Candidates for 2020-2021 ESA Elections

The Entomological Society of America's 2020-2021 elections, conducted via electronic ballot, opened July 20, 2020, and will close August 19, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Daylight Time. Below, the candidates for positions within the Society and several ESA Sections and Branches are listed.

Members will also vote on Honorary Members during the election period. Learn more: Honorary Member nominees.

For additional information on voting, see ESA voting instructions. Questions? Contact elections@entsoc.org.

Click below to see 2020-2021 candidates for:


ESA Society Elections

ESA Vice President-Elect

Marianne AlleyneMarianne Alleyne
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.

VP-Elect Candidate Statement:

The Entomological Society of America is at the forefront of critical societal issues such as public health, food security, biodiversity, and biotechnology. ESA provides a conduit for its members to communicate insect science through publications, meetings, and science policy initiatives. ESA is an innovative professional society that values diversity and inclusion of its staff, leadership, and membership. Since becoming a student member in 1995, I have seen the Society change for the better, and I have learned from the leadership during difficult financial times and societal reorganization. I have also witnessed the benefits of a presidential line committed to diversity, inclusion, and science advocacy.

If elected, I will use these experiences to support the current goals of the Governing Board, Branches, Sections, Publications Council, and the various committees. Difficult times again face us as we encounter a new ecosystem shaped by a pandemic and a changing publications landscape. However, I feel that we have built a resilient Society that is proactively rethinking budget models, recruitment and retention of members, its meetings portfolio, and skills-building for non-traditional entomological careers. We already have a reputation as innovators, as individual members but also as a Society. My goal, if elected, will be to use this institutional knowledge to keep members at all career levels engaged and to communicate our collective entomological knowledge to all stakeholders, including the general public and policy makers. It will be an honor to continue to serve the Entomological Society of America and to advocate for insect science.

Jesus F. EsquivelJesus F. Esquivel
USDA-ARS

Dr. Jesus F. Esquivel is a research entomologist with USDA-ARS, in College Station, TX. He has been with ESA for 26 years in the Southwestern Branch (SWB) as a member of the Plant-Insect Ecosystems (P-IE) Section. Degrees: B.S. (1990 - Agricultural Education) and M.S. (1992 - General Agriculture) from Tarleton State University; and Ph.D. in Entomology (2000 - Texas A&M University). He is adjunct faculty at Texas A&M University.

Jesus is an international authority on feeding behavior/mechanics of pentatomids, with emphasis on elucidating the relationship between pentatomids and transmission of plant pathogens. He has authored/co-authored 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, 24 technical reports, and three book chapters, and has presented this research through numerous invited presentations at professional society meetings.

Jesus has extensive volunteer/leadership experience at all levels of ESA. He has served on numerous national committees including Annual Meeting Program Committee (program co-chair, 2015-2016; poster co-chair, 2016-2017; Student Competition co-chair, 2014-15), Ethics and Rules Committee (chair [2019-2020] and member [2018-2019]), SWB representative to the Governing Board (2018-present), SWB representative on the Awards & Honors and Membership Committees, and P-IE Section representative on the Awards & Honors Committee. Within SWB, leadership roles include: past president (2014-15), president (2013-14), vice president (2012-2013), and secretary-treasurer (2011-12). Additional service includes chair or member of multiple SWB committees: Awards & Honors, Linnaean Games, Membership, Nominations, Program, Site Selection, and Student Affairs. Finally, he served on the Organizing Committee for the 2016 International Congress of Entomology—the largest gathering of entomologists in history.

VP-Elect Candidate Statement:

My vision stems from my personal experiences growing up in a large family in South Texas. Each family member is unique, individually bringing differing perspectives and experiences to foster success individually and collectively. Similarly, I see ESA as a diverse, worldwide family of approximately 7,000 members working toward the common goal of advancing our science. My vision closely aligns with ESA's mission, which "promotes opportunities for entomologists and enables them to share their science globally."

Critical issues on my agenda include science communication, financial health, and member recruitment/retention/recognition. Our bedrock is scientific peer-reviewed publications. We must continue to have our science heard and respected, whether it be through continued dialogue with legislators via Science Policy, peer-reviewed publications, or community outreach. ESA faces a potential revenue stream dilemma with the anticipated expiration of current publishing agreements. We must be positioned to react accordingly to best benefit our membership. Although ESA has managed a healthy membership, we risk losing—or overlooking—individuals whose careers are outside of traditional academia or research, for example, military and industry. These individuals must be engaged to combine our strengths for mutual benefit. Improved representation of our diverse membership in roles as Society officers and award recipients must also be addressed.

My experiences as a 26-year ESA member, volunteer, and officer at the Branch, Section, and national levels have provided me with an improved understanding of ESA governance, awards processes, and opportunities. And, with your help, juntos avanzamos ... together we will move forward!

Amanda C. HodgesAmanda C. Hodges
University of Florida

Dr. Amanda Hodges has focused on invasive species diagnostic extension and academic education as an extension entomologist for the University of Florida Entomology and Nematology Department since 2003. She received her Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Georgia in 2002, and current research activities primarily focus on invasive arthropod establishment and heteropteran pest management.

Dr. Hodges has authored numerous refereed publications and more than 100 extension publications related to arthropod diagnostics and invasive species. Since 2012, she has also served as the director of the interdisciplinary Doctor of Plant Medicine (DPM) Program (http://dpm.ifas.ufl.edu/ ). As the DPM Director, Dr. Hodges is the primary faculty point‐of‐contact for prospective students, coordinates the DPM faculty advisory committee, provides annual programmatic level counseling for 20-27 students, manages public relations components, interfaces with external stakeholders, coordinates the Certificate in Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Management, routinely provides instruction for 4-7 courses, reviews all program of study documents, prepares annual reports, supervises and edits the DPM Newsletter (DPM News), manages various daily programmatic activities, and supervises the DPM Academic Advisor for programmatic-level activities.

Dr. Hodges is active in ESA, serving as the secretary-treasurer of the Southeastern Branch (SEB-ESA) (2018-present), SEB-ESA local arrangement chair (2009), and SEB-ESA Member Awards Committee member and chair (2005). She has also organized numerous symposia, both at the national and Branch level. In 2012, Dr. Hodges was the recipient of the SEB-ESA Award in Extension.

VP-Elect Candidate Statement:

The future of the entomological profession in the U.S. and the world lies within the hearts and minds of our undergraduate students, graduate students, and early career professionals. The Entomological Society of America (ESA) must be broadly applicable to the next generation of incoming entomologists and our society. As we consider the future of ESA and the entomological profession, we must seek new opportunities to positively engage our students and young adult professionals both in political policy issues and through interactions with colleagues in non-traditional employment trajectories.

ESA has extremely strong and vibrant connections with land-grant universities (LGUs) throughout the U.S. and this effort should continue, but opportunities exist to expand participation from entomologists employed in industry, government, cooperative extension, non-LGU academic institutions, and the private sector. Efforts to move toward a more diverse and inclusive ESA professional society will only serve to strengthen the relevance and future success of our society.

