2020-2021 ESA Elections Results
Congratulations to the members of the Entomological Society of America recently elected to volunteer positions beginning in November 2020. The electronic ballot period for members began July 20 and was completed August 19, during which time ESA saw its highest member voting turnout in many years. Below, the candidates elected to positions within the Society and several ESA Sections and Branches are listed.
All elected candidates begin their roles upon the completion of the ESA's Virtual Annual Meeting, Entomology 2020, November 11-25.
ESA members also elected five new Honorary Members during the election period.
Click below to see the elected candidates for:
- ESA Society Elections
- Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology (MUVE) Section Elections
- Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology (PBT) Section Elections
- Plant-Insect Ecosystems (P-IE) Section Elections
- Systematics, Evolution, and Biodiversity (SysEB) Section Elections
- International Branch Elections
- North Central Branch Elections
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Marianne Alleyne is an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Her lab, the Alleyne Bioinspiration Collaborative (ABCLab), studies the multifunctionality of cicada, beetle, and fly wings, as well as the material characteristics and architecture of the clicking mechanism of Elateridae. Insights from the ABCLab's fundamental research have informed the engineering of multifunctional materials and robotic systems.
Dr. Alleyne received a B.A. in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley, an M.S. in Entomology from UC Riverside, and a Ph.D. in Entomology from UIUC. She was an entomology research scientist and lecturer at UIUC for 15 years until transitioning to her current tenure-track position. Her commitment to ESA has led her to serve the Society in multiple ways since becoming a student member in 1995. Throughout her career, Dr. Alleyne has been committed to science communication and science policy, and she was an ESA Science Policy Fellow from 2014-2016. She served as president of the Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology Section in 2010 and as the Annual Meeting co-chair (Austin, TX) in 2013. Since 2017, she has been the elected PBT representative to ESA's Governing Board.
Dr. Alleyne has also shown a strong commitment to enhancing diversity, inclusion, and equity in science by co-developing the Code of Conduct Statement and co-creating the EntoAllies program. Her most recent service to ESA combines her passion for innovation and the nurturing of members' creativity by serving on both the Innovation Task Force and the Antlion Pit Competition.
Stephanie BondocGawa Mafla-Mills
American Museum of Natural History and Rutgers University
Stephanie BondocGawa Mafla-Mills is a first-generation Ph.D. candidate studying the island biogeography and community structure of tropical Odonata at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and Rutgers University-Newark, New Jersey. Stephanie's research focuses on evaluating how morphology, range, and gene flow vary across species. In particular, she studies how this variation affects insect dispersal and migration across spatial and temporal scales.
As a Philippine Islander and an Ecuadorian-American, Stephanie is particularly interested in documenting the life histories of the endemics that inhabit her ancestral lands while actively engaging indigenous entomologists in every project she undertakes. Stephanie has conducted field work in Guyana and Mexico and learned canopy fogging from Dr. Terry Erwin in Ecuador. A main pillar of her work includes empowering underrepresented students to pursue entomological research projects.
Stephanie served as a panelist on ESA Diversity & Inclusion panels and participated in symposia at the national and Branch meetings. She volunteered two years in a row in the presentation preview room at the annual meeting. Stephanie's commitment to advocating for entomology can be seen at her institution, where she has directly mentored five undergraduate students on entomological research projects through Rutgers University-Newark's Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program. She looks forward to the opportunity to serve ESA in this capacity, and to continuing her commitment to entomological research and outreach.
Becky Trout Fryxell
University of Tennessee
Dr. Becky Trout Fryxell is an associate professor of Medical and Veterinary Entomology at the University of Tennessee in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. She received her M.Sci. from the University of Kentucky, Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas, and was a postdoc at UC Davis before moving to Knoxville in 2012. Trout Fryxell has a broad background in medical and veterinary entomology with specific training in vector control, vector and pathogen surveillance, and vector ecology and genetics.
Trout Fryxell runs her research program as a diverse and collaborative team, with a mission to improve human and animal health and welfare by minimizing the negative impacts of arthropods. Her research is focused on mosquito-borne diseases (e.g., La Crosse virus transmitted by Aedes triseriatus in southern Appalachia), tick-disease ecology (e.g., Haemaphysalis longicornis expanding into Tennessee), and flies effecting livestock (e.g., Stomoxys calcitrans).
