Cas is the research manager of the Hawai`i Ant Lab. Born in Holland, Cas grew up in Australia where he attended several universities including: Charles Sturt University, the University of New England and Curtin University. He has worked extensively throughout the Pacific region, New Zealand and Australia. His professional interests include the biology and control of invasive ant species, Ecological restoration, island ecology and contemporary anthropology. In his spare time he restores vintage motorcycles.
Introducing our staff
Michelle is the program specialist for the Hawai`i Ant Lab. Originally from California; she has lived on the Big Island since 2002 where she began her career in Entomology. She has a degree from UH Hilo in Agriculture Crop Protection and has worked for various federal research facilities within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Hilo over the past 10 years. Her professional interests include invasive species and insect pest control, conservation, education, and public communication.
Kanoe is an invasive ant research technician with the Hawai`i Ant Lab. She was born and raised on Oahu and has lived in Hilo since 2008. She received her B.S. in Agroecology and Environmental Quality, with a minor in Hawaiian Studies from UH Hilo. She’s worked for several USDA agencies in the areas of post-harvest crop quality enhancement, entomology, plant pathology, and natural resources management. Her professional interests include invasive species ecology and control, native species restoration, sustainable agriculture, and cultural preservation in the common goal of protecting Hawaii’s natural and cultural resources for future generations. She also enjoys producing nature-inspired creative arts and photography in her free time. Recently, Kanoe accepted a position with the Hamakua Soil and Water Conservation District as a consevation planner.
Matt is an Invasive Ant Research Aide with the Hawai`i Ant Lab. Originally from Kaneohe, Matt moved to Puna after graduating from college. He received a Bachelors of Science in Networking and Communications Management from DeVry University in 2005. His professional interests include the conservation and protection of Hawaii against invasive plant and animal species, community outreach and education. Matt has taken up a position with Kamehameha Schools on Oahu.
Past HAL staffers
Heather is HAL's extension specialist. Originally from California, she moved to Hawaii in 2002 to begin her college education at the University of Hawaii at Hilo; later graduating with honors with a degree in Marine Science and a Certificate in Planning. Before joining the Hawaii Ant Lab (HAL), she worked as an Environmental Planner performing a variety of development, transportation, and public involvement projects. Because Hawaii is all part of the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Area, conservation is a primary professional interest of hers. To protect the delicate environment here in Hawai`i, she acknowledges the importance of community awareness, cultural sensitivity, and public participation in conservation efforts. Whenever possible, she takes time to appreciate the many natural wonders on Big Island by snorkeling pristine coral reefs, hiking deserts and rainforests, and snowboarding on Mauna Kea.
Ersel is the invasive ant technician with the Hawai`i Ant Lab. He was born and raised here in Hawaii and has a degree from UH Hilo in Tropical Agriculture and a certificate in plant tissue culture. Before joining HAL he was a navy veteran and has also worked in the construction industry. His main interests lie in Hawaiian entomology, biology and sustainability of agricultural and natural landscapes.
Trent is one of HAL's research associates. Born on Oahu and raised on the Big Island near Hilo, Trent has an abiding love for the natural environment. Previously, he worked with a number of agencies as a fire fighter and on reforestation projects. Recently He was called upon to assist with the wildfires in California. Trent has an Associate's degree from at Kapiolani Community College and is pursuing a career as an EMT. During his free time he enjoys surfing, visiting Oahu and anything that doesn't include the "city life".
a repository of information about invasive ants
Alison is an invasive ant extension technician with the Hawai`i Ant Lab. She was born and raised in Miami, Florida and has two degrees from California State University, Sacramento. Prior to working at HAL she was with the US Forest Service in Hilo and is also currently a member of the US Air Force Reserves. Her interests include comic books, roller derby, and traveling.
Mikey Bunyan is the senior research assistant on Oahu. He has been quietly finding and destroying new LFA infestations there since 2014. Born and Bred in Hawaii, he lives in Waimanalo on the island of Oahu. When not hunting Lfa, Mikey enjoys hanging out with family and friends, gardening, cooking, hiking, skateboarding and playing in ocean.
Jack is a HAL research assistant. He is originally from Pennsylvania and New York, and completed a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2014. Since then, he has worked in oyster aquaculture and on various conservation projects including a six month stint on Johnston Atoll for Crazy Ant Strike Team X. Jack enjoys snorkeling and SCUBA, art, and pickup sports.
Matthew is yet to enter his bio
Kiyoshi is a HAL's senior research associate. Raised in Akaka Falls on the Hamakua coast of Hawai`i island, Kiyoshi graduated from Laupahoehoe High school. He has a background in chemical applications and enjoys spending time with family, hunting, and surfing. Kiyoshi has started in his new role in the Chemical and Mechanical division of HDOA in Hilo.