Congratulations to the members of the Entomological Society of America recently elected to volunteer positions beginning in November 2022. The electronic ballot period for members began July 18 and was completed August 17. 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 2022 Joint Annual Meeting of the Entomological Societies of America, Canada, and British Columbia, November 13-16, in Vancouver.
ESA members also elected three 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, & Toxicology (PBT) Section Elections
- Plant-Insect Ecosystems (P-IE) Section Elections
- Systematics, Evolution, & Biodiversity (SysEB) Section Elections
- International Branch Elections
- Pacific Branch Elections
- Southeastern Branch Elections
ESA Society Elections
ESA Vice President-Elect
Texas A&M University
Bio: Lina Bernaola, Ph.D., recently joined the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University as the new rice entomologist. She is nominated by the ESA Southeastern Branch (SEB) with endorsements from the Southwestern Branch. She has a B.S. in biology from San Marcos University (Lima, Peru), and she completed an M.S. in agronomy, Ph.D. in entomology, and postdoctoral research all at Louisiana State University. Her research interests include understanding the influence of soil microbes (primarily mutualistic fungi) on plant (rice and soybean) defense and interactions with insect herbivores and pathogens. Outside of work, Lina enjoys travelling to new places, taking photos, or dancing bachata and merengue.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Lina has been actively involved in ESA since 2013. She is currently the P-IE Section treasurer (2020-2023), and the Southeastern Branch representative on the Awards and Honors Committee (2020-2023). At the Section level, Lina has also served on the P-IE Governing Council as the student representative (2014-2016). At the Branch level, she chaired the Program Committee of the Annual Meeting (2020-2022), Early Career Committee (2019-2020), and the Student Affairs Committee (2014-2016) of the SEB. At the national level, Lina served two terms as the student representative to the Governing Board (2016-2020) and chaired the Student Affairs Committee in 2020. She has presented her research at international, national, and Branch Meetings. She is always working on members' needs and has assisted in organizing symposia, student debates, and workshops.
General candidate statement: From my previous leadership roles, I learned about the Society, especially regarding the structure and principles of ESA. After gaining this valuable experience, I would like to give back to the ESA community, in part, by endorsing a diverse group of future leaders in entomology and similar areas, who can start gaining experience at an early stage in their careers. By running for VP-elect as an ECP, I would be honored to continue working hard at the core of ESA. I would like to review our Branch and Section structures to better understand how to welcome members that currently have not been fully engaged. My goal has always been to promote a community that is inclusive of diversity and to entice more active members for the growth of the Society, which is uniquely positioned to engage and network with organizations worldwide to take on entomological challenges we face in the coming years.
VP-elect candidate statement: As an evolving Society, ESA faces critical issues and challenges in the coming years. ESA's mission is twofold: promote opportunities for its members and provide the resources to share their insect science globally. If elected, I intend to increase our active membership to bring a new diversity of thought to improve satisfaction and participation among all members. By encouraging and supporting students, Early Career Professionals, and underrepresented members, I plan to maintain ESA's strong commitment to professional development of our members, through mentoring, leadership roles, recognition, and volunteer opportunities that will increase ESA's membership while promoting diversity and inclusion. In parallel, I will work on challenges that our community is facing today such as communicating our science to policymakers and the general public. If elected, I intend to enhance our Science Policy program to interface more closely with decision makers at the federal level and increase our representation on Capitol Hill. Finally, I will work on innovating our science communication initiatives that can engage the general public on insect science information with a focus on targeting diverse audiences. I believe in the capacity of this Society to continue evolving despite new challenges and doing what is best not only for its members but also for the scientific community around the world.
University of Florida
Bio: Faith Oi, Ph.D., is an urban entomologist in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at University of Florida. She is nominated by MUVE and endorsed by the ESA Southeastern and Southwestern Branches. She is director of Pest Management University (PMU, 2007-present), whose mission is to train the pest control industry using evidence-based instruction. She leads a team of experts from industry, academia, and regulatory agencies with core values that support science and service. Oi completed LEAD21 and LEAD IFAS. She is a recipient of the Pest Control Technology-Syngenta Crown Leadership Award (2018) and 2021 Florida Extension Association Family and Consumer Sciences Outstanding Specialist. Other awards: IPM Symposium Team Award for PMU (2018), Florida Entomological Society (FES) Team Research Achievement Award (2015), and FES Achievement Extension Award (2014).
