Candidates for 2021-2022 ESA Elections
The Entomological Society of America's 2021-2022 elections, conducted via electronic ballot, will open July 19, 2021, and close August 18, 2021, 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 and proposed bylaws amendments for a ECP Representative position on ESA Governing Board during the election period.
Learn more: Honorary Member nominees and Proposed ESA Bylaws Amendment: ECP Representative position on ESA Governing Board
To see candidates, click to expand the categories below:
- Jennifer A. Henke, Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District
- Oscar E. Liburd, University of Florida
- Thomas W. Sappington, USDA Agricultural Research Service
Bio: Jennifer A. Henke is the laboratory manager at the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District. She has a B.S. in biology from the University of Alabama and an M.S. in entomology from the University of Georgia. Jennifer began at the District in 2011 as the environmental biologist. Since 2015 she has managed the laboratory group, which conducts adult mosquito surveillance, tests for arboviruses, examines pesticide product efficacy, and evaluates control products and strategies targeted at mosquitoes and fire ants. Her work includes collaborating with researchers from universities and government agencies to explore novel control strategies for vectors in the desert. Outside of work, Jennifer is likely to be found taking pictures, traveling to new places, or watching live music in southern California.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Jennifer is currently the Pacific Branch Representative to the ESA Governing Board, and serves on the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She was the Pacific Branch President in 2019. Jennifer served on the Entomology Games Committee from 2012 until 2019 and served as the moderator of the competition at the 2016 and 2017 ESA Annual Meetings. She chaired the Regulatory Affairs Committee of the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California from 2017 until 2020 and is still an active member. She is also on the MVCAC ad hoc committee on sterile insects. Jennifer has been a member of the American Mosquito Control Association's Science and Technology Committee since 2017 and is the current chair. She organized the AMCA poster competition judging from 2018 until 2020.
General candidate statement: I have been an active volunteer within ESA for two reasons. The first is that I want to give back to an organization that has been so welcoming to me in my career. The second is that I want this organization to be welcoming to others. Despite the active changes that ESA has undertaken to be a more responsive and leading society for professional entomologists, we know that not all members of our larger society have access to the joys of insects. I have a commitment to getting to the heart of the issues and a track record of completing work through difficult projects so we can improve ESA together.
VP-elect candidate statement:
ESA has a fantastic pool of resources—passionate volunteer leaders as well as having financial resources to fund strategic initiatives to improve our organization. We also have challenges—a need to continue diversifying our financial income, a push to develop all of our members, and a desire to highlight the role of entomology in everyone's life (not just ESA members). We have had leaders who have pushed us forward, forecasting that our publishing income would not be enough to fill the initiatives that we know are important for the professional development and fulfillment of our members.
We learned in 2020 that we are capable of great innovation and adopting new ways of working in the face of challenges. We also learned that there is much work to be done to build a more inclusive Society, at all levels. When I think of our strategic principles in ESA—that we must develop all of our members, that we are a global organization, and that we must increase our influence—I hope and believe that we could use some of our capacity for finding solutions to make our membership fully representative of the global community.
Despite our progress in some areas, I believe that we in ESA still have work to do. I would like to harness that can-do spirit to highlight obstacles that hinder the success of our members, work to remove them together, and to find ways for new or returning members to join us.
Bio: Dr. Oscar Liburd is a professor in the Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island in 1997 and did his postdoctoral studies at Michigan State University. Dr. Liburd served as president of the ESA Southeastern Branch (2018-2019) and president of the Florida Entomological Society (2008 -2009). His expertise is in agricultural pest management of small fruits and organic vegetables. Dr. Liburd's research focuses on surveillance and monitoring of invasive species, biological control, and ecological management of agricultural pests. His two decades of fieldwork on invasive species spans numerous countries and regions, especially in Africa. He has published more than 130 peer-reviewed publications and over 100 extension papers.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Liburd has been a member of ESA for the past 25 years, and during that time he has held various professional leadership positions, including president of the ESA Southeastern Branch (SEB) (2018-2019), a member of the SEB Education Committee (2015-2017), and SEB vice president (2017-2018). He is currently a member of the local arrangements committee for the Southeastern Branch Meeting for Puerto Rico. Dr. Liburd was also the president of the Florida Entomological Society (2008-2009) and vice president of the International Association of Black Entomologists (2012 -2014). In addition he volunteers on the editorial board for Florida Entomologist and on the board for the International Journal of Fruit Science. He has also served as a reviewer on several ESA journals.
General candidate statement: My current position as a university professor gives me the academic freedom and leverage to assist and give back to the scientific community. I believe that students and early-career scientists will help to shape the future of ESA. Students' involvement at the highest level of ESA will provide a new generation of thinkers. In addition, early-career scientists can help to shape a new vision for the Society. I would also like to review our Science Policy program and establish more communications to increase our representation in Washington, DC. I think ESA is in a strategic position to increase its visibility in using scientific data in making decisions on issues such as climate change and our environment. Finally, I would like to review the economic status and viability of ESA journals and attempt to provide a more sustainable path forward.