In addition to our internal professional diversity, the interactions between ESA and other relevant professional societies or interdisciplinary issues is also critical. With my current work at the University of Florida through the interdisciplinary DPM (Doctor of Plant Medicine) program and through my past work as part of the Southern Plant Diagnostic Network (SPDN) leadership team, I have a long history of working with various professional organizations and in interdisciplinary teams. As the ESA vice president-elect, I would work with the ESA leadership team and Headquarters staff to assist with securing the viability and relevance of professional entomology.

Student Representative to the ESA Governing Board

Stephanie BondocGawa Mafla-MillsStephanie 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.

Kristen BowersKristen Bowers
University of Florida

Kristen Bowers is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida. Her dissertation research focuses on the behavior of Pseudophilothrips ichini, a newly released biological control agent for Brazilian peppertree, an invasive tree.

Kristen won second place in the 2019 ESA Student 10-Minute Paper Competition. Prior to starting her Ph.D., Kristen worked at USDA-ARS on IPM of agricultural pests and weed biocontrol. She received her M.S. in Ecology from the University of Florida in 2003 and her B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia.

In addition to biological control, Kristen is interested in arthropod competition, plant-insect interactions, and economic evaluations of biological control.

Judith ChiginskyJudith Chiginsky
Colorado State University

Judith Chiginsky is a two-time returned Peace Corps volunteer, having served Mozambique as a high school physics teacher and malaria extension coordinator, and in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico as a tropical pest management specialist.

Judith completed her undergraduate degree in Entomology at UC Davis, and is now deepening her understanding of insect vector-virus relationships at Colorado State University in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Her interest in serving as a student representative for the North Central Branch is to bridge communication and collaborative opportunities between students and the insect specialist community nationwide.

Kara FikrigKara Fikrig
Cornell University

Kara Fikrig is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the Entomology Department at Cornell University. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University in 2015 and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases and Global Health at Yale School of Public Health in 2016. She studies the feeding behavior and ecology of the invasive mosquito Aedes albopictus. She has conducted field work on determinants and prevalence of sugar feeding and blood feeding patterns, and is currently working on follow-up questions in the lab. In the future, she intends to return to Peru to finish research on Aedes aegypti movement and insecticide resistance in remote areas of the Amazon—a project that she had just begun before having to evacuate her field site in March due to COVID-19.

Kara is committed to communicating science at all levels—she has been chair of the Cornell graduate outreach committee and board member of the Advancing Policy and Science graduate club. She also has experience as an advocate for student interests in academia, having served as the first elected student representative to the Society for Vector Ecology Governing Board. She is dedicated to ensuring that students and women in science have a strong voice, which will be increasingly important as the rippling effects of COVID-19 cause disproportionate hardships for these two groups in academia.

Fawad KhanFawad Khan
University of Georgia

Fawad Khan is a doctoral student at the Department of Entomology, University of Georgia (UGA), Griffin, Georgia. His research is on improving the biological control of fall armyworm in turfgrass systems. He got his master's degree from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad Pakistan. He won several scholarships during his bachelor's and master's programs. The most notable one was the full scholarship from the government of Pakistan (2011-13) for his master's. During his master's, he served as a university coordinator for the National Academy of Young Scientists Pakistan (2012-13).

In 2013, he joined Bahauddin Zakariya University, Layyah Campus, Pakistan as a lecturer in Entomology. In 2015, he joined the Department of Entomology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan Campus, Pakistan, as a research associate. In early 2016, he got selected as a lecturer in the Department of Entomology, University of Agriculture Multan Pakistan, where he taught entomology to undergraduates, managed a lab, and conducted outreach. In 2018, he won the Fulbright Ph.D. Fellowship Award, jointly funded by the U.S. Department of State and Higher Education Commission Pakistan. In 2019, he received Fulbright research funding for his research project and a travel fund award sponsored by the CAES Office of Global Programs. He has authored 15 peer-reviewed articles and four UGA Cooperative Extension publications. He has volunteered in the Georgia 4-H program (2019, 2020), Annual Insectival UGA (2019, 2020), and Young Scholar Program UGA Griffin (2019). In 2019, he won the second place Photo Salon Award at the ESA Southeastern Branch Meeting.

Daniela T. PezziniDaniela T. Pezzini
North Carolina State University

Daniela Pezzini is a first-year Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University and Fellow of the NSF interdisciplinary program AgBioFEWS. Her doctoral research focuses on the impact of blended and structured refuge strategies on the development of resistance of Helicoverpa zea to Bt toxins in corn. Lab and field studies will compare the biology and behavior of resistant insects of different genotypes. In addition, Daniela is developing a study in the social sciences to understand grower practices and decision-making that occurs in Brazil to implement future pest management programs adapted to their needs.

Daniela has a B.A. in Crop and Soil Sciences from the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria in Brazil and an M.S. from the University of Minnesota, where she conducted a nine-state project to address the threat posed by stink bugs to soybean produced in the Midwest. Daniela has actively presented research and published results (11 peer reviewed), including four within ESA journals. She has served in leadership positions within department entomology clubs (vice-president, secretary), organized seminars, is currently serving as fundraising chair and secretary, and has participated in numerous insect community outreach activities in Brazil and Minnesota.

Daniela's research and leadership have been recognized through receiving the 2017 Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section Graduate Student Achievement Award and the 2018 ESA Larry Larson Graduate Student Award for Leadership in Applied Entomology. Daniela believes she can use her diverse experiences with leadership and entomology in different settings to represent student interests and needs on the ESA Governing Board.

Melissa ReedMelissa Reed
Oklahoma State University

Melissa Reed is a dedicated student, researcher, and graduate teaching assistant for the department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Oklahoma State University. She is a third-year doctoral student earning a degree in Entomology and serving as a lead teaching assistant. She received her B.S. degree in Biology, with an emphasis of environmental conservation, from Rogers State University and an M.S. degree in Environmental Science, water and watershed management option, from Oklahoma State University.

In her research, Melissa is passionate in all areas of aquatic entomology but is especially focused on the impacts of human disturbance on lotic aquatic insects. Her current research focuses on the effects of road stream-crossings on aquatic insect communities. She is also passionate about teaching and mentoring, especially when she can help improve students' research skills and knowledge of entomology.

Melissa served as the vice president of her department's graduate student association in 2019-2020 and is now the current president. She is also a member of the Student Technology Fee Committee at Oklahoma State University. She has been a member of ESA since 2017 and has worked as a student volunteer at numerous Southwestern Branch ESA meetings. Additionally, she has been a member of Oklahoma State University's Linnaean team for two years.

Anh K. TranAnh K. Tran
University of Minnesota

Anh K. Tran is a Ph.D. student at University of Minnesota (UMN), investigating how the invasive vinegar fly spotted-wing drosophila survives in areas that experience seasonal weather changes. She received her M.S. in Entomology in 2016 (UMN) working on conservation biological control of the soybean aphid and her B.A. in Biology in 2011 (Hiram College).