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Oi has actively and continually served the Entomological Society of America at the Branch, Section, and national levels since 1995. Leadership capacities include incumbent treasurer and member of the Executive Committee of the Governing Board (2019-2022), two terms on the Finance Committee (2008-2014), MUVE Section president (2015), Diversity & Inclusion Committee (2015-2018; chair, 2017; Section representative, 2017-2018), Rules and Ethics Committee (2019-2022), PACT (2021-2022), SEB Nominations chair (2016), Program chair (2008), and Student Awards Committee (1995-1998, chair, 1997-1998). She has served on the National Pest Management Association technical committee for over 25 years and served the National Conference on Urban Entomology as conference chair (2012, 2014), student awards chair (2017), and planning committee (2009-2017).
Candidate statement: I assumed the role as treasurer at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. If elected to a second term, I believe that I can provide the continuity needed to work with members, the Governing Board, and ESA headquarters as we emerge into a different stage of the pandemic and respond to financial challenges due to geopolitical events and market volatility. My goal is to uphold the treasurer's fiduciary responsibility to ensure financial solvency, to maintain program stability, and grow programming that will support changing member needs.
Early-Career Professional Representative to ESA Governing Board
Bio: Dr. Scott O'Neal earned his Ph.D. in entomology from Virginia Tech, following a B.S. from Purdue University and a M.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University. Scott had the privilege of being awarded both predoctoral and postdoctoral USDA NIFA fellowships to support his research in the area of insect physiology and toxicology, which he began as a doctoral student and then continued as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Since January 2020, he has been employed as a research entomologist in the Insect and Nematode Management group of Corteva Agriscience, in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a result of his professional achievements, Scott has been awarded the ESA North Central Branch Excellence in Early Career Award, the UNL Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar Award, and the American Chemical Society's Agrochemical Division New Investigator Award.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Scott O'Neal has been an active member and leader within the Society. He served as chair of the Early Career Professionals (ECP) Committee, and during his tenure he introduced the new annual ECP Recognition Symposium, highlighting peer-selected ECP speakers at the Annual Meeting. Scott also served as the ECP representative on the Physiology, Toxicology, and Biochemistry (PBT) Section Governing Council, where he initiated and organized the first annual PBT "speed networking" event. Scott has been a student talk winner, a program symposium organizer, an invited speaker, a volunteer judge, and an organizer of numerous symposia and workshops at both Branch and Annual Meetings. Scott's most significant contribution, however, was introducing and promoting the successful petition to add a new seat on the Society's Governing Board for an Early Career Representative.
Candidate statement: I am running for the position of ESA Early Career Representative to the Governing Board with the following overall goals in mind: 1) fostering opportunities to promote engagement of early career professional (ECP) members with the governance of ESA, 2) identifying and implementing strategies that will improve both recruitment and retention of ECP members, and 3) driving the ongoing push for greater inclusivity and bringing more diverse voices to the forefront of the Society as we look to develop a new generation of leaders that will sustain our evolving organization. As the first person to hold this position, I would leverage my considerable experience as an advocate for ECPs to facilitate a more meaningful interaction between the ECP Committee and the Governing Board and to develop a framework for that relationship that can be employed in the years to come.