VP-elect candidate statement:
ESA recently faced some difficult circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the cancellation of our Southeastern Branch meeting during 2020. Therefore, one of the critical issues facing ESA will be to develop technology to effectively deliver programs and have scholarly networks when conditions are not conducive for a face-to-face meeting.
The financial sustainability of ESA journals is another issue facing the Society, since fewer university libraries have journal subscriptions. The recent introduction of page charges by ESA will help recuperate some of the losses from the journals. Still, strategic planning is needed to study this issue and find sustainable ways to address the reduction in income from ESA journals.
ESA must continue to grow and expand its membership. However, while increasing memberships, the Society needs to capitalize on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues. ESA has made significant progress in addressing DEI issues. If selected to lead the organization, I will plan to continue to support the initiatives that will expand memberships while promoting DEI issues.
I believe that students and early-career scientists will help shape the future of ESA. I support student's involvement at the highest level of ESA, since it provides a new generation of thinkers. In addition, early-career scientists can help to shape a new vision for the Society. Finally, I would like to review our Science Policy program and establish more communications with individuals at the federal level to increase our representation in Washington, DC.
Bio: Dr. Thomas W. Sappington is a research entomologist in the Corn Insects & Crop Genetics Research Unit of the USDA-ARS in Ames, Iowa. He received his Ph.D. in systematics and ecology at the University of Kansas, M.S. in entomology at Iowa State University, and B.S. in biology at the University of Central Missouri. He is an insect ecologist focusing on the movement ecology of pests of row crops and, lately, monarch butterflies. He characterizes the forms, extent, and causes of insect dispersal at different spatial scales by combining a variety of approaches: mark-recapture, sampling, flight mills, and population genetics. Earlier research included sexual selection on male courtship pheromone in sulfur butterflies and biochemical, molecular, and phylogenetic characterization of Aedes mosquito vitellogenin receptor and vitellogenin. He has authored 187 papers.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: ESA has been Tom's professional home throughout his career and continuously since 1997. He has presented research 37 times (12 invited) at national and branch meetings, co-organized two symposia and a workshop, and presented one ESA webinar. He served as Annual Meeting student competition, program, and poster co-chair (2014-2016), 16 years as co-editor and subject editor for Environmental Entomology, 10 years on the Journal of Medical Entomology Editorial Board (chair, 2004), and five years on the Publications Council (chair, 2009). He organized and co-led the Diabrotica Genetics Consortium for 15 years (40+ scientists, 8 countries). He chaired the corn insects technical committees NC-205 (2015), NCCC-46 (2014), and pest migration committee NCERA-213 (2007). He has been co-convenor of the IOBC International Working Group on Ostrinia and other maize pests since 2011.
General candidate statement: I bring a broad spectrum of entomological interests and experience to the table. My background and expertise span all four ESA sections, ranging from basic to applied, and from molecular to behavioral to ecological to evolutionary. I have led large collaborative teams of university, industry, and government scientists in projects addressing multifaceted, multidisciplinary research questions, and I am adept at translating the meaning and importance of scientific findings to the public. All my organizational and leadership experience will be called on in serving a society as large and diverse as ESA. Leadership reaches beyond caretaker management, and my vision is to tap the leadership and transformative potential residing in our membership in ways that will help take ESA itself to the next level of leadership in the larger scientific community and in service to the world.
VP-elect candidate statement:
Two fundamental roles of ESA are to serve its members and to serve society at large. As ESA membership becomes more inclusive and diverse, it will be important to integrate new, young, or previously overlooked members into leadership roles.
As a member of the Executive Committee, I will coordinate with existing committees and leadership to facilitate leadership development of members, including early career professionals and anyone who longs to serve. Coaching could include shadowing opportunities at many levels of governance and service, from the Governing Board to standing committees to Section and Branch leadership to boards and editorships of ESA publications. Such experiences will orient and prepare interns for future leadership roles not only in ESA but in their home institutions as well.
In parallel, I will ask ESA to look beyond its organizational boundaries, and ask our members to reach beyond themselves, as we strive as a group to serve humankind. I will seek new opportunities for ESA to coordinate with other scientific bodies to pursue initiatives addressing difficult societal issues where scientific expertise and input can make a difference.
This is a moment in history for thinking big—for leveraging the latent expertise, ideas, and problem-solving experience concentrated in our diverse membership toward mitigating the huge dilemmas and trials we are facing on this finite, troubled earth. We're running out of time. Let's jump in, think big, act big, and transform ESA into a true emergent property of our membership that can in turn transform the world.
