Candidates for the Southeastern Branch Election

Elections will be held by electronic ballot and voting will open January 5, 2018 and close February 4, 2018 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time US. For additional information on voting, please refer to the ESA voting instructions

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President-Elect Candidates

Dr. Yasmin J. Cardoza is a Research Team Leader in Entomology at Bayer CropScience in Morrisville, NC. Her team’s research focuses on identifying microbe-derived toxins effective against Lepidoptera and Coleoptera pests of agricultural importance. These insecticidal toxins are destined to create crops with pest protection traits to mitigate crop losses due to insect damage. Dr. Cardoza has an Agronomy degree from the Panamerican University of Agriculture (also known as Zamorano) in Honduras. She obtained her BS, MS and PhD from the University of Florida’s Entomology and Nematology Department. Her education and training are on host plant resistance and chemical ecology of plant-insect interactions. Her research experience covers a variety of above-and below-ground plant-insect systems, as well as, multiple symbioses among insects, microbes, mites and nematodes. In addition to the University of Florida, her career has developed in a variety of institutions including the USDA-ARS in Gainesville, FL, CSIRO in Perth Australia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and North Carolina State University- where served as a professor in Entomology for close to 8 years, obtaining tenure in 2013. She joined private industry in September of 2014, assuming her current position at Bayer CropScience, but she maintains her academic affiliation as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Entomology and Plant Pathology Department at NC State University in Raleigh, NC. Dr. Cardoza is an active member of ESA and SEB where she often volunteers in various capacities. She served as Subject Editor for the Plant-Insect Interactions section of Environmental Entomology from May 2013 until December 2017.

Charles T. (Chip) Graham: As a principal scientist for Bayer Crop Science, I work throughout the Southern United States with university research and extension personnel and private consultants to develop seed treatment technologies that promote higher yield potential by protecting row crop seeds from insects and pathogens. Before being employed by Bayer, I worked for Gustafson LLC and was an integral part of the research, development and launch of imidacloprid (Gaucho®) and clothianidin (Poncho®) seed treatment insecticides on cotton, corn, soybean, and wheat crops in the Southern US. I am committed to promoting research and education in agriculture. As the “Bee Ambassador” for Bayer Crop Science, I give frequent updates on bee health and concerns and provide relevant educational programs to elementary schools, high schools, community groups, chemical distributors and dealers, as well as growers across the Mid-South. I am also actively involved in professional organizations. I have served as president of the Mississippi Entomological Association and received the organization’s Distinguished Service Award. I have also served as president of the Mid-South Association of Wheat Scientists and chairman of the Cotton Disease Council. I continue to mentor graduate students, serve on graduate student committees, and have served as a judge for both poster and oral presentations at Southeastern Branch and National ESA meetings. I completed my undergraduate and graduate work at Mississippi State University where I earned a Master of Science degree and a Bachelor of Science degree. My master’s project was “The Effects of Mepiquat Cloride” on Natural Plant resistance to Tobacco Budworm.

Member-at-Large Candidates

Dr. Muhammad Haseeb is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Biological Control, Florida A&M University. He received his BS (1989) and MS (1991) degrees in Entomology from Gomal University, Pakistan and a Ph.D. degree (2001) in Entomology from Chiba University, Japan. He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Texas A&M University in 2001. The focus of his research is to develop pest management strategies for effective management of invasive and established pest insects in specialty crops (fruits, vegetables and nuts). The overall objectives of his extension and outreach is to impart training to stakeholders and clientele with respect to crop productivity and profitability. The major objective of his teaching assignment is to develop and offer graduate and undergraduate courses (Insect Morphology, Systematic Entomology, IPM, General Entomology, Organic Farming, and Biological Invasion). Dr. Haseeb has over 21 years of research experience and academic experience and is internationally-recognized as a specialist on IPM, invasive species, and biological control. He has authored or co-authored 24 scientific publications (20 peer reviewed journal articles; 4 book chapters; 71 abstracts, proceedings, and 15 extension pamphlets, and flyers/spreadsheets). He has made over 100 scientific presentations in 19 countries focusing on a number of research areas, including innovative monitoring and management of numerous invasive and established pest insects. Since 2005, he has secured $3.78 million extramural funds from federal, state, university as a Principal and Co-Principal Investigator. Dr. Haseeb’s stature is further evidenced by several international invitations, chairing societal committees, and grant proposals and manuscript reviews.

Ryan Kurtz is a Director of Agricultural & Environmental Research at Cotton Incorporated.  In this role, Ryan develops and administers an entomology research program aimed at improving production efficiency and profitability as well as reducing cotton’s environmental impact. Prior to joining Cotton Incorporated, Ryan worked for Syngenta as the Lead for Traits Insect Resistance Management (IRM). In this role, Ryan provided IRM expertise primarily in support of research and development projects, product registrations, new active ingredient discovery, as well as stewardship for Syngenta's transgenic insecticidal traits. He holds a B.S. in Agricultural Pest Management from Mississippi State University and a Ph.D. in Entomology from North Carolina State University.

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