Student Representative to the ESA Governing Board
University of Georgia
Bio: Jamal Hunter began his collegiate career at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia. During his time at there he was VP of the Student Diversity Alliance, executive secretary of the Student Government Association, president of the Resident Hall Association, student worker in a cotton entomology lab, resident assistant, technician at the Georgia Deptartment of Agriculture, and a member of the Association of Southeastern Biologists. After receiving a B.S. in biology and A.S. in mathematics from ABAC, Jamal continued his collegiate career at the University of Georgia, during which time he was secretary of the entomology graduate student club and an active member of ESA. His interests are broad, ranging from the application of technology to solve entomological problems to insect diversity and how interspecies interaction can affect large scale agriculture.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Mostly Jamal Hunter's participation in ESA has been limited to student posters or presentations, with the exception of volunteering wherever needed during the 2018 Annual Meeting. During his undergrad, he presented posters at the Association of Southeastern Biologists conference. Jamal has also presented posters and presentations at the Georgia Entomologist Society. When it comes to volunteering, he spends quite a bit of time giving back to his local community; he often given guest lectures to both elementary and middle schools, as well as mentoring programs. Jamal volunteers to attend or participate in grower meetings with the goals of fortifying his conversation skills with laypersons while also developing the skill of rooting out perceived problems and solutions in agricultural systems.
Candidate statement: I am always interested in opportunities to network as well as learn the underlying mechanisms of how large organizations work. These are both things that will translate well when I began putting into motion my ultimate goal of starting an agricultural technology firm. Overall, I am interested in representing students to the ESA Governing Board because I am a passionate advocate for students' rights and want to make sure students get the most out of their membership with ESA.
Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology (MUVE) Section Elections
MUVE Section Representative to the ESA Governing Board
Penn State University
Bio: Dr. Erika Machtinger holds a B.Sc. from the University of Delaware in wildlife conservation, and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Florida. Currently, she is an assistant professor at Penn State with a 70% research, 30% extension appointment. Her multidisciplinary, integrated research focuses on pests of veterinary concern. Dr. Machtinger has 49 peer-reviewed publications and 3 book chapters and co-authored the book Pests and Parasites of Horses. She has secured over $2.5 million in research funding. Dr. Machtinger is currently the Vector-Borne Disease (VBD) Team leader at Penn State Extension. Her development of this novel team to address VBD in the U.S. led to her receiving the ECP Extension Award in 2019. As the team lead, she is responsible for the development and coordination of team activities to address human and animal VBD education priorities.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Machtinger has been an active member of ESA since she was a graduate student. She was a Southeastern Branch representative to the Early Career Professionals Committee until November 2017. In 2018, she joined the president's task force on publications. She was appointed a MUVE Section representative to the Early Career Professionals Committee from 2018 to 2021. Currently, she is an associate editor for the Journal of Economic Entomology and a subject editor for the Journal of Insect Science and the Journal of Medical Entomology. She has led or co-led two collections for the Journal of Insect Science and the Journal of Integrated Pest Management. Because of her unique skill set in wildlife, entomology, and pest management, she also serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Wildlife Management, Pest Management Science, and Medical and Veterinary Entomology.
Candidate statement: "Finding connections" has been my phrase these past years as we were all physically distanced. This reflection time allowed me to think on how we could grow and create stronger connections within MUVE. I would be honored to represent MUVE on the Governing Board and am excited to advocate for more opportunities within MUVE, including spearheading new initiatives to support and grow our membership. As the Section representative, I will continue to develop relationships with fellow board members and learn from the efforts of the other Sections to strengthen our own. I will also commit to active participation in board activities, effective communication, and supporting program initiatives. I am dedicated to the success of MUVE and ESA and will act with a goal-oriented purpose focusing on the concerns of the Section and working to expand MUVE representation throughout our Society.