- Kyle K. Jordan, BASF
- Paul Leisnham, University of Maryland
- Jeff Tomberlin, Texas A&M University
- Donald A. Yee, University of Southern Mississippi
Bio: Dr. Kyle Jordan began his pest control experience while studying at The Ohio State University, where he investigated human perceptions of insects and pesticide use and worked on product development and testing for a variety of manufacturers. He then joined the Whitmire Micro-Gen research team, where his main responsibility was termite product field research. After the BASF–Whitmire merger, Kyle became a member of the BASF technical team, where he field-tested products, trained PMPs, and provided technical support for BASF Pest Control Solutions products. He is currently a board-certified entomologist and is the product development manager for termite, general insect control, and rodent products for North America, working hard to help BASF bring innovative solutions to the pest control industry.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Kyle is a longtime member of ESA (20+ years) and has attended and presented at 17+ Annual Meetings and multiple Branch Meetings. He served as MUVE's Diversity and Inclusion Committee representative (2019-2020) and chair (2020). He served as chair for the National Conference on Urban Entomology's 2016 and 2018 meetings as well as secretary, program chair, awards chair, and editor of the 2014 NCUE Proceedings. At BASF, he has served as chair of ALLchemie (2014-2017) and the LGBTQ+ employee resource group and is currently the co-chair of the national ALLchemie council. Kyle recently worked with BASF's Global Communications and Branding teams to assemble the first-ever BASF Corporate Pride communications package. He served on the advisory board for the Cultivating Change Summit (2018-2019). In 2020, he authored a chapter in a textbook about allyship, advocacy, and activism.
Candidate statement: I see my involvement in MUVE as a way to continue serving my fellow entomologists. I am passionate about creating a professional environment where everybody feels welcome, and I believe that helping MUVE succeed will lead to that. MUVE is already on a great trajectory in advancing its current initiatives, and we must continually look forward to emerging issues. I am also involved in an additional initiative to create "D&I Best Practices" that will align MUVE's and ESA's D&I goals. I envision integrating examples of D&I into regular communication tools (newsletters, magazine/journal articles) to continue to ensure the inclusion of achievements of underrepresented scientists. I would be honored to be part of a leadership team that will continue to create a welcoming environment where colleagues can network and innovatively problem-solve.
Bio: Dr. Paul Leisnham completed his Ph.D. at the University of Otago, New Zealand, before moving to the U.S. for a postdoc at Illinois State University in 2005 and becoming faculty at the University of Maryland (UMD) in 2008. In New Zealand, he studied metapopulation dynamics of alpine tree weta and landscape dynamics of native and invasive mosquitoes. In the U.S., his research has centered on urban mosquito ecology. He has focused on exploring socioeconomic drivers of mosquito risks and successful management, working with academics, extension agents, and community partners. He has published approximately 50 peer-reviewed entomology articles, supporting his work with grants from NSF, EPA, and USDA. He teaches several courses at UMD that integrate medical and veterinary entomology, including courses on invasive species ecology, environmental threats, and ecosystem health.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Leisnham has been a long-time member of ESA since moving to the U.S. in 2005, regularly attending and presenting at the national meeting and occasionally attending Eastern Branch Meetings. He has organized several symposia on topics related to insect metacommunities, urban pests and vectors, and sustainable pest management. He has been an active volunteer in several professional capacities, including serving as a subject editor of the journal PLOS ONE and as a guest editor of a special issue on urban pests and vectors for the journal Insects, as a longtime member and current Chair of a USDA Regional Multistate Project on disease vectors, and on the Research Committee of the Washington Biologists Field Club. Dr. Leisnham is the treasurer of the UMD Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and serves in numerous capacities at all levels at the university.
Candidate statement: My interest in socio-ecological entomology aligns closely with what I think are MUVE's key capabilities, and I have two specific and interrelated goals. Since almost all the challenges in our field are multisectoral and interdisciplinary, my first goal would be to promote integrative and convergent research and practice. I am especially interested in helping MUVE identify the links between social and entomological systems to help strengthen our members' opportunities to engage communities in achieving pest and vector management goals successfully. My second goal is to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect, with an overall mission that MUVE can become an increasingly diverse section where individuals are equally welcomed and included in all our activities and celebrated for their differences.
Bio: Dr. Tomberlin received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. He has been a part of the Texas A&M University faculty (extension, research, and teaching) since 2002, where his research has focused on decomposition ecology with applications in livestock and forensic entomology. He has had 15 Ph.D. (three received the Comstock Award) and 20 M.S. students complete their degrees under his mentorship. He has published over 180 refereed articles, 34 refereed proceedings, 28 book chapters, and 13 extension articles; edited 8 books; and been featured in 94 television, radio, podcast, or internet outlets. His research has over 10,000 citations to date.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Tomberlin has been heavily involved with service, as he has had over 75 service roles (e.g., committees, moderator, conference organizer) within the Department of Entomology as well as professional organizations. Dr. Tomberlin has been involved with ESA since 1994. He has organized symposia at ESA conferences (e.g., Southeastern and Southwestern Branches, and ESA national) and served on the awards committee and membership committee for the Southwestern Branch, as a subject editor (2004-2009) with the Annals of the ESA, and on the Thomas Say Award Committee for ESA. He has also co-authored 118 presentations at ESA meetings.
