The Arnold Bolle Award

Diana Six - 2017

Diana Six
Diana Six

Diana L. Six, PhD TRES, professor of Entomology at the University of Montana with degrees in microbiology, agriculture and entomology.

Diana’s research is broadly focused on the ecology and evolution of bark beetles and fungi. Beyond the western U.S., her research has taken her to Germany, South Africa, Sweden and Mexico. She has studied how bark beetles may affect the ability of forests to adapt to climate change. By examining trees that survived bark beetle infestations she found that those trees can pass their resistance on to subsequent generations.

Diana said, “One of our biggest challenges as we approach our forests under the conditions of climate change is to recognize that things have shifted and we have to consider some new and radical approaches. We need to think about adaptation.”

Missoula is Diana’s home, and she has had a large impact here. She has mentored her students at every opportunity, especially those who are struggling. The wilderness is often the textbook she works from. Diana wants to help young people of all ages develop and hold onto their love of science before they lose the connection. As she said, “I not only want to save the planet. I want to save the kids too.”

Diana promotes weed management, healthy forests, insect/stream conservation and more. She has worked with many groups outside the university — from Polson middle school to teaching fly-tying to women with Trout Unlimited. Diana worked on an NSF program pairing university professors with junior and high school teachers for a summer research experience She was part of a forum on biological control of spotted knapweed and toadflax on Mt. Sentinel, and has been advisor to the Ecological Registration Program since 2005.

Today Diana continues to be involved in the scientific discussion of our forests and wildlands. She also ties flies, searches for fossils and explores remote areas in Montana and beyond.

By Harold and Jan Hoem

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