Prior to graduate school, Anh has contributed to molecular detection research for parasitoids of the soybean aphid. Additionally, Anh worked for an environmental consultation company releasing the biological control agent milfoil weevil against Eurasian watermilfoil throughout the United States and Canada. Within her department, Anh has held multiple leadership positions (e.g., vice president, secretary and social media coordinator) for Frenatae, the UMN entomology graduate student organization. This year she was elected president by her peers.

Anh joined ESA in 2013 and has been an active member, presenting and placing in student competitions at both the national and Branch meetings, as well as participating in the Linnaean Games and Student Debates. Anh has contributed to ESA by serving as the student representative of the P-IE Governing Council and representing UMN at the Student Affairs Committee for the North Central Branch. Anh enjoys leading outreach events, teaching the public about the wonderful world of entomology, and is a pen pal for Letters to a Pre-Scientist. While Anh continues to be engaged in her community, she is looking forward to becoming more involved with ESA by serving as the student representative to the ESA Governing Board.

Samantha WilldenSamantha Willden
Cornell University

I am honored to submit this nomination for Samantha Willden, a Ph.D. student in Entomology at Cornell AgriTech, to be considered for the student representative to the ESA Governing Board position. Samantha's passion for interdisciplinary study has shown clearly in her research on IPM of plant and insect pests. As an M.S. student at Utah State University, she studied the long-term efficacy of biocontrol insects against invasive rangeland weeds and published two papers in ESA's Environmental Entomology. Currently, as a third-year Ph.D. student, Samantha is researching the ecology and management of strawberry pests for her dissertation. Her first publication on this research is under review for Crop Protection and is the first to integrate weed science, plant pathology, and entomology into a single comprehensive study in her system. She has received grants and fellowships totaling $157,778 to conduct her projects.

In addition to research, Samantha is also passionate about extension and communication, and has authored four extension articles and produced three extension videos. Samantha prioritizes attending ESA meetings, both as an invited speaker and participant in student competition talks. She has received multiple awards for her presentations at ESA. She is also involved in other societies, and is currently co-organizing a student session for the 2021 IPM Symposium. Samantha is an exemplary departmental citizen and has been elected to three presidential positions in student organizations. Overall, Samantha is a driven graduate student with diverse skills in research, communication, and leadership and would be an asset to the ESA Governing Board.


MUVE Elections

MUVE Section Vice President-Elect

Justin TalleyJustin Talley
Oklahoma State University

Dr. Justin Talley is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Oklahoma State University. He holds a split extension/research/teaching appointment. He received his B.S. in Agronomy from West Texas A&M University in 2000, his M.S. in Plant, Soil, and Environmental Science from West Texas A&M University in 2001, and his Ph.D. from Kansas State University in Entomology in 2008. He was hired as an assistant professor of Entomology at Oklahoma State University and was promoted to associate professor in 2012 and professor in 2017. His research focuses on veterinary entomology, principally on ticks and flies associated with livestock systems.

Dr. Talley is responsible for teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. His extension responsibility is the state specialist for livestock entomology. He develops interactive demonstration projects for livestock producers to participate in, and recently received the Gerrit Cuperus Integrated Pest Management Award for exemplary work in pest management of a major cattle pest through the OSU Cooperative Extension Service. He is also the principal investigator for the OSU National Tick Rearing Lab.

Dr. Talley has served in numerous leadership positions for ESA, including past president, president, vice president, and secretary/ treasurer of the Southwestern Branch of ESA; he was also the president of the Kansas Entomological Society, which has a regional publication that the leadership team contributes to as editors. He is currently the past president of the Society of Southwestern Entomologists, which also has a regional peer-reviewed journal.

Becky Trout FryxellBecky 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.

MUVE Section Treasurer

Kenneth S. BrownKenneth S. Brown
BASF Agricultural Solutions

Dr. Kenneth S. Brown is a principal entomologist with BASF Agricultural Solutions, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Ken received a B.S. in Biological Science from Missouri Southern State College in 2000. He completed his graduate work under Dr. Brad Kard at Oklahoma State University (OSU), earning his M.S. (2002) and Ph.D. (2005) in Entomology. He relocated with his, by then, family of three to New Orleans, LA in January 2006 to begin a post-doc position with the City of New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board funded through the USDA-ARS led Operation Full-Stop Program. Ken joined BASF Agricultural Products' Pest Control Solutions as a Product Development Manager in 2011 relocating with his by then family of four to St. Louis, MO. Ken then accepted the position of team lead, non-crop advanced testing within BASF's Agricultural Products Research in 2013, relocating with his by then family of five to Apex, NC.

Ken's research interests, resulting in multiple scientific publications and patents, have included the biology and management of urban pests, development of novel pest management products and devices, and evaluation of novel insecticides to manage medical, urban, and veterinary pests. He has served his profession in many ways, including regularly serving as a student competition judge and student travel award judge and organizing symposia, as well as serving as the MUVE representative to the ESA Membership Committee.

Ken married Kathryn Michelle Brown in 2001 while at OSU. They very much enjoy spending time with their three growing boys Reece, Gage, and Davis.

Jennifer Gordon Jennifer Gordon
Douglas Products

Jennifer Gordon has received three degrees in entomology: Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, M.S. from Louisiana State University, and B.S. from Purdue University. Her graduate research focused on better understanding insecticide resistance in mosquitoes and bed bugs to help pest management professionals. She specialized in investigating the efficacy of commercially available products and active ingredients, the underlying mechanisms of resistance, the evolution of resistance in different populations, and how to use this information to create strategies for insecticide resistance management.

After graduating, she spent four years in the consumer packaged goods industry developing new products and protocols for bed bug management, creating domestic and international academic-industry research collaborations, and training different groups of people on how to use pest management and disinfectant products. Currently, Jennifer works in the structural fumigation industry as a field scientist supporting urban and quarantine pest management and developing stewardship trainings for fumigators.

Jennifer has been active with ESA since 2010 and has attended Branch and national meetings. She has been a student volunteer, organized symposia, judged student competitions, served as the MUVE Science Policy Committee representative, and worked as a Science Policy Fellow for ESA.

Highlights from her career include: 16 peer-reviewed and trade journal publications, three new pest control products, 2015 recipient of the NCB Graduate Student Scholarship, 2014 recipient of the Shripat Kamble Urban Entomology Graduate Student Award for Innovative Research, 2011 and 2012 President's Prize in Entomology winner, and the University of Kentucky Urban Entomology Research Fellowship.

Neil SpomerNeil Spomer
Corteva Agriscience

Neil Spomer received his B.S. in Business Administration/Marketing in 1999 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). After spending three years working in the banking industry, he returned to UNL to pursue an advanced degree in Entomology and earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Urban Entomology (2005 and 2009). Neil's research focused on termite baiting and the environmental fate of liquid termiticides.

Neil accepted a field scientist position in 2009 with Dow AgroSciences in South Dakota. His responsibilities included evaluating efficacy and crop response to herbicides and insecticides. In 2012, Neil accepted a new role as Global Urban Pest Laboratory leader and field scientist. He added Global Biology Team leader responsibilities and led the Global UPM R&D program supporting Sentricon and ActiveSense. In 2018, he became R&D leader for the Eastern Corn Belt, Urban Pest, and Turf & Ornamentals.

