      


OSU Campus



  • Participatory agricultural research
  • Biological pest management
  • Sustainability of agro-ecosystems at the farm and community level
  • Integration of farmer experiential knowledge
  • Field classes, farm walks, bugscaping fairs
  • Coordinator, Western Region Functional Agricultural Biodiversity Work Group