As an active member of ESA, she was recently editorial board chair for the Journal of Medical Entomology and currently serves as a subject editor for the journal and has been past organizer and moderator of ESA symposia. Additionally, she is VP of the Tennessee Mosquito Vector Control Association. Trout Fryxell currently serves as project chair for the S1076 USDA Regional Hatch Project Fly Management in Animal Agriculture Systems and Impacts on Animal Health and Food Safety.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Sonja received her Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Florida in 2007 and 2003, respectively, and her B.Sc. degree from Bethany College, WV, in 2001. Sonja joined Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in the fall of 2008 as an extension specialist in Livestock/Veterinary Entomology. With AgriLife Extension, Sonja is responsible for adult educational outreach and research projects state-wide related to livestock/veterinary entomology and serves as the extension contact for mosquito issues.
Sonja assists with planning and conducting education programs in pest management of arthropods and diseases attacking livestock, companion animals, and public health. She also assists the public and county agents by addressing all insect-related issues and questions. Sonja has developed several educational materials and programs to better educate and serve Texans in regards to mosquito-borne diseases and is the lead on outreach education for the CDC-funded Western Gulf Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases.
Sonja served on the Arthropod Management Tests Editorial Board for six years, has served on the SWB Awards Committee since 2009 (serving as chair since 2018), and has been program co-chair for SWB five times. In addition, Sonja has been on the Livestock Workers Conference Executive Committee for six years. Sonja has given more than 350 program presentations on insects and insect management, published several extension publications, and published peer reviewed journal articles in the Journal of Economic Entomology, Neotropical Entomology, Pest Management Science, and Journal of Medical Entomology.
Dr. Smagghe obtained his M.S. in 1991, Ph.D. in 1995, and became professor in 2002. He is internationally known for his work with insects important in agriculture.
As a polymath, he has a strong and wide experience in insect physiology, molecular biology, and (eco)toxicology. He works with model and pest insects as caterpillars, beetles, aphids, and leafhoppers, and he also has an eye for pollinators, bumblebees, and wild bees, their health, and pollination services.
He published 563 A1-papers and 32 book chapters. Since 2002, he has tutored >120 M.S. students and 62 Ph.D. theses. He invests much in the training of talented young of the world. At university, he is responsible for courses in entomology, animal physiology, and behavior of (bio)pesticides with the training of >1,500 undergraduates.
Dr. Smagghe has received several academic awards, e.g., Fellow AAAS in 2012 and ESA in 2017, and Highly Cited Researcher in 2018 and 2019. He received four doctor honoris causa (2011, 2014, 2015, 2019).
He is active in the entomology community as editor of 12 international journals, such as Pest Management Science, Journal of Insect Physiology, and Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. He organized conferences in the U.S., Europe, Brazil, China, and Africa.
When elected for this task, I will allocate the needed time to represent PBT. Based on my wide interests and publication experiences, I see the need for our PBT Section to function as a strong global platform for cooperation among scientists from various insect disciplines in ESA and the world.
Kansas State University
Dr. Silver is a research associate professor at Kansas State University with both research and teaching responsibilities. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2005 while identifying the molecular determinants of the activity of sodium channel blocker insecticides (SCBIs) on mammalian voltage-gated sodium channels. After serving as a postdoc at Michigan State University working on SCBIs in insect sodium channels, he moved to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University to study the mechanisms of toxicity of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Silver then served as a postdoc in the Stored Products Insect Research Unit as part of the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, working on insect cell culture in Tribolium castaneum and evaluating the feasibility of studying mechanisms of RNA interference (RNAi) in vitro. Subsequently, he returned to K-State as research faculty in the Department of Anatomy and Physiology to continue work on the NIH-funded NSAID project, then joined the Department of Entomology as research faculty in 2016.
Recently promoted to research associate professor, Dr. Silver has developed an independent program in the Department of Entomology at Kansas State focused on molecular insect toxicology, with specific interests in RNAi, insecticide resistance, and molecular determinants of insecticide action. Dr. Silver has 30 research publications and 20 invited presentations, has mentored numerous students (high school-5, undergraduate-11, and graduate-5), earned nearly $700,000 in research funding, and served in leadership positions on several departmental committees as a faculty member at K-State.
Dr. Richard Mankin, research entomologist at the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Research Laboratory, Gainesville, Florida, conducts research on detecting and controlling hidden insect infestations and on understanding how insects use the senses of smell and sound in communication. He currently serves as the PBT treasurer and has been a member of ESA since 1979. He served as chair of PBT (in 2002) and as PBT representative to the editorial boards of JEE and the Annals.