Neil was the first recipient of the ESA Student Certification Award (2005) and recipient of the ESA Jeffrey P. LaFage Graduate Student Research Award (2008). He served on the ESA North Central Branch (NCB) Student Affairs Committee (2005-2008), ESA-NCB National Awards committee (2005), ESA student liaison to the Rules Committee (2006-2007), ESA National Linnaean Games Committee (2006-2007), MUVE Section treasurer (2014-present), and BCE representative to the NCB. In 2010, Neil was accredited as a Board Certified Entomologist.

Neil's primary research interests relate to developing novel pest control and monitoring technologies. He has 13 refereed publications involving termite bait and liquid termiticide efficacy and fate in the soil environment.

Sonja SwigerSonja Swiger
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.


PBT Elections

PBT Section Vice President-Elect

Amit SethiAmit Sethi
Corteva Agriscience

Dr. Amit Sethi, global biology leader at Corteva Agriscience, is responsible for delivering knowledge and strategy related to insect resistance and durability to stakeholders globally that aid in product optimization, characterization, development, registration, launch, and support. Amit holds a B.S. in Agriculture (Hons. in Plant Protection) and an M.S. in Entomology from Punjab Agricultural University (India), an M.B.A. in Operations Management from the Indira Gandhi National Open University, a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Florida, and post-doctoral experience from Louisiana State University and Purdue University.

Amit has >22 years of experience in research, people and operations management, mentoring staff, and scientific excellence. Amit has given 74 presentations (27 invited) and published 49 papers. Amit has demonstrated consistent leadership within entomology and ESA. Amit received the 2008 John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Award. He held several leadership roles at the department and university level during graduate studies and was elected mayor of his graduate student housing. Amit has contributed to ESA through service (volunteering at registration and presentation preview, judging and moderating sessions, serving on the Membership Committee for the Southeastern Branch, and serving on the Student Awards and Program Committees for the North Central Branch), involvement in the Linnaean Games, and publications in ESA journals. Amit has organized 12 symposia at ESA meetings. Amit served as program chair for the 2015 North Central Branch meeting. Amit currently chairs the Industry Advisory Board for the Center for Arthropod Management Technologies (CAMTech), a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center.

Guy SmaggheGuy Smagghe
Ghent University

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.

Daniel SwaleDaniel Swale
Louisiana State University

Dr. Daniel Swale received his B.S. in Biological Sciences at Christopher Newport University, an M.S. degree in Life Sciences from Virginia Tech, a Ph.D. degree in Entomology from University of Florida, and a postdoctoral fellowship in Neuropharmacology at Vanderbilt University. Daniel is currently an associate professor of Insect Physiology at Louisiana State University, where he leads a research and teaching program focused on the fundamental and applied aspects of insect physiology and toxicology. His current research program studies insecticide modes of action, insecticide discovery and development, and insecticide resistance.

As a teacher, Daniel strives to make physiological and toxicological concepts accessible to students from all disciplines. He currently provides research opportunities to K-12, undergraduate, and graduate students in the fields of neurophysiology and toxicology.

Daniel is a long-time member of the PBT Section of the Entomological Society of America, where he is an active judge, organizer, and moderator for symposia and student award competitions. He has leadership experience serving as an elected member of the Executive, Membership, and Early Career Scientists Committees for the Division of Agrochemicals in the American Chemical Society. Additionally, Daniel is a co-chair for the INSecticide TARgets (INSTAR) Summit Liaison Group of the Entomological Society of America and American Chemical Society.

He serves as an associate editor for Pest Management Science, subject editor for the Journal of Insect Science, and a guest editor for Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. He has 38 peer-reviewed publications and 125+ scientific communications related to insect physiology, biochemistry, and toxicology.

PBT Section Treasurer

Kris SilverKris Silver
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.

Frank WesselsFrank Wessels
Corteva Agriscience

Frank Wessels is a research entomologist at Corteva Agriscience and currently serves as the group leader for the Crop Protection Discovery, Insecticide Biology Team. Frank received his B.S. in biology from the University of Tampa (2002) and his M.S. and Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Florida (2005, 2010). Frank's primary research role at Corteva is to discover, characterize, and develop new insect control technologies. In this capacity, he has contributed to guiding multiple early and late-stage insecticides and nematicides through Corteva's development pipeline. Frank also enjoys serving as a mentor to undergraduate and graduate students as well as scientists that are new to industry.

Outside of Corteva Agriscience, he has been very involved in the management and communication of insecticide resistance as a member of the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee. Frank has held multiple roles within IRAC, including Methods Working Group member and chair (2012-2017), Outreach Team member (2014-2017), and IRAC Mode of Action team member and deputy (2017-present). Professionally, he is an active member of both the American Chemical Society (2010-present) and the Entomological Society of America (2005-present), where he has regularly presented research at national and Branch meetings. In addition, Frank has served as chair for the Southeastern Branch Student Advisory Committee (2008) as well as serving as a judge for student competitions over multiple years.

PBT Section Representative to the ESA Governing Board

Peter JensenPeter Jensen
Bayer Crop Sciences

An ESA member since 2000, Peter served on the PBT Section Governing Council from 2015 through 2018 and as the 2017 PBT Section president. In addition, Peter was a local St. Louis contact for the 2019 ESA Annual Meeting Program Committee and a leader in organizing Bayer Crop Science's presence at the meeting along with tours of the local Bayer R&D facilities. Peter is currently serving as the PBT Section representative to the ESA Audit Committee and ESA Awards and Honors Committee.

Serving a term as the PBT Section representative to the ESA Governing Board is a goal for Peter to expand his perspective on ESA activities, represent opinions from the PBT Section, and contribute to the continuing evolution of ESA. An "includer" by nature, Peter seeks to make the circle larger and bring more people into the conversation, to listen and benefit from a diversity of perspective in making decisions. With the unprecedented challenges we are facing today as a society, this willingness to listen along with Peter's experience in PBT Section governance, collaborative style, and receptivity to change are strengths that can serve ESA's Governing Board.

With a focus on macro-invertebrate communities, Peter has more than 20 years of field and laboratory experience in entomological research and ecotoxicological evaluations for academic, government, and private entities. Currently at Bayer Crop Sciences in St. Louis, Peter leads an R&D entomology platform supporting biotech product development with teams rearing insects and performing field efficacy testing for North and South America.

Richard MankinRichard Mankin
USDA-ARS

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.

Navdeep S. MuttiNavdeep S. Mutti
Corteva Agriscience

Dr. Navdeep S. Mutti holds a Ph.D. in entomology from Kansas State University. In 2011, he joined DuPont-Pioneer to lead the Hemipteran Actives Project. During the past nine years, working across business teams at DuPont and later at DowDuPont, he has been successful at developing high throughput diet-based screening platforms to identify insect actives and in planta assay platforms to evaluate insect actives in transgenic plants. Today, he is project lead for the development of next generation bee-friendly insecticides.