MUVE Section Vice President-Elect
Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District and University of Utah
Bio: Ary Faraji grew up in Southern California where he double majored in biology and religion at the University of La Verne. This is where he also got his start in mosquito and vector control through working as a seasonal vector ecologist with the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District. He then attended Rutgers University to obtain his masters' degree and obtained a position as superintendent and entomologist of the Mercer County Mosquito Control program in central New Jersey, where he spent the next 10 years conducting surveillance, control, and operational research on mosquitoes and arboviruses. During this time, he also continued his graduate studies toward a Ph.D. on a part-time basis and. upon completion, relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he currently serves as the executive director and entomologist for the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Some noteworthy activities of Dr. Faraji include serving as president of the New Jersey Mosquito Control Association (2012), the West Central Mosquito and Vector Control Association (2020), and the American Mosquito Control Association (2021). He continues to serve on a variety of other boards and task forces while maintaining memberships in a multitude of professional associations. He is also a Board Certified Entomologist (2018) and has been a member of ESA for over 20 years. He has been serving as a subject editor for the Journal of Medical Entomology since 2019 and was a member of ESA's advisory council for the novel development of the ACE Public Health Entomology certificate. He is also a member of ESA's Vector-Borne Disease Network and has been actively involved in legislative and advocacy issues for public health.
Candidate statement: One of my mentors once said "leave it better than you found it." That has been my motto no matter what the job or task. My style has never been to do things just for the sake of doing it. Public health is currently facing many challenges, and we must once again gain the trust of the public as scientists and professionals. I would like to further enhance collaborations and partnerships with ESA, MUVE, and other professional associations and organizations with solidarity toward the greater goal of public health. I want to ensure that we are partnering and working with others for sustainable surveillance and control programs, advocating for funding and legislative and regulatory issues, bridging the gap between us and others with like causes, and most importantly providing training and opportunities for the next generation of students who may become public health stewards.
MUVE Section Secretary
Bio: Anna is a Board Certified Entomologist with 20 years of experience in the pest management industry and a passion for food safety, stored product pests, and training. She earned her B.S. in biology from the University of Oregon in 2001 and her M.S. in grain science with a focus in entomology from Kansas State University in 2006. Afterward, she joined Isca Technologies as an entomologist, where she worked on pheromone dispersal. In 2011, she joined McCloud Services and focused on technician training, standard operating procedures, and quality assurance initiatives. This continued when Terminix acquired McCloud in 2019. In 2021, Anna was hired as technical director for B&G Equipment and in 2022 was promoted to U.S. Technical Director for Pelsis.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Anna has been a member of ESA since 2004, attending many of the Annual Meetings. As a student, she competed (and won) in poster and oral presentations and co-organized a symposium. With Isca, she exhibited at ESA's Annual Meetings from 2006 to 2009. She's a member of the ESA North Central Branch. As a BCE, she has encouraged many to get their ACE, proctored exams, and led study sessions. She helped develop questions for ESA's Pubic Health Entomology certificate. Anna is active with the National Pest Management Association, the Illinois chapter of the Professional Women in Pest Management, and Women in Pest Control. Anna serves various roles with the Boys Scouts of America and speaks to youth about the role pest management plays in our lives.
Candidate statement: In 5th grade, I was our school secretary. And while I'd imagine serving as secretary for the ESA MUVE Section is a bit different than serving as secretary in an elementary school, I think there are probably similarities that I'd appreciate. I'm a note-taker and always have been, so I am comfortable partaking in conversations while also recording the highlights. As secretary I'd bring my passion and pride for our industry and couple it with standardization and accuracy. From the position, I hope to get what I got out of it in 5th grade—learning more about the processes and decisions that impact the organization and meeting the people who help build it. I'm very proud of the pest management industry and its role within the greater entomological community and look forward to serving it in a different way.
MUVE Section Representative to the ESA Publications Council
Cynthia C. Lord
University of Florida
Bio: Cynthia Lord is an associate professor at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on the population dynamics of vectors and vector-borne disease systems. She has been a member of ESA since 1989 and has frequently attended the ESA Annual Meeting. She received a B.S. in zoology from the University of Vermont and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. After postdoctoral research at the University of Notre Dame and Oxford University, she joined the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory at UF.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Cynthia Lord has been an ESA member since 1989, in MUVE (formerly section D). She has participated in ESA during much of that time, first by serving on the Ethics Committee from 2004 to 2006 and on the MUVE nominating committee from 2010 to 2019 (as chair in 2019). She frequently attends and participates in Section and Society business meetings at the Annual Meeting. In addition, she has served as a judge for the student paper or poster competition multiple times and has organized and moderated symposia for the Annual Meeting.