Candidate statement: I am committed to maintaining, and expanding, the MUVE mission within ESA as well as its recognition globally. This accomplishment begins with engaging MUVE membership as a means to identify opportunities for diversification (research, symposia at meetings), membership enhancement (nationally and through branches), and public engagement. Furthermore, through collaboration and cooperation, we can work together to identify challenges the membership faces now as well as possibly in the future. Together, we can find solutions. Given my years of experience with the MUVE section and its membership, I feel I am prepared to serve as a resource for the MUVE Section as well as ESA at large.
Bio: Dr. Donald Yee received an M.S. (zoology) from Texas Tech University (1999) and Ph.D. (biological sciences, 2006) from Illinois State University, followed by a post-doctoral appointment at the University of Calgary. He joined the faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2008 as the sole entomologist. At the forefront of questions he asks are those related to mechanisms that affect patterns of species diversity, species interactions, and population dynamics, with a focus on medically important container mosquitoes in the mainland U.S. and Caribbean. His research has centered on several important species, including Aedes aegypti, Ae. albopictus, and Culex quinquefasciatus. He has published 54 schoalry articles and three book chapters and edited one book. Among other sources, his work has been supported by NIH, NSF, DOD, and the Mississippi Health Department.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Don has been an active member for the past 21 years, first as a graduate student, then as a faculty member. In those years, Don has attended over a dozen meetings, where he and his students have organized symposia and presented both oral and poster presentations. He has also volunteered numerous times as a session moderator, judge for student oral and poster presentations, and as a student voulenteer. In the past Don also has been a judge for the ECP Outreach and Public Engagement Award, Monsanto Research Award, and the Thomas Say Award. Recently, he was selected to be a subject editor for the Journal of Medical Entomology, and he is also serving on the committee to find a new editor-in-chief for the journal. In 2018, Don became a BCE with an emphasis in medical entomology.
Candidate statement: Since joining ESA I have witnessed an exciting increase in membership. This surge has brought both challenges and opportunities. As membership grows it poses problems for providing a format for all voices, but it also provides us as a Section an opportunity to expand our knowledge and move closer to using our science to solve problems related to insects of human and animal health concern across the world. Multiple opportunities exist for enhancing connections among members, especially those new members who are part of our global entomological family. It is within this area that the greatest opportunities exist for increasing leadership and innovation within the Society. As vice president-elect I would offer new ideas for facilitating wider participation in the Annual Meeting and interactions among MUVE members and to provide leadership in areas critical to the future of ESA.
- Adekunle Adesanya, Corteva Agriscience
- Scott O'Neal, Corteva Agriscience
- Daniel Swale, Louisiana State University
Bio: Dr. Adekunle Adesanya (aka Kunle) is a field scientist with Corteva Agriscience in central coast California. Prior to moving to California, Kunle was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Cornell Atkinson Center and Cornell Entomology in the Poveda Agroecology Lab. He earned his Ph.D. and master's degree in entomology from Washington State and Auburn University, respectively. His research focuses on pest management in specialty crops and understanding the mechanisms of pesticide resistance. Kunle has served multiple roles in the PBT Section and national ESA as a graduate student, and now he is the ECP representative on the PBT Section Governing Council. Kunle has led and organized multiple ESA Program and Section Symposia at national and Branch Meetings, and he also organized the first virtual PBT speed networking event.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service:
- Early career professional representative on the PBT Section Governing Council
- ESA Program and Section Symposia organizer at national and Branch Meetings
- PBT Speed Networking organizer for multiple years
Candidate statement: My main motivation for seeking this position is to continue to advance ESA and PBT efforts in fostering adequate diversity and inclusion at different career stages and disciplines among the membership. These diversity efforts will also aim at recruiting members from academic, industry, government, and nonprofits. To achieve this overarching goal, I plan to organize a cross-discipline mentoring and collaborative program that will increase the visibility of our members and stimulate participation in PBT Section activities. Visibility will be enhanced through blogs on transdisciplinary-focused PBT monthly spotlights on student, ECP, mid- and late-career professionals. In sum, my goal is having a vibrant PBT Section that is actively involved in advocating for science-based policy, science, and entomology outreach.
Bio: Dr. Scott O'Neal is an entomologist with a background in agriculture and an interest in insect physiology, toxicology, and insecticide resistance. Scott 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. While at Virginia Tech, he was awarded a USDA NIFA Predoctoral Fellowship to support his graduate research in the area of insect physiology and toxicology. Scott continued his research as a USDA NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Entomology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. For the last year and a half, he has been employed as a research entomologist in the area of crop protection discovery, working with the Insecticide and Nematicide Biology Group of Corteva Agriscience.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Scott has been an active member of ESA, having held leadership positions at both the Society and Section levels, and worked to provide greater opportunities for students and ECPs. He represented the PBT Section on the ECP Committee from 2017 to 2020, where he was elected to serve as vice chair and then chair of the committee, and also served on the governing council of the PBT Section as the ECP representative. Outside of ESA, Scott has also been an active member of the AGRO Division of the American Chemical Society. 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, the University of Nebraska 2018 Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar Award, as well as the American Chemical Society's AGRO Division 2019 New Investigator Award.