Navdeep is a broadly trained biotechnology practitioner with a demonstrated track record of over 20 publications, including some in highly reputed journals such as Science, Nature, and PNAS. His passion for science also shows in his teaching and mentoring activities. During his academic career, Navdeep mentored several undergraduate and graduate students and has continued to mentor young scientists at Corteva. Some of Navdeep's distinguishing traits are:

  1. A very broad and in-depth knowledge of the current field of general and molecular entomology.
  2. A quite unique ability to very effectively synthesize divergent information from basic science to applied fields to solve difficult problems.
  3. Outstanding leadership of research teams coupled with the ability to effectively seek input from the larger technical and business community.

Navdeep has extensive volunteer and outreach experience at ESA and at the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC). He is actively involved in the Harvest for Hunger Garden Initiative in Indianapolis maintained by Corteva employees.

Scott O'NealScott O'Neal
Corteva Agriscience

Dr. Scott O'Neal earned his Ph.D. in Entomology from Virginia Tech in 2017, having previously earned an M.S. in Forensic Science from Virginia Commonwealth University and a B.S. in Genetics and Microbiology from Purdue University. Scott was awarded a USDA NIFA Predoctoral Fellowship to support his graduate research, which investigated ion channel-mediated regulation of honey bee cardiac function and antiviral immunity. He then continued to study insect physiology and toxicology as a USDA NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Entomology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Scott is now employed as a research entomologist in the Crop Protection, Insecticide Biology Group of Corteva Agriscience.

Scott has been an active member of the PBT Section and ESA as a whole, having been elected to serve as the current chair of the ESA Early Career Professionals Committee, in addition to sitting on the governing council of the PBT Section. He has organized numerous programs at both Branch and national ESA meetings, including the popular PBT Section "speed networking" event and a new ECP Recognition Symposium to annually highlight peer-selected ECP speakers at the national meeting. As a result of his professional achievements and ongoing contributions to professional societies, Scott has been awarded the ESA North Central Branch 2018 Excellence in Early Career Award and the University of Nebraska 2018 Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar Award, and was also awarded the American Chemical Society's Agrochemical Division 2019 New Investigator Award.

PBT Section Representative to the ESA Publications Council

Umut ToprakUmut Toprak
Ankara University

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.


P-IE Elections

P-IE Section Vice President-Elect

Surendra DaraSurendra Dara
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.

Nicholas P. StorerNicholas P. Storer
Corteva Agriscience

Nick Storer received his B.A. in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge; his M.Sc. in Zoology from the University of Glasgow; and his Ph.D. in Entomology from North Carolina State University. At NC State, he developed expertise in resistance management research and modeling, which he expanded to apply IRM science to develop practical policies and strategies for GM crops at Dow AgroSciences. Now an R&D fellow at Corteva Agriscience, he leads regulatory advocacy for the seeds platform, with a remit that encompasses IRM, environmental risk assessment, and food/feed safety to promote responsible and sustainable deployment of GM and gene-editing crop technologies through risk-proportionate regulation globally.

Nick engages in scientific outreach with government, industry, academic, and NGO stakeholders around the world to increase understanding of the safe use of agricultural biotechnology. He leads industry-wide programs to promote science-based approaches to GM crop regulation and stewardship, with current and past leadership positions including chair of CropLife International's Environmental Risk Assessment Project Team, Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) and its Plant Biotechnology team, the Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee, and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) Science and Regulatory Working Group. A 24-year ESA member, Nick has organized and contributed to many symposia and led the development of ESA's position statement on IRM for GM crops. He has authored/co-authored approximately 40 papers and book chapters relating to IRM and safety of GM crops.

Suhas VyavhareSuhas Vyavhare
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

My research and extension program focuses on planning, developing, and executing extension education programs and applied research that primarily address insect pest issues of cotton in the Texas High Plains, an area encompassing >4 million acres of cotton. As an extension specialist, I provide general technical expertise on cotton IPM in Texas. Present cotton insect management goals in Texas are to optimize yields and profits while conserving natural enemies with the judicious use of insecticides and other management tactics. 

Specific research interests include:

  • Evaluating and developing treatment action thresholds for arthropod pests of cotton.
  • Monitoring insecticide/trait resistance in insect field populations.
  • Investigating the impact of pesticides on secondary pests and non-target arthropods.
  • Evaluating cultural practices, host plant resistance, and insecticide efficacy.
P-IE Section Treasurer

Gina AngelellaGina Angelella
USDA-ARS

Gina Angelella is a research entomologist with USDA-ARS in Wapato, WA. She earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Georgia (2008) and Purdue University (2015). More recently, she was a postdoctoral researcher and NIFA Fellow at the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech.

Her research program will focus on the insect pests and insect-transmitted pathogens of potatoes and their interactions within agroecosystems, to describe underpinning epidemiological mechanisms and develop applications for management. She has additional interests in ecological intensification and sustainable agriculture.

Gina has enjoyed serving as a student volunteer, judge, and moderator for student competitions and symposium co-organizer. She has been an Entomological Society of America and P-IE Section member since attending her first meeting in 2008.

Lina BernaolaLina Bernaola

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.

Navneet KaurNavneet Kaur
Oregon State University

Dr. Navneet Kaur is an assistant professor and extension entomologist at Oregon State University. Dr. Kaur received her B.S. in Agriculture in 2006, M.S. in Entomology in 2008 from Punjab Agricultural University, India, and Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Florida in 2013. Dr. Kaur was a postdoctoral scholar at Oregon State University (2014-2017) and University of Idaho (2017-2019).

Her research interests focus on insect molecular biology, host plant resistance, and IPM. She has authored 11 peer-reviewed research publications and several extension publications. As an active ESA member since 2010, Dr. Kaur has served as a reviewer for ESA journals, served as judge and moderator at various Branch-level as well as national-level meetings, and organized and moderated symposium programs during the Pacific Branch meeting. Dr. Kaur will be serving on the Pacific Branch Executive Committee during 2020-2023. It is an honor for her to be nominated to run for the treasurer position and, if elected, she will delightedly serve the Society in maintaining the finances and ensuring the financial stability of the association while facilitating opportunities for early professionals and advance networking.

Tim NowatzkiTim Nowatzki
Corteva Agriscience

Dr. Tim Nowatzki is a research entomologist and fellow with Corteva Agriscience and is presently a global biology lead for insect and herbicide traits. Tim has been a member of ESA since 1995 and is accredited as a Board Certified Entomologist (1995). Tim is a member of the Certified Entomologists of Mid-America (2013) and has been treasurer since 2017.

Tim obtained his B.S. in Crop and Weed Science (1993) and M.S. in Entomology (1996) from North Dakota State University. Tim completed his Ph.D. in Entomology from Iowa State University (2001) and a postdoc at University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2003), where his research focused on the biology and management of corn rootworms. Tim joined DuPont Pioneer (2003) in Johnston, Iowa, where his roles within R&D since joining have been the characterization, development, regulatory, and technical support of traits for above- and below-ground insect control.