Candidate statement: The ESA Publications Council faces challenges including the expiration of current contracts for journals. The publications landscape is evolving, including increasing requirements and interest in open-access publishing, trends towards preprint systems, and competition from other journals. Publication costs are a challenge for some members, such as students and those without institutional or grant funding. The Publications Council must serve ESA member needs and the needs of the Society, while being financially responsible. All options should be considered to balance these demands, including online-only, traditional, and other mechanisms. Increasing open-access publication outlets for ESA members, particularly students and those without funding for publications, is one of my priority areas.
Physiology, Biochemistry, & Toxicology (PBT) Section Elections
PBT Section Vice President-Elect
United States Department of Agriculture
Bio: Edmund Norris is a research chemist and entomologist working at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology of the USDA in Gainesville, Florida. He received his B.S in molecular and cellular biology in 2011 and Ph.D. in entomology and toxicology from Iowa State University in 2018. Edmund is interested in the development of novel repellents and insecticidal formulations that may circumvent insecticide resistance, while primarily focusing on natural products as his inspiration. His research focuses on better understanding the mechanisms of novel insecticidal, repellent, and synergistic agents using a variety of electrophysiological, pharmacological, and biochemical techniques. Outside of the lab, Edmund can be found biking, photographing the natural world, golfing, and spending time with his wife and two young children.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: I believe deeply that strong public outreach by scientists promotes scientific literacy in our society. As such, I have been an active member of the ESA and other professional organizations to better communicate my science to the public. I have participated in the ESA Student Debates and served as a judge in numerous student competitions to help provide feedback and encourage the next generation of science communicators. At the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA), I served as the co-chair, chair, and past chair of the Young Professionals group to mentor young scientists joining the research community. I now also serve as the chair of the AMCA Research Fund and co-chair the Science & Technology Committee, where I hope to create new opportunities for young scientists and research projects that aim to improve public understanding of complex research topics.
Candidate statement: Unfortunately, chemophobia and misinformation surrounding pest control technologies many times prevent their responsible deployment. It is essential that we are constantly striving to establish a diverse and talented research and professional community that allows us to communicate the nuanced role of insect control tools in our modern world. As such, we must focus on recruiting new groups and talented early career professionals in ESA and all of its sections. With more diverse participation, we will ensure scientific education to new communities, bolster insect science, and encourage the responsible acceptance of new pest control technologies by the public. I will bring my previous experiences serving other professional societies to make the PBT section a more inclusive, diverse, and stronger professional community now and into the future.
Plant-Insect Ecosystems (P-IE) Section Elections
P-IE Section Vice President-Elect
Texas A&M University
Bio: Anjel Helms is an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University. She received bachelor's degrees in biology and biochemistry from Pepperdine University before spending a year as a Fulbright Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Germany, investigating defensive traits of spruce trees against bark beetles. She completed a Ph.D. in ecology at Penn State, where her dissertation research examined the role of insect pheromones in enhancing plant anti-herbivore defenses. She was a USDA Postdoctoral Fellow in the Penn State Entomology Department, studying plant and insect responses to chemical cues from entomopathogenic nematodes. At Texas A&M, her lab is investigating the chemical ecology of belowground interactions involving plants, insect herbivores, natural enemies, and plant-associated microbes.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Anjel has been a member of ESA and the PI-E Section since attending her first ESA meeting in 2012. As a graduate student, she attended the ESA Annual Meeting for four years and also served as a student volunteer at the meeting. As a postdoctoral researcher and now as an assistant professor, she has continued participating in ESA meetings and has volunteered as a judge and moderator for the student competition. She has also co-organized several Member or P-IE Section Symposia for ESA meetings. For the past three years, Anjel has served as secretary on the P-IE Section Governing Council. She is also currently serving as a member of the P-IE Communications Committee and was previously a member of the P-IE Nominations Committee.