Candidate statement: In his leadership roles within ESA, I have consistently worked to provide recognition opportunities for the people I represent, to promote diverse and underrepresented voices, and to improve networking and communication. I have initiated and organized numerous programs at both branch and national ESA meetings, including the popular PBT Section speed networking event, as well as a new ECP Recognition Symposium to annually highlight peer-selected ECP speakers at the national meeting. If elected into this leadership role within the PBT Section, I would continue to focus on providing opportunities 1) to participate in ESA, especially in the form of travel grants and awards, 2) to be heard, through the programs and events that PBT sponsors, and 3) to collaborate and grow, through improved focus on networking and recruitment.
Bio: 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 development, pathogen-vector interactions, and development of insect models for human diseases.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Daniel is a long-time PBT member, where he is a judge, organizer, and moderator for symposia and student award competitions. He has leadership experience serving as a member of the Executive, Membership, and Early Career Scientists Committees for the Division of Agrochemicals in the American Chemical Society (ACS). Daniel is also a co-chair for the ESA/ACS Insecticide Targets Summit Liaison Group.
He serves on editorial boards for Pest Management Science (executive editor), Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology (board member), Frontiers of Insect Science (associate editor), and Journal of Insect Science (subject editor). He has 41 peer-reviewed research/review publications and 140+ scientific communications related to insect physiology, biochemistry, and toxicology for management of pathogen-transmitting arthropods and protection of beneficial insects.
Candidate statement: If elected for this task, I will work to ensure that promoting and disseminating high-quality entomological research and developing students remain the top priority of the division to guarantee the ESA PBT Section maintains its role as a global leader of the field. I plan to accomplish this in multiple ways, but first I will liaise related societies, such as ACS Agrochemicals and the Society of Vector Ecology, that will ensure the breadth of insect-related science pertaining to physiology, biochemistry, and toxicology is presented through the PBT Section.
Bio: Dr. Adrian Fisher earned a B.S. in zoology from Cal Poly Pomona and a Ph.D. in entomology from Texas A&M University. He has participated in scientific research since his undergraduate studies researching honey bee and native bee pollination efficiency. As a grad student, he conducted research on the effects of agrochemicals and miticides on honey bee survival and fertility. He also taught courses in general entomology, veterinary entomology and honey bee biology. He has been awarded scholarships by the American Association of Professional Apiculturists and by Texas A&M to study factors affecting honey bee health. He has also won ESA awards including a third- and first-place finish in consecutive years in the Ph.D. student competition. He is currently a postdoc at Arizona State University engaging in research on the effects of agrochemicals on honey bee health and physiology.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Fisher has been a member of ESA since 2014 and has actively participated through giving talks both as a student and as an early career professional. As a graduate student, he participated in the Entomology Games representing Texas A&M University and participated in outreach activities during Branch Meetings. As an early career professional, he has moderated sessions and co-hosted a symposium for pollinator researchers at the 2020 Annual Meeting.
Candidate statement: I am motivated to increase membership retention for students transitioning to early career professionals. If elected, I will work to facilitate this goal and increase general interest. I am also committed to the goal of communicating science to the general public.
Bio: Dr. Jen Williams is a senior research entomologist at Syngenta. She earned her Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Nebraska in 2020 and previously earned an M.S. in entomology in 2016 and B.S. in biological sciences in 2012 from Virginia Tech. Her graduate research focused on agrochemical stressors faced by honey bees. Her graduate work resulted in one peer-reviewed publication, 16 research presentations resulting in three awards, two National Science Foundation Scholarships in STEM, and multiple student travel and institutional or departmental awards. Her current work is focused on protein discovery and efficacy testing in crop pest species. Her love of insects and interest in physiological systems has led to a career where she can use her passion and skills alongside a team focused on delivery of sustainable, safe, and selective crop protection products.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Jen has been a member of ESA and PBT since 2011. Jen has a passion for science communication and creating a space that is welcoming of all backgrounds. She has volunteered at Women in Science events to highlight entomology career paths for high school students, served as social chair in her graduate departments, and held leadership roles in her graduate student club and Graduate Student Association. She helped pilot an elevator speech contest, modeled after ESA Lightning Bug Talks, at the University of Nebraska. This contest was held with students in three academic departments to foster collaboration and community and improve scientific communication for professional development. Jen has participated in numerous outreach activities for community members, ranging from K-12 students to seniors, and has led workshops at beekeeping and pesticide certification courses.
Candidate statement: I have gained both confidence and competence through presenting and networking at ESA meetings, and I would like to give back to the Section that has helped me both personally and professionally. The PBT speed networking event in particular has helped me work on soft skills that were integral to success during my interviewing process after graduation. I would like to build upon the momentum created by that event and expand upon it for student members of PBT. I am eager to help create opportunities for other ECPs within the Section and the Society at large. As the PBT Section ECP representative to the Governing Council, I would actively recruit members of ECP and beyond to participate in PBT initiatives and bring an early career perspective to Governing Council meetings.