As a member of ESA, Tim regularly presents or co-authors research results at ESA national and Branch meetings and has published several articles in ESA journals. Tim has volunteered numerous times to judge ESA Student Competition paper and poster sessions at both the national and Branch meetings over the years. Leadership roles within ESA have included chair (1998-1999) and vice-chair (1997-1998) of the North Central Branch Student Affairs Committee.

Karly ReganKarly Regan
Cornell University

Karly Regan is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University, working with Dr. Brian Nault to improve management of onion thrips. Her areas of interest include integrated pest management, insect ecology, and conservation biological control, as well as science communication. She completed her Ph.D. at Penn State University (PSU) in 2019, studying effects of incorporating cover crops and reducing tillage on pest management and conservation biological control in organic corn production. Originally from Massachusetts, she completed a B.S. in Biology at the University of Massachusetts and an M.S. in Plant Science at South Dakota State University (SDSU).

Throughout her time at Penn State, she was heavily involved in PSU's Entomology Graduate Student Association, Science Policy Society, and Graduate Women in Science, holding the role of secretary in each of these. She was also active in outreach and department service. She served as social media chair for the Plant Science Graduate Student Association at SDSU. Through ESA, she has volunteered at national and Branch meetings and had the opportunity to co-lead a workshop on using social media to advocate for entomology.

Laura Anne Weiser ErlandsonLaura Anne Weiser Erlandson
Texas A&M University-Central Texas

Dr. Laura Weiser Erlandson is currently the Chair of the Department of Science and Mathematics, Lead faculty of BS Biology program, and founding biologist at Texas A&M University-Central Texas (TAMUCT). She earned her Ph.D. in Entomology and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Iowa State University, M.A. in Biology at SUNY Binghamton, and B.S. in Biology at Daemen College. Dr. Weiser Erlandson's research interests include biological control of agricultural pests using predators and parasitoids and the control of invasive weed species using herbivores.

She has been a member of ESA for 22 years and has been a member of the Central, Eastern, and Southwestern Branches. Dr. Weiser Erlandson actively serves ESA at both the Branch and national level. Her service includes being chair of the Southwestern Branch Program Committee (2017-2018), vice-chair of the Southwestern Branch Program Committee (2016-2017), member of the Southwestern Branch Awards Committee (2018-present), Local Arrangements chair for the Southwestern Branch meeting (2022), chair of the Jeffery LaFage Graduate Student Award Judging Panel (2011-2014), session moderator, and student competition judge.

Furthermore, Dr. Weiser Erlandson is very detail oriented and has budgeting experience; as department chair, she maintains four separate budget accounts. Over the last 17 years, she has worked at TAMUCT (2014-present) and SUNYPoly (2003-2014) teaching, conducting research, scheduling classes, and developing a B.S. Biology program and associated courses for both universities. She also enjoys giving back to the community by providing numerous outreach events for K-12 students and professional educators.

Student Representative to the P-IE Section Governing Council

Michelle BooneMichelle Boone
University of Minnesota

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.

Elizabeth Davidson-LoweElizabeth Davidson-Lowe
Pennsylvania State University

Elizabeth Davidson-Lowe is currently a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Dr. Jared Ali's lab at Penn State University, where she is studying the chemical ecology of mycorrhizal fungi and its impact on plant-herbivore interactions. Her interest in insect behavior and chemical ecology began while completing a B.Sc. at Cornell University, where she worked with researchers on predator-prey dynamics, feeding guild interactions, and inducible plant defenses in wild and managed systems. She was quickly enthralled by these natural relationships driven by chemical signaling and was also very fortunate to have inspiring mentors that cultivated her passion for entomology. After leaving Cornell, she began a master's program at Michigan State University working on plant-mediated interactions between herbivores from different feeding guilds.

During her time as both a master's and Ph.D. student, she has had the opportunity to present posters and oral presentations and organize symposia at national and international conferences. Participating in ESA has always been an enriching and highly rewarding experience that has allowed her to develop communication skills and build a network of collaborators and mentors, while allowing her to share her research with the broader scientific community. Public outreach and professional service have always played a significant role in Elizabeth's personal and academic development. Serving as the P-IE Student Representative will allow her to connect to and, more importantly, give back to the scientific community that has sparked her passion, creativity, and dedication to research and education.

Gabriela Inveninato CarmonaGabriela Inveninato Carmona
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Gabriela Inveninato Carmona (Gabi) is originally from southern Brazil. She has a B.S in Agronomy from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), conducting research on the influence of cover crop management on arthropod abundance and diversity in a cover crop-corn system. In 2019, she received the North Central Region – Sustainable and Agriculture Research and Education Student Grant to expand her Ph.D. research objectives to study insecticide management in a cover crop-corn system.

In addition to her research, she is very engaged at the UNL Lawrence Entomology Bruner Club, currently the elected president, co-chair of the Education Committee, and a member of other committees. She is also a member of the UNL/College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources - Strategic Framework for Graduate Education Committee. Moreover, Gabi has been engaged with ESA and NCB, being a volunteer since 2017 and recently elected as the UNL NCB student rep. Gabi's past experiences in Brazil, the U.S., and in the Philippines contributed to developing her passion for leadership, agriculture, and entomology and her desire to merge technologies with sustainable crop protection strategies to better prepare growers to overcome pest issues. Gabi also has interests in people's development, diversity, and inclusion.

Jaimie KenneyJaimie Kenney
University of California-Riverside

Jaimie Kenney is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Entomology at the University of California-Riverside. Before her initiation into the world of insects, she received bachelor's degrees in Biology and Spanish at Eastern Washington University, where she developed a passion for field botany and plant-microbe interactions. Since beginning her Ph.D. program at UCR, she has published a paper on her first-year research on insect-transmitted viruses in melon. However, her drive to understand the ecology of plant pathogens infecting native flora has led her to focus her thesis research on investigating the role of native psyllids and associated microbes in natural plant communities of Southern California. She is broadly interested in plant-insect-microbe interactions, disease ecology, and the biology of hemipteran vectors of plant pathogens—especially psyllids!

Jaimie currently serves as secretary of UCR Entomology's Graduate Student Association. She enjoyed working as a student volunteer and participating in the Linnaean Games at Pacific Branch 2019 in San Diego, and she won second place in the student competition for the president's prize for her talk at Entomology 2019 in St. Louis. This year she co-organized the Student and Early Career Professional Employment Fair for Pacific Branch 2020 in Spokane, but, unfortunately, the meeting was canceled. However, Jaimie looks forward to continuing to serve ESA by helping to organize future meetings as P-IE Student Representative.

Jacob PittJacob Pitt
Colorado State University

Jacob Pitt is a PhD student at Colorado State University in the department of Agricultural Biology. His research in the Nachappa lab focuses on assessing landscape effects on insect vectors and the implications this may have for plant virus spread. Right now he is studying how diverse cropping systems affect aphid community dynamics and potato virus Y spread. Additionally, he is researching the ability of the cannabis aphid to transmit potato virus Y and the potential virus-induced effects on feeding behaviors.