ESA has demonstrated an increasing commitment to membership diversity and inclusion during the time he has been in ESA and, if elected to the ESA Governing Board, Richard will prioritize support of activities that continue this trend. In addition, he has supported science education outreach and the professional development of early-career researchers, and will encourage further activities by PBT and ESA in such areas. The PBT Governing Council has expressed interest in continuing previous networking activities of the Insect Genetic Technologies Research Coordination Network (igtrcn.org), and Richard plans to maintain ESA awareness of these and other PBT initiatives. Finally, because the planning and logistics of future Branch and annual meetings may be complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic or other disruptions, Richard has interest in ESA's further exploration of virtual meetings and other options for dissemination of research findings and other scientific information.
Dr. Umut Toprak completed his Ph.D. at the University of Saskatchewan Department of Biology in 2011 and currently serves as an associate professor of Entomology at Ankara University, Turkey. Umut's expertise is insect physiology and biochemistry, in particular midgut and peritrophic matrices, defense physiology, and lipid metabolism.
Umut is an active member of the international scientific community and has organized international events such as the ESA PBT Section Symposia "From Fat to Fact" (Entomology 2019) and "Peritrophic Matrix: From Past to Future" (Entomology 2017) and the cross-divisional symposium "The Multiple Layers of Host-Pathogen Interactions" for the Society for Invertebrate Pathology 2019 Annual Meeting. Umut also chaired the first Molecular Plant Protection Congress (2019) and the fifth Entomopathogens and Microbial Control Congress (2015). He is currently a steering committee member of the XII European Congress of Entomology (2022) and also serves as the regional ambassador for the Society for Invertebrate Pathology.
Umut is a nominee for PBT Section representative to the ESA Publications Council and has editorial experience including special issue editorships in Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IBMB), Journal of Insect Physiology (JIP), and Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology (AIBP), and editorial board memberships in Frontiers in Physiology (FIP), AIBP, and the Turkish Journal of Entomology. Umut has published 34 peer-reviewed articles and a book chapter, which have been cited more than 1,300 times. His articles have been published in the Annual Review of Entomology, as well as in other prestigious journals including IBMB, JIP, AIBP, and FIP.
University of California Cooperative Extension
Surendra Dara is the entomology and biologicals advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension. He has a Ph.D. in entomology from Virginia Tech and a post-graduate diploma in Applied Information Technology from Information Technology Institute, Canada.
He has nearly 25 years of experience in IPM and microbial control, working on 17 species of invasive pests and diseases and several endemic species throughout his career. He has authored/co-authored more than 360 scientific and extension articles, which include three co-edited books, one co-edited special issue of a journal, 16 book chapters, and 50 peer-reviewed journal articles. He has a strong research and extension program that develops innovative solutions for sustainable crop production and protection and reaches out to the agricultural community locally, regionally, and internationally. As a volunteer, he provided training in pest management, IPM, and crop production to farmers in Bangladesh, Guatemala, Haiti, Kosovo, Moldova, Mozambique, and Myanmar.
He is currently serving on various committees or holding offices at the University of California, the Society for Invertebrate Pathology, and the Association of Applied IPM Ecologists. He publishes two eJournals and is a subject editor for the Journal of Economic Entomology, an associate editor of the International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, and a co-editor of two special issues of two Frontiers journals. In 2019, Dara received the Western Innovator recognition from Capital Press and the Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension from ESA. He also received the 2020 Excellence in IPM award from the ESA Pacific Branch.
Lina Bernaola was born in Lima, Perú. She holds a Ph.D. in Entomology from Louisiana State University, where she recently completed her postdoctoral research. Her research interests involve investigations of the effects of mycorrhizal fungi, a symbiotic soilborne organism, on rice resistance to insect herbivores and pathogens.
Lina has been active in ESA since 2013. She has presented her research at several international, national, and Southeastern Branch meetings. Lina is a member of P-IE and has served on the P-IE Governing Council as the student representative; she currently chairs the Student Affairs Committee; and she formerly chaired the ECP Committee of the SEB. In all of these leadership positions, she has been working on members' needs and assisted in organizing different symposia, student debates, workshops, etc.