Bio: Dr. Lauren Diepenbrock is currently an assistant professor of entomology and citrus entomology extension specialist at the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center. Her laboratory works with other research groups, growers, and industry colleagues to support the pest management needs of Florida citrus growers. Research in her lab focuses on developing sustainable integrated pest management (IPM) programs for citrus growers that incorporates the ecology of both native and non-native arthropods, habitat manipulation, and insecticides to manage pests. Training: M.S., science education; M.S., ecology and evolution; Ph.D., entomology; postdoc (four years), IPM. Awards: North Central Branch Graduate Student Award, 2014, ECP Extension Award, 2016, Friends of Southern IPM Future Leader Award, 2020.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Diepenbrock has been an active member of ESA since 2008, attending national and branch meetings, coordinating symposia at branch and national meetings, serving as a judge for the student competition since she became eligible, and serving on the Science Policy Committee since 2016.
In addition to volunteering with ESA, she has regularly participated in outreach opportunities throughout her training and in her current position. She has visited school groups in person and virtually now (thanks to SkypeAScientist), worked booths at Bugfest in Raleigh, North Carolina, and developed and taught mini-lessons on insects during Adventures in Education at the University of Missouri and at Citrus Youth day, both of which are annual events for school-aged children.
Candidate statement: I have served on the Science Policy Committee as the Southeast Branch representative for five years and am interested in stepping into a larger leadership role. I have been pleased to watch the evolution of the P-IE section of ESA over my time in the organization, in particular the development of the field tours, which provide a unique learning and networking opportunity for our members. I would like to see these tours expanded to include regional legislators, broadening the conversation to strengthen relationships with this sector who influence the response to pest issues (e.g. funding, legislative actions).
Bio: Dr. Cesar Rodriguez-Saona is a professor and extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at Rutgers University. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in biology (1992) from the Universidad Nacional Agraria (Lima, Peru), his master's degree (1994) from Oregon State University, and his Ph.D. in entomology (1999) from the University of California, Riverside. Before joining Rutgers in 2005, Dr. Rodriguez-Saona worked as a postdoctoral researcher for the USDA Cotton Research Lab, the University of Toronto, and Michigan State University. The goal of his research program is to develop and implement cost-effective and reduced-risk integrated pest management (IPM) practices for blueberries and cranberries. Dr. Rodriguez-Saona's areas of interest include IPM, tritrophic interactions, biological control, insect chemical ecology, and host-plant resistance.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Rodriguez-Saona has been a member of ESA since 1992. He currently serves as chair of the ESA Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee and as member of the ESA Awards and Honors (A&H) Committee. He served as president of the ESA Eastern Branch (2016-2017), chair of the ESA A&H Committee (2019-2020), and member of the ESA D&I Committee (2018-2020) and the ESA A&H Canvassing Committee (2019-2020). Dr. Rodriguez-Saona has been a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Economic Entomology (JEE) since 2019, and a subject editor for JEE and the Journal of Insect Science since 2014. He also served as president for the International Organization for Biological Control Nearctic Regional Section (2018-2020) and is currently an Editorial Board member for the Journal of Pest Science, Journal of Chemical Ecology, and the journal Insects.
Candidate statement: Serving in a leadership role for the ESA P-IE Section will allow me to pursue a career goal of recruiting/training early career professionals. As member and now chair of the ESA Diversity and Inclusion Committee and through my involvement in other ESA committees and leadership roles, I have worked actively toward increasing the diversity of our members as well as helping young professionals become leaders in our discipline; I plan to make this a priority if elected for P-IE vice president-elect. I also plan to continue ongoing P-IE activities such as planning program and networking sessions at the ESA Annual Meeting, maintaining active communication networks via newsletters and social media outlets, ensuring P-IE representation on ESA committees, honoring P-IE members through various awards, and continuing to support and drive technical initiatives like science policy.
Melissa Willrich Siebert
Bio: Melissa leads the insecticide and nematicide discovery and field science organization for Corteva Agriscience. She earned degrees from Texas A&M University (B.S.) and Louisiana State University (M.S. and Ph.D.) in entomology. Melissa has provided leadership for the development of insecticide and trait technologies, including Isoclast, spinosyns, pyraxalt, Widestrike cotton and SmartStax corn. Since 2004, her impacts have ranged from serving as an independent biology research contributor, leading a team of biologists toward launch of new concepts, leading a global team of project managers, and organization design to meet scientific and operational excellence. Melissa received the P-IE Recognition Award in Entomology in 2020.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Melissa is a dedicated volunteer-leader. As the current P-IE Governing Board Representative, she was elected by her Board peers to provide leadership on the Executive Committee. She serves on the Ethics and Rules Committee, chairs the Leadership Development Committee, which produced member webinars designed to increase volunteer leaders. Additionally, she was elected as 2017 P-IE President, where she guided the influential "Science Policy Field Tour on Pollinator Health," which catalyzed three additional tours. She previously served as chair, ESA Publications Council; subject editor, Journal Integrated Pest Management; P-IE secretary; president, Mississippi Entomology Association; and current associate editor, Journal of Cotton Science.