He attended Entomology 2019, where he won a competition for his research poster on soybean aphid preference and performance for different feeding locations on the soybean plant. He serves as the entomology representative on the graduate student liaison committee for the department of Agricultural Biology, which consists of organizing departmental events, assisting with graduate student involvement in departmental events, and ensuring graduate student perspectives are heard by faculty. In his free time, he enjoys playing music with friends and exploring the outdoors to fish and catch insects.

Patricia PradePatricia Prade
University of Florida

Patricia Prade is originally from Southern Brazil, where she received her B.S. and M.S. in Forestry Engineering from Regional University of Blumenau, Brazil. During her M.S. program, Patricia was invited by Dr. Rodrigo Diaz from the University of Florida (UF) to help with the research of Calophya latiforceps, a potential biological control agent of Brazilian peppertree in Florida. The results from her research at UF were part of the petition to release C. latiforceps, which was approved in 2019. After her internship, Patricia was invited to pursue her Ph.D. at UF.

Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate in Entomology at the University of Florida studying two potential biological control agents of Brazilian peppertree. Her research interest includes classical biological control of invasive species, weed management, and plant-insect interaction. Her Ph.D. project involves investigations of host specificity of potential biological control agents in quarantine, the effect of native arthropods on Brazilian peppertree prior to the release of biological control agents, and plant defense mechanisms against biological control agents. Patricia's research goal is to provide an environmentally safe and sustainable tools to manage invasive species. Patricia serves as the vice-chair of the Student Affairs Committee at ESA, is co-chair of the student debates, and a member of the student symposium organizing committee. In 2019/2020 she was also a member of the Student Affairs Committee at the Southeastern Branch.

Cesar Reyes CorralCesar Reyes Corral
Washington State University

Cesar Reyes Corral is an entomology graduate student at Washington State University. He will begin his PhD this fall, working alongside Dr. Tobin Northfield. His research will focus on X- disease and its insect vectors—primarily the leafhoppers Colladonus montanus, geminatus, and reductus—as well as the movement of the phytoplasma in non-crop plants. Cesar also recently earned his master's in plant pathology from the University of Idaho, where he investigated the role of non-crop host plants of potato psyllid in zebra chip disease epidemiology.

Although Cesar claims not to be an entomologist because of his history with plants, he has been an active ESA member since 2018. At national and Pacific Branch meetings in 2018 and 2019, the society recognized the potential of his research in plant pathology to provide insight on entomological challenges. He was awarded second place in the P-IE student competition—for his poster in 2018 and for his 2019 talk, both focused on the suitability of Physalis longifolia as a host for potato psyllid and the zebra chip pathogen.

It is Cesar's hope that the student representative role will allow him to continue communicating scientific information in both English and Spanish as he has done previously. During his undergraduate education, Cesar provided bilingual interpretative services at multiple scientific conferences in Guadalajara and additionally worked closely with scientists in Saltillo while at the University of Idaho. Cesar is eager to become an ESA P-IE student representative to continue this tradition of bilingual communication and collaboration.

Madison SankovitzMadison Sankovitz
University of California-Riverside

My name is Madison Sankovitz, and I study ecology and genomics of social insects as a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Entomology at the University of California-Riverside (UCR). My research focuses on ants as soil ecosystem engineers, and I use a combination of field observations, lab experiments, and genomic analyses. In particular, I am interested in the role that climate plays in the extent to which ants can manipulate and maintain soil properties in and around their nests. I hold a bachelor's degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado-Boulder, where I studied alpine ants in the Rocky Mountains.

Aside from my research, I am passionate about science communication. I lead a graduate student association at UCR focused on science communication and work as a social media editor for the scientific journal Insectes Sociaux. I am active in our entomology graduate student association at UCR, regularly doing outreach in Riverside and collaborating with my fellow grad students to put on departmental events.

As the student representative, I will make sure that student voices are heard by the Governing Council. I will be persistent in efforts to gather and communicate the different opinions and perspectives that the diverse student body of the ESA P-IE Section has to offer.

Jen ZavalnitskayaJen Zavalnitskaya
Michigan State University

Jen Zavalnitskaya is currently a second-year master's student in the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University. She works as a graduate research assistant in Dr. Zsofia Szendrei's vegetable entomology lab. Her current research focuses on assessing how the surrounding habitat and landscape composition of asparagus agroecosystems impacts asparagus beetle overwintering and population dynamics.

She's currently involved with MSU Extension and hopes to develop more sustainable integrated pest management strategies through her research. She is also involved with various university associations and outreach, serving as a lead guide at the MSU Bug House, co-hosting and organizing MSU's podcast Bug Talk, and will be serving as the seminar committee representative for MSU's Graduate and Undergraduate Entomological Student Society. Throughout her first year in graduate school, she received the Bug House teaching fellowship and a Michigan Vegetable Industry scholarship.

Jen plans to continue her research career by working towards a Ph.D. in Entomology in which she hopes to continue assessing the impacts of surrounding landscapes on arthropod population dynamics in the agricultural and natural resource industry.


SysEB Elections

SysEB Section Vice President-Elect

Marek BorowiecMarek Borowiec
University of Idaho

Marek Borowiec received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Wroclaw, Poland. He obtained a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of California-Davis in 2016. After postdocs at the University of Rochester and Arizona State University, he joined the Department of Entomology, Nematology, and Plant Pathology at the University of Idaho as an assistant professor in 2019. He has published 30 peer-reviewed papers in a variety of topics, from faunistic notes and alpha taxonomy to phylogenomics and software development. His grants and awards include the DDIG from the National Science Foundation, George C. Eickwort Student Research Award from the International Union for the Study of Social Insects, and Systematics, Evolution, and Biodiversity Award from the ESA Pacific Branch.

Marek's interest in systematics began while collecting and identifying Polish Hymenoptera as an undergraduate, finding ants particularly compelling. This resulted in publications on new occurrences and new species for the country. As a volunteer on a project on ants of Papua New Guinea, he was exposed to the amazing diversity of tropical ants and decided to pursue a career as a taxonomist. At UC Davis, Marek researched systematics of army ants, and his efforts resulted in a monographic reclassification and phylogenomic study of the ant subfamily Dorylinae. Training in molecular laboratory techniques and analysis led him to an interest in computational biology and developing software for efficient manipulation and trimming of sequence alignments. Most recently, he has been interested in using machine learning algorithms for species identification and delimitation.

Katja SeltmannKatja Seltmann
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.

SysEB Section Treasurer

Craig BrabantCraig Brabant
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.

SysEB Section Representative to the ESA Governing Board

Andrew ShortAndrew Short
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.


International Branch Elections

International Branch President-Elect

Rory Mc DonnellRory 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.

International Branch Secretary

Celia K. BooneCelia K. Boone
Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry

I am a Nova Scotia provincial forest entomologist. In my current position, I inform and advise the Forest Health group to develop survey programs and provincial policies. I also represent the province on departmental, provincial, national, and international committees addressing native and invasive forest pest issues. I have a broad background in agriculture and forest pest management research. My doctoral research in forest entomology (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2009) investigated multitrophic interactions of bark beetle ecology, including symbiotic microorganisms, natural enemies, chemical ecology, and host-plant defenses.