Candidate statement: I have greatly enjoyed volunteering with ESA and the P-IE Section and would like to continue my involvement in the organization. After serving as secretary for the past term, I would like to take on a new leadership role, where I can find new ways to assist with the Section's goals and activities. I am particularly interested in facilitating the P-IE section's "Wildly Important Goals," engaging P-IE members in ESA activities, and ensuring a strong scientific program for P-IE members at the Annual Meetings.
P-IE Section Secretary
Mississippi State University
Bio: Whitney has a B.S. in agriculture with a concentration in crop and soil management from the University of Tennessee at Martin, an M.S. in plant science with a concentration in weed science from the University of Tennessee, and a Ph.D. in life sciences with a concentration in entomology from Mississippi State University. She spent a little over a year as an integrated field scientist for Corteva Agriscience in Leland, Mississippi. At Corteva, she was responsible for herbicide and insect trait development trials, seed applied technology development trials, and discovery insecticide research. In 2019, Whitney started at Mississippi State University at the Delta Research and Extension Center as an assistant extension professor. At MSU, she is involved in extension and research programming to help the local needs of consultants and producers in Mississippi and throughout the MidSouth.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Whitney has been a member of ESA and the Southeastern Branch since 2015. During that time, she served on the SEB Student Affairs Committee, as Resolutions Committee chair, and at ESA's Annual Meeting as a student judge. Whitney is a subject editor for Arthropod Management Tests. Outside of ESA, Whitney serves as the secretary for the Mississippi Entomological Association and is on the Delta Ag Expo Board of Directors. Whitney has been involved in organizing graduate student competitions at the Beltwide Cotton Conference and Mississippi State University Row Crop Short Course. Whitney is involved locally serving on the Crosstie's Arts and Jazz Festival board of directors for the past three years and will be serving as president this next term. She is also a member of the EPHFIC Women's Club that serves in community outreach.
Candidate statement: I am interested in becoming a P-IE officer because I have strong desire to publicly serve my discipline of entomology and my professional organization within ESA and P-IE. Two of my strengths are organization and attention to detail, both of which greatly benefit my ability to maintain a very active research and extension program at Mississippi State University. I think it's important in any organization or career to have documents that are well-written and prepared for future success of those that follow. My goal in serving as secretary would be to not only keep well organized notes but also serve as an opportunity to meet other members serving within the organization, as well as learn how the other roles operate in the hopes of serving in a different capacity at a later date.
Student Representative to the P-IE Section Governing Council
University of Minnesota
Bio: Shanovich is a Ph.D. candidate and research assistant at the University of Minnesota where her dissertation research focuses on developing integrated pest management plans for novel arthropod pests in a newly developed agroforestry crop. Shanovich is highly involved in her academic department and graduate program where she also holds leadership roles. Her past and current service to ESA is great; she currently is the chair of the North Central Branch Student Affairs Committee and is organizing a Program Symposium for the upcoming Annual Meeting in Vancouver. Shanovich would be a great fit for the P-IE Section student representative to the Governing Council, as she has much leadership experience and is a team player and effective communicator.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Shanovich has been a student member of ESA since 2017 when she began her master's in entomology. She has presented at most Annual Meetings and several NCB Meetings since then. She was elected the chair-elect and now currently serves as the chair to the NCB Student Affairs Committee. She also volunteered at the NCB Meeting in Minneapolis this past March where she organized two symposia for the meeting. She just had a symposium proposal accepted for a Program Symposium at the Annual Meeting in Vancouver later this year.
Candidate statement: I would be honored to represent the students of the P-IE Section as the student representative to the P-IE Governing Council. I currently serve as the chair for the North Central Branch's Student Affairs Committee and have other leadership experience that would help me perform in this role. I would hope to serve as an approachable, accessible liaison between P-IE students and the Governing Council and be confident to bring student concerns of any nature forward. I am also highly interested in effective science communication and visual aids, including scientific illustration, and would like to see these skills represented in professional development opportunities for graduate students.