Candidate statement: Through my volunteer leadership I have recognized the power of ESA members in shaping the strategy and overall success our Society enjoys today—core strengths exemplified in meeting execution, publications, science policy. Furthermore, I believe ESA has a key role, as an organizational platform and through its talented membership, for addressing entomological-related issues and grand challenges in science. As such, I am passionate about our Society continually assessing and responding to member needs as our science changes, ensuring that we have a strong culture of inclusiveness where all current and future member talents are welcomed and embraced, and to invigorate a strong opportunity for volunteer leadership.
- Kelsey Fisher, Iowa State University
- Dalton Ludwick, Texas A&M University
- Adrian Marshall, Washington State University
- Nicole F. Quinn, USDA Agricultural Research Service, University of Massachusetts
- Ashley Schulz, Colorado State University
Bio: Kelsey E. Fisher is a postdoctoral research associate at Iowa State University (ISU). She earned her Ph.D. in entomology from ISU in 2021, M.S. in entomology from the University of Delaware in 2015, and B.S. in biology from Widener University in 2013. Kelsey's research focuses on discerning animal movement patterns and space use in fragmented landscapes to understand movement behavior of vagile insect species at various spatial scales. Her professional goal is to serve as a research scientist planning and conducting research that directly supports and improves the sustainability and conservation of native species. She envisions actively and effectively communicating research plans and findings within the scientific community, with decision-makers, and with stakeholders to help inform implementation of science-based recommendations.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Kelsey served as North Central Branch Student Affairs Committee treasurer and ISU student rep (2018-21), competed in the Entomology Games (2014-19), and organized a symposium (2019). At ISU, she served as grad student representative for the university committee for gender equity (2018-20) and was the entomology graduate student organization VP (2017-18). She served on the student section board of the Ecological Society of America (EcoSA) (2015-18). She led 12 workshops and served on the organizing committee for the first annual career fair. Kelsey coordinated and contributed to the EcoFutures initiative in 2016, leading discussions to identify and remedy challenges and opportunities of 21st century ecologists (published in Ecosphere, 2018). She served as a student rep on a task force designed to enhance the EcoSA's relevance & increase the diversity of all kinds.
Candidate statement: I take action and improve organizations where she I am involved, as shown by my active involvement in leadership positions at the university, regional, and national society levels. I will use my experience with previous organizations to enhance ESA. I am excited to be involved as an early-career professional, look forward to acting as a voice for early-career professionals in ESA, and am eager to network with the PIE section and the Governing Council. Additionally, I value diversity and equality. I will apply strategies learned with the EcoSA task force, EcoFutures initiative, and ISU university committee on gender equity to enhance ESA's climate.
Bio: Dr. Dalton Ludwick earned his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia, after which he studied invasive species and biological control with the USDA-ARS as a postdoc. As an assistant professor and extension entomologist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Dalton seeks to improve pest management in field and forage crops in South Texas. He has 18 peer-reviewed articles to date, many of which have been published in ESA journals. He serves ESA in various capacities including as a reviewer, moderator, judge, and associate editor for the Journal of Economic Entomology. Furthermore, he regularly engages in science communication at different levels through his academic and social media activities, including appearing on Netflix's Bill Nye Saves the World.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dalton became a member of ESA and the P-IE Section in 2012. Early in his membership and as a student, Dalton volunteered at ESA Annual Meetings and organized a symposium for the North Central Branch Meeting. Since then, he has organized a symposium for the Eastern Branch Meeting as well as volunteered his time to moderate and judge student competitions at the national meeting. Furthermore, he has served as an ad-hoc member of the Education and Outreach Committee. Last, Dalton serves as a peer-reviewer and associate editor for the Journal of Economic Entomology.
Candidate statement: It is critical that the P-IE ECP representative to the Governing Board effectively advocate for the well-being and advancement of their fellow ECP members. To achieve this goal, the ECP representative must listen to the members and attempt to find solutions, especially from those who are from historically excluded groups. If elected, I will work hard to seek input from members regarding the challenges they face. Serving as P-IE ECP representative to the Governing Board, I will advocate for actions to be taken by the Governing Board through any necessary revisions to bylaws, position statements, networking opportunities, and other appropriate measures.