My first postdoc was with the Tria Project in British Columbia, a collaborative project among researchers at several universities in Canada and the United States investigating population structure of the mountain pine beetle system throughout western North America. My second postdoc in Belgium developed federal programs for invasive woodborers that vectored nematodes, as required by the EPPO. Additionally, I was the Belgium representative for a EUPHRESCO II project, a collaborative transnational network coordinating strategic phytosanitary research to inform policies and support plant health initiatives. Throughout these assignments, I advised graduate students and was a teaching assistant and an occasional instructor. I was an invited speaker to national and international meetings. I received recognition for two publications, one for best paper with the Royal Entomological Society (2008-09) and another nominated for best paper with the Entomological Society of America (2008). My interests include insect-plant (multitrophic) interactions, chemical ecology, pest management, and natural disturbance ecology.

Giovanny FaguaGiovanny Fagua
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

I am a biologist, Ph.D., and currently a titular professor at the Faculty of Sciences of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia (South America). I took interest in insects during the first year of my bachelor's and later, as a member of the Colombian Society of Entomology, I worked to increase the diffusion of entomology in my country for several years together with other agronomists, biologists, and physicians. I am a relatively recent member of ESA, but I am a devotee of the need for higher integration of entomologists and national entomological societies around the world.

In addition to the cooperative work between insect researchers, I have as a general purpose to find ways to use biodiversity as an actual source of wealth for local people of megadiverse countries. My research interests focus on the strategies used by organisms to cope with their environment and how these strategies affect their species boundaries. In this context, I am interested in the patterns and processes of diversification and phylogenetic relationships within and between herbivorous species. My focal organisms have been Lepidoptera, but I also have broader interests in insect biology, including focal groups, pollinators, and insects of forensic interest.

Véronique Martel Véronique Martel
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.

Emily MuellerEmily Mueller
North Carolina State University

Dr. Emily Mueller is the pesticide safety education program extension assistant for North Carolina State University (NCSU), based in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Her background, education, and international experience makes her an ideal candidate for the International Branch Secretary position with the Entomological Society of America (ESA).

Recently, Dr. Mueller was employed at the NCSU Cooperative Extension system, where she provided technical expertise, strategic leadership, and coordination for strengthening agricultural extension service to regional constituents of the Eastern Piedmont. Her job responsibilities targeted public-private partnership establishment, agro-tourism development, farm advocacy in public policy, and exploratory research into potential niche markets.

From 2011 to 2016, Dr. Mueller accepted an international appointment as the Integrating Orange Project Manager with the International Potato Centre in Sub-Saharan Africa, serving as the Sweetpotato Crop Management Specialist under the Feed the Future Initiative of the United States Agency for International Development. Within two years, she independently organized, managed, and executed an integrated agriculture-for-development research program promoting bio-fortified food crops for resource-poor rural farming communities in Southern Africa.

In August 2005, Dr. Mueller earned a master of science degree in Plant Pathology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison where, in 2009, she later completed a doctoral degree program as a graduate research assistant in the Department of Entomology. Since then, Dr. Mueller has been an active member of ESA during her employment in the U.S. and is actively involved in national and international research extension organizations that promote entomology research and insect pest management.

Jorge Ari NoriegaJorge Ari Noriega
University of Los Andes and Pontifical Javeriana University

I am an associate researcher (B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.) at the Laboratory of Zoology and Aquatic Ecology at the University of Los Andes and a lecturer at the Pontifical Javeriana University in Bogotá, Colombia. I am an entomologist working in functional ecology in the tropics. I use dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) as an indicator tool to quantify ecosystem services and environmental impact caused by humans in different bioregions. Still, I also work with other insect groups like Orthoptera, Neuroptera, and several families of Coleoptera.

I have published more than 40 papers in top national and international journals (Nature Ecology & Evolution, Nature Communications, Ecology and Evolution, Biological Conservation, Diversity and Distributions, Journal of Biogeography) and specialized journals (Ecological Entomology, Environmental Entomology, The Coleopterists Bulletin, Zootaxa). Also, I am the advisor of several B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. students. I have described several new species of insects. I am an associate editor for several journals. As well, I have participated in multiple congresses and seminars for the diffusion of entomology at national and international levels. Besides, I have worked with indigenous communities and college students teaching and transmitting love for insects. Finally, I won on two occasions the National Award of Entomology in Colombia.


North Central Branch Elections

North Central Branch Representative to the ESA Governing Board

Stuart MitchellStuart Mitchell
PestWest USA

Stuart has served the pest management and public health industries since 1982. He is technical director for PestWest USA in Sarasota, FL, offices in the Lipman Law Firm, West Des Moines, IA, and resides in Des Moines, IA. PestWest has sponsored the BCE Student Award for many years.

During his academic and professional career, Stuart has successfully pursued several academic degrees, and served as a pest control company technical specialist and technical director, part-time observing physician, interim National Pest Management Association (NPMA) technical director, expert witness, trade journal contributor and columnist, author, lecturer, and speaker. Additionally, he is an ESA member and BCE (urban/industrial, medical/veterinary) since 2000, BCE director in 2009, has served on the BCE Certification Board and committees, co-organized several ESA Annual Meeting symposia, and serves on the NPMA Technical Committee. 

Stuart has completed a B.S. Physics, B.S. Forensic Psychology, Master of Public Health, Ph.D. Entomology, Ph.D. Zoology, Ph.D. Biology, Ph.D. Naturopathic Medicine, Ph.D. Complimentary & Alternative Health Care, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Clinical Psychology, and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Additionally, he holds board certifications as a physician, veterinarian, psychologist, and others.

John RubersonJohn Ruberson
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.

Tom SappingtonTom Sappington
USDA-ARS

Tom Sappington is a research entomologist for the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Ames, Iowa, and affiliate professor in the Department of Entomology at Iowa State University. He received his B.S. from the University of Central Missouri (1979, Biology), M.S. from Iowa State (1982, Entomology), and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas (1989, Systematics & Ecology). He conducted postdoctoral research at Iowa State and Michigan State University.

He is an insect ecologist, and most of his current research focuses on insect movement ecology and behavior as they impinge on agriculture, and vice versa. He has published 137 peer reviewed papers (63 in ESA journals) and an additional 43 technical works. The broad scope and originality of his research is exemplified by publication of seven Forum articles in ESA journals in the diverse fields of behavior, morphology, quarantine, population genetics, and insect resistance management. ARS named him its Midwest Area Senior Scientist of the Year in 2014.

ESA is Tom's professional home, where he served 16 years as an editor for Environmental Entomology, and member and chair of both the Publications Council (three years) and Journal of Medical Entomology Editorial Board (nine years). He served three years on the Annual Meeting Program Committee including as program co-chair for the 2015 meeting in Minneapolis. He is the co-convener of the International Working Group on Ostrinia and Other Maize Pests, chaired several multistate technical committees on corn pests and insect migration, and conceived and co-organized the international Diabrotica Genetics Consortium (eight countries, >40 scientists).