Lina also currently serves as the student representative to the Governing Board. During her term, she has learned even more about the society, especially regarding the structure and principles of ESA. After gaining this valuable experience, she has become capable of contributing at an even greater level. By running for the treasurer position as a professional entomologist now, she would be honored to continue working hard at the core of her Section and ESA. Her goal has always been to promote a community that is inclusive of diversity and to entice more active members for the growth of the Section and society, which are uniquely positioned to engage and network with organizations worldwide to take on entomological challenges we face in the coming years.
My name is Michelle Boone, and I'm a third-year Ph.D. student in the University of Minnesota Entomology Department. I'm interested in endangered species conservation. My research involves fitting occupancy models to bumble bee populations, with a special focus on Bombus affinis, the rusty patched bumble bee. I currently serve as the chair of the Graduate Student Board in my college. I have a strong record of service in my college and department, including serving on search committees and my college's committee on diversity and inclusion. I've attended the past three ESA annual meetings and gave oral presentations at the last two. In 2018, I received the Plant-Insect Ecosystems Master's Student Achievement in Entomology Award. I also recently received the President's Student Leadership and Service Award from my university.
My passion for leadership and service comes from deep gratitude for the opportunity to pursue a graduate education. I want to make the most of the opportunity I've been given and give back as much as I can to the community. I find joy in serving and would be honored to have the opportunity to serve as the student representative to the P-IE Section Governing Board. As a first-generation student, I can bring a fresh perspective to the Governing Board and express the unique concerns of students like myself. Some priorities for changes I would like to see in ESA are creating a more welcoming space for first-time attendees, particularly students, and fostering meaningful interactions between more experienced members and students.
University of California-Santa Barbara
Dr. Katja Seltmann is the Katherine Esau Director of the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration at the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB). As director of one of the largest research centers at UCSB, she leads three programmatic areas—UCSB Natural History Collections, K-graduate education, and coastal California ecological restoration. Her research program is in biodiversity informatics, or data science research of digitized natural history collection records, entomology (especially Hymenoptera), and media arts. Dr. Seltmann co-hosts a weekly science and music radio show on KCSB FM in Santa Barbara (and streaming online) called Unknown Territories.
Dr. Seltmann started her entomology career at North Carolina State University before college doing summer field work and auditing classes. She earned her B.S. in Studio Art at the University of Georgia and an M.S. from the University of Kentucky studying Hymenoptera systematics. She later earned a Ph.D. at the University of Szeged, Hungary, in the Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science and Informatics in 2013. Her Ph.D. focused on the development of an ontology of Hymenoptera morphological language, and she continues to work in the area of insect data. Before starting her position at the Cheadle Center in 2016, Dr. Seltmann managed several large biodiversity information science projects including MoprhBank at Florida State University and the Tri-Trophic Thematic Collection Network at the American Museum of Natural History. Dr. Seltmann also served as the webmaster for the International Society for Hymenopterists for 10 years and is a past president of the Entomological Collections Network.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Craig Brabant earned his B.S. in Entomology and Zoology and M.S. in Entomology at the University of Wisconsin. He earned a Ph.D. in Entomology in 2015, also at UW-Madison. His Ph.D. research was on the South American velvet-ant genus Tallium (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Dr. Brabant is currently the research curator at the Wisconsin Insect Research Collection (WIRC) in the Department of Entomology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
As curator, Brabant oversees the 3 million+ insect specimens housed in the collection while continuing his research on mutillids, supervising students and volunteers working in the WIRC, and engaging in many other educational and outreach opportunities throughout the year. Brabant has been the treasurer of the International Society of Hymenopterists for the past 10 years, where he also serves on the executive council. Brabant has been an Entomological Society of America (ESA) member since 2000, first in Section A and currently in the Systematics, Evolution, and Biodiversity (SysEB) Section.
University of Kansas
Andrew Short, Ph.D., is an associate professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and curator of entomology at the University of Kansas. He earned a B.S. from the University of Delaware (2002) and a Ph.D. from Cornell University (2007) before arriving at Kansas in 2008.
Dr. Short's research program focuses broadly on the diversity and evolution of aquatic insects and the biodiversity of South America. He combines phylogenomic and morphological data with extensive tropical fieldwork to examine how insects evolve between aquatic and terrestrial habitats and has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles. He also teaches courses in introductory entomology and tropical field biology. He was the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award in 2015 and was named as a Fulbright Scholar to Brazil by the U.S. Department of State in 2017.