Systematics, Evolution, & Biodiversity (SysEB) Section Elections
SysEB Section Vice President-Elect
University of Idaho
Bio: Marek is an entomologist with broad interests in systematics, bioinformatics, and machine learning. Originally from Poland, he received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Wroclaw and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, in 2016. His dissertation work on the evolution and systematics of army ants and large-scale ant phylogenetics was recognized with awards from the ESA and the International Union for the Study of Social Insects. Following postdocs at the University of Rochester and Arizona State University, he started as an assistant professor at the University of Idaho in 2019.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Marek joined ESA as a student member in 2010 and has participated in most ESA Annual Meetings since then. He was a member of the SysEB Nominating Committee in 2019. He has an extensive record of service to the systematics community as peer-reviewer for dozens of manuscripts, as associate editor for Biodiversity Data Journal and ZooKeys and, most recently, as editor-in-chief for Insect Systematics and Evolution. Marek also enjoys giving back to those outside of his scientific community: He volunteered for a senior independence program while at Arizona State University and is a certified first responder.
Candidate statement: A former international student in the U.S., I am aware of unique challenges facing students from international and other underrepresented backgrounds. In my role as VP-elect I plan to focus on advocacy for students and early-career scholars. I will work to increase participation of the systematics community in the EntoMentos career mentorship program. I am committed to fostering inclusion in systematics and promoting institutional self-evaluation and improvement in SysEB and ESA. I will also raise awareness of systematics as the foundation for entomology.
International Branch Elections
International Branch President-Elect
Central State University
Bio: Hongmei Li-Byarlay is a member of International Branch of ESA since 2021 and also the chair of the ESA Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the current year of 2022. She is an assistant professor at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. She has a B.S. in biology from the Tianjin Normal University in China, an M.S. in zoology from Nankai University in China, and a Ph.D. in entomology from Purdue University in the U.S. Her research accomplishments in entomology include functional genomics, epigenomics, behavior, and physiology of honeybees. In 2017 she started her own research group, and she conducts research and education on pollinator health. Her international collaborations led to a lot of new discoveries in pesticide residue effects on pollinators and genomic analysis in the evolution of Varroa mites to improve pollinator health.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Besides serving on the Science Policy Committee and organizing several Section Symposia at ESA Annual Meetings, Hongmei currently serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and has served as a moderator and judge of student competitions at past ESA Annual Meetings. She is a member of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects, where she served on the Award Committee and is now serving on the Nomination Committee and Fundraising Committee. She is also a member of the American Association of Professional Apiculturists, where she served in the ad hoc Award Committee and volunteered as moderator for the annual American Bee Research Conferences in the past. She has been on the editorial board of Current Research in Insect Science since 2021, is a subject editor for the Journal of Insect Science, and was co-editor of a special issue for Annals of the ESA in 2021.
Candidate statement: I have been a member of International Branch since 2021. If I will be elected as the Vice President-Elect, I will lead to increase the visibility of the Branch, brainstorm new ideas for our Branch, and help to improve the process of our Branch.
International Branch Treasurer
Livy Williams, III
USDA Agricultural Research Service
Bio: Dr. Livy Williams, III, a 40-year ESA member, is a research entomologist at the USDA-ARS U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona (B.S., 1982), and graduate degrees in entomology from the University of Arkansas (M.S., 1985) and the University of Idaho (Ph.D., 1993). He has conducted research on arthropod-plant interactions, biological control of insects and weeds, chemical ecology, and insecticide resistance management at Cornell University, University of Arizona, and the USDA-ARS. From 2010 to 2015 he was based at the USDA-ARS European Biological Control Laboratory in Montpellier, France. In addition to North America, his work has taken him to South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. His studies are currently focused on the reproductive physiology of sweetpotato and cucurbit pests.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Since 1987, Dr. Williams has served on various ESA committees, including Student Affairs, Student Awards, IPM Team Award, and International Affairs (2006-2012, committee chair in 2011). He served on the ESA Governing Board as International Branch representative for two terms (2011-2016). He has participated in and organized symposia at numerous scientific conferences, including ESA Annual and Branch Meetings, and has judged student paper, Entomology Games, and science fair competitions. In 2017 and 2018 he served as vice president and president, respectively, of the South Carolina Entomological Society. In 2017 and 2020 he chaired the selection committee for the J.H. Cochran Excellence in Entomology Award of the South Carolina Entomological Society.
