Samantha graduated with a first degree, Bachelor of Science Zoology, she remained at Aberystwyth University, Wales to undertake a Masters Degree in Managing the Environment, finishing in 2012. Her undergraduate thesis investigated the effects of urbanization on garden snails (Cornu aspersum Müller) and the results were later presented on BBC’s ‘Autumnwatch’. Research for her Master of Science thesis commenced in conjunction with Sustainable Forest Management Ltd and investigated the effects of plantation on ancient woodland sites (PAWS) on the abundance and diversity of arthropods.
She volunteered at the Natural History Museum in London, UK where she worked alongside Dr Andrew Polaszek, sorting through samples collected from different geographic regions and identifying parasitic Hymenoptera (particularly the superfamily Chalcidoidea). During this period, she published three papers.
Samantha’s PhD began in September 2016 at the University of Melbourne with Professor Ary Hoffmann, Dr Paul Umina and Dr Sarina Macfadyen at CSIRO acting as her supervisors. Her research fits within a larger, national Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) project investigating beneficial species that can be used to control agricultural pests in grain crops.
- Parasitic Hymenoptera associated with aphids in grain crops in Australia. Monitoring D. noxia, M. persicae, other aphids, and their parasitoids in grain crops within rural Victoria.
- PublicationsWard, S. E., Shih, Y. T., Ko, C-C., and Polaszek, A. (2016). Two new species of Eretmocerus Haldeman (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) parasitizing Aleurolobus rhododendri Takahashi and Dialeuropora decempunctata (Quaintance & Baker) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) from Taiwan. Biodiversity Data Journal.
Ward, S. E., Valente, C., Gonçalves C., and Polaszek, A. (2016). Rediscovery and redescription of Centrodora damoni (Girault) (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) from Australia, an egg parasitoid of Gonipterus spp (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), after nearly a century. Biodiversity Data Journal.
Andrew Polaszek, A., Shih, Y-T., and Ward, S. E. (2015) A new species of Cales Howard, 1907 (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) parasitizing Bemisia pongamiae (Takahashi) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) in Taiwan, with a key to world species of the Cales spenceri-group. Biodiversity Data Journal.
2017 Australian Entomological Society 48th AGM in Terrigal, NSW
2016 The Australian Entomological Society 47th AGM and Scientific Conference and Entomological Society of New Zealand and NIPI forum and workshop in Melbourne, Victoria (Attendee)