A member of ESA since 1994, Dr. Short has served the society in a variety of roles, including as president of the SysEB Section (2018), and is currently a member-at-large of the ESA Publications Council. He also serves on the board of directors of the Natural Science Collections Alliance and is a research collaborator at the U.S. National Museum of Natural History.
Rory Mc Donnell
Oregon State University
Rory Mc Donnell is from Ireland and received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in Applied Ecology from National University of Ireland, Galway. He is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Science at Oregon State University, where he also serves on the Faculty Senate. His program is focused on understanding the ecology of invasive invertebrates in agriculture, horticulture, urban areas, and the natural environment and at the interface of these systems, and developing and implementing novel strategies for the management of these pests. He has acquired >$4.6 million in funding as lead PI or a member of a consortium, of which >$1.6 million has been exclusively for his internationally-recognized program. Funding has been awarded from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Oregon and California Departments of Agriculture, National Parks and Wildlife Service, European Union, and Royal Irish Academy. He has published >60 papers in leading journals, including the Annual Review of Entomology, Journal of Pest Science, Biological Invasions, PLoS One, and the Journal of Economic Entomology.
Rory has been an active member of the International Branch since its inception in 2010 and has served on the Awards Committee (member, 2010-2013; chair, 2013-2015) and on the Governing Board as secretary (2015-2020). He has also played key roles in defining Branch policy and in organizing the annual International Branch Virtual Symposium, which is attended by researchers from around the world. This dedication to and experience with the International Branch places him in a unique position to serve as president-elect.
Natural Resources Canada
Dr. Véronique Martel has a M.Sc. (2003) and Ph.D. (2007) in entomology (reproductive strategies of parasitoids) from McGill University, with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. After her Ph.D., she undertook two postdoctoral stints in Europe, in Sweden (2007-2009) and in France (2009-2011). She started as a research scientist for Natural Resources Canada in Quebec City (Canada) in 2011, where she has since worked on the ecology of forest pest insects and their natural enemies.
She has received several awards for her research and her involvement in public outreach: the young researcher Léon-Provancher Award from the Entomological Society of Quebec (2016); three Recognition Awards from the Canadian Forest Service (2016, 2017, 2018); two Recognition Awards from Natural Resources Canada (2016, 2017); a Service Award from the Entomological Society of Canada (2019); and the Excellence and Leadership in Official Languages Award from the Government of Canada (2019).
Véronique has always been involved with different societies. At the regional level, she has been the registrar (2012), vice president (2013), president (2014) and past president (2015) of the Entomological Society of Quebec. She has also been co-chair of the Organizing Committees of two annual meetings. At the national level, she has been chair of the Bilingualism Committee (since 2005), director-at-large (2015-18), and subject editor of The Canadian Entomologist (since 2012) of the Entomological Society of Canada. More recently, she worked with ESA to make the 2018 Joint Annual Meeting (Vancouver, Canada) as bilingual as possible.
University of Nebraska
John's Ph.D. (Entomology) is from Cornell University. He is head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Nebraska (since 2019). He was previously at the University of Georgia (1994-2012) and department head at Kansas State University (2012-2018). His research and extension emphasize design/implementation of conservation biological control in annual crop systems, ecology of predators and parasitoids, and sustainable crop production. He has taught courses in biological control, integrated pest management, general entomology, and insects and society.
Along with other professional service, he served as ESA-NCB president (2017-18) and past president (2018-19), on the ESA-NCB Student Awards Committee, and as NCB representative on the ESA Recognition in Entomology Awards Panel. Nationally for ESA he was secretary and chair of the former Biological Control subsection and chaired the Nan Yao Su Award Committee and the Student Activity Award Committee. In ESA-SEB, he chaired three annual meeting Program Committees, chaired the Student Awards Committee, and served on the Bylaws Revision, Nominating, and Resolutions Committees. He was Biological Control subject editor for Environmental Entomology for six years and was on the editorial board of Biological Control for 10 years. He's judged numerous student competitions, including ESA Branch and national meetings, Georgia Entomological Society, and Sigma Xi. He coached a K-State student debate team and Linnaean Games teams for ESA competitions. He served as member-at-large and vice president for the Nearctic Region Section of the International Organization for Biological Control. He also filled numerous roles in the Georgia Entomological Society, including president.