Candidate statement: I look forward to being re-acquainted with the International Branch and contributing ideas for continued growth, popularization, and financial health of the Branch.
Pacific Branch Elections
Pacific Branch Representative to the ESA Governing Board
Mark G. Wright
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Bio: Dr. Wright holds a Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal), and spent three years as a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University. At the University of Hawaii, his research and extension efforts address IPM of pests of tropical crops, concentrating on biological control. He has also worked on biocontrol of invasive species attacking native plant species. He has published on biological control, development of pest sampling methods, diversified cropping systems, pollination of endangered species and crops, and the potential of honeybee alarm pheromones as deterrents of African elephants. He currently serves as associate editor for Biocontrol Science & Technology and on the editorial board of Biological Control.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Past ESA activity:
- ESA member since 2005.
- ESA Pacific Branch: president-elect (2019-2020), president (2020-2021), past president (2021-2022).
- ESA Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section: vice-president, (2016-2017), president (2017-2018), past-president (2018-2019).
- Environmental Entomology Editorial Board: ESA Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section representative, 2013-2014 (chair, 2014)
- Member of Western Governors' Association Invasive Species Data initiative group (2017-2018).
Candidate statement: During my 15 years of ESA membership, I have been involved in leadership roles at a number of levels, including serving on the Environmental Entomology editorial board, as president of the P-IE Section and president of the Pacific Branch, and I have also served on awards committees and other ad hoc roles over the years. I am interested in furthering the contributions and impact of the Pacific Branch at the ESA Governing Board level. The Pacfic Branch is a diverse region with diverse membership and covers a wide range of ecosystems and cropping systems, a substantial component of the ESA. I believe that my previous experience in ESA has prepared me well to serve in the role of Pacific Branch representative to the Governing Board.
Southeastern Branch Elections
Southeastern Branch Representative to the ESA Governing Board
Tennessee State University
Bio: Dr. Karla Addesso received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in December 2007. She completed postdoctoral work in the Chemistry Unit of the USDA-ARS-CMAVE. She was awarded the Henry and Sylvia Richardson Postdoctoral Award by ESA in 2009. Dr. Addesso joined Tennessee State University in 2012. She is currently an assistant professor of ornamental entomology. Her research focuses on management of woody ornamental pests including wood borers, mites, scales, imported fire ants, and Japanese beetle. In 2014, Dr. Addesso was awarded the College of Agriculture Young Researcher Award for her program initiation. Since joining TSU, she has advised 11 graduate students and published several dozen peer-reviewed, extension, and trade papers. She currently leads a multi-state SCRI team working on flatheaded borer management in specialty crops.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Addesso has served ESA as a judge for student competitions, organized and participated in meeting symposia, and was a judge for the Monsanto Student Travel Grant. She as served one term as the SEB representative to the Governing Board. As part of her role as SEB Governing Board representative, she has also served on the Finance and Entomology Games Committees as well as a member of the SEB Executive Committee. She is active in the Tennessee Entomological Society, previously serving as member-at-large, editor, secretary and president. Dr. Addesso is an associate editor for Environmental Entomology and serves as a reviewer for other ESA and topical journals.
Candidate statement: Greetings fellow Southeastern Branch members and thank you for considering me for the role of SEB Representative to the Governing Board. This is a role I have filled since 2019. I ask that you allow me to retain this position for a second term. During my tenure on the Board, I have gained experience in sustaining a scientific society in the face of uncertainty. I have been called on to make difficult decisions regarding financial, material, and cultural changes to ESA. Making decisions for the greater good of our organization is not always easy, in particular when those decisions run counter to my personal preferences. As your representative, I pledge to always consider the needs and best interests of our Society and membership. My goal for the coming term is to ensure that ESA has a firm financial and cultural foundation from which to grow our reach and influence.