- Ph.D., entomology, Washington State University (May 2020), GPA: 3.93
- B.S., entomology, University of Idaho (2012-2014), GPA: 3.65
- A.S., Wenatchee Valley College (2010-2012)
- Postdoctoral research associate, Mentor: Tobin Northfield, WSU (May 2020 – present)
- Develop sampling and integrated pest management (IPM) methods for Western X phytoplasma leafhopper vectors
- Graduate research assistant, Mentor: Elizabeth Beers, WSU (Aug 2015 – May 2020)
- Investigated mechanical exclusion, mass trapping, and cultural control methods for apple pests
Areas of Interest: IPM, cultural control, nontarget effects, economic and environmental sustainability
Accomplishments: Three 1st place ESA student debates, 6 student presentation awards, $300,000 in PI/CO-PI grants, 6 peer-reviewed publications, 24 invited extension and scientific talks
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service:
ESA Activity (Member: 2015-present):
- Pacific Branch ESA (PBESA) symposium co-organizer (2021)
- P-IE Section Hot Topic: Sustainable Pest Management, WIG Committee member (2020)
- PBESA Career Fair chair (2019)
- PBESA symposium moderator (Spring 2019)
- Invasive Species Field Tour Workshop (2018)
- PBESA Career Fair co-chair (2018)
- PBESA presentation setup (Spring 2017)
- PBESA registration and presentation setup (Spring 2016)
USDA Outreach: Led teams of 6–12th-grade students through booths for careers in agricultural science including apple breeding, soil quality, pathology, and pest and beneficial insect identification (2017-2018)
Boy Scouts: Trained troops in local insect identification and stinging insect risk (2017)
WSU Graduate Student Events:
- Insect Exposition (2016, 2017, 2018)
- Insect Cinema Cult Classic Organizer (2015)
- Bug Appétit (2015)
Candidate statement: ESA offers one of the greatest platforms for career building, networking, and forming lifelong connections with entomologists. The experiences this society provided me as a graduate student helped prepare me for my career. I would like to give back and help others attain these experiences by serving as the ECP representative to the P-IE Section Governing Council. ECPs are in unique positions and need opportunities to gain training, network, and showcase their work as they transition to established careers. As the ECP representative I would advocate for these opportunities, including ECP specific competitions, social events, hard-skill workshops, field tours, and career fairs, like I have chaired previously. I will also campaign for ECP financial support to attend conferences and trainings and to have access to the opportunities to build a successful lifelong career.
Bio: Nicole Quinn is a postdoctoral research associate at the USDA-ARS Beneficial Insects Introduction Unit and the University of Massachusetts. Nicole graduated from Gettysburg College in 2012 with a B.S. in biology and a minor in English. Her interest in research and insect ecology was reinforced by her experiences within the biology department on campus, a semester abroad in Ecuador, a thesis project in South Africa, and an internship at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center. In 2015, she completed her M.S. at Michigan State University on habitat management for beneficial insects in cucurbit agroecosystems. She completed her Ph.D. in entomology in December 2019 at Virginia Tech, where she studied the behavior and biological control of the brown marmorated stink bug. Currently, she is studying the classical biological control of emerald ash borer.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Nicole has a strong record of service within her department, university, and ESA. In both her master's and Ph.D., she served in leadership positions within graduate student organizations and on departmental curriculum and hiring committees. Furthermore, she has served on the Student Affairs Committees of the ESA North Central and Eastern Branches and organized five symposia for regional and national ESA meetings. She helped organize and run the first P-IE ECP speed networking event at the 2019 national meeting. She has refereed 20 manuscripts since 2017 and volunteered at over 40 outreach events since 2013 to roughly 22,000 in-person contacts. She also volunteers and presents for local extension and master gardener groups, attends seasonal updates, and communicates with growers and stakeholders on a regular basis.
Candidate statement: If I were to serve as the ECP Representative to the P-IE Section Governing Council, I would seek to ensure that the voices of all ECPs were heard and that their needs were met. Support and advocacy for ECPs is essential given the pivotal role they play in ESA in what is one of the most important yet uncertain periods of their careers. I would advocate for the development of career development opportunities, such as networking events and practical skills workshops, for ECPs of all career interests. Additionally, I am a steadfast advocate of diversity and inclusion initiatives within ESA and our society as a whole and would continue to work toward improving ESA in this regard.
Bio: Dr. Ashley Schulz is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Agricultural Biology at Colorado State University and soon-to-be assistant professor in the Department of Forestry at Mississippi State University. She studies native and non-native insects in North American forest ecosystems, and is currently working with a High Impact Insect Invasions working group to develop a tool to predict the probability of high impact for insects that have not yet arrived in North American forests. Insights from her research have implications for decision-making by federal scientists, forest resource managers, and policymakers. She earned a Ph.D. in environmental sciences from Arkansas State University in 2020, and has a B.S. in forestry from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an M.S. in forest resources from the University of Georgia.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Ashley joined ESA as an undergraduate in 2012. She has participated in and presented at many of the Annual Meetings since then. In 2020, Ashley joined the P-IE Section Invasive Species Wildly Important Goals team and is still currently working with and co-leading the team to coordinate invasive species programming for ESA. She also volunteered to co-mentor an EntoPOC Instar for the 2020 Annual Meeting. Outside of ESA, Ashley has served in many other volunteer positions over the years, including as a postdoctoral representative on the CSU Agricultural Biology Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, president of the Arkansas State University Graduate Student Council, and graduate student representative on seven shared governance committees at A-State. She is also a member of the Society of American Foresters.
Candidate statement: As an early career professional (ECP), I want to contribute more to the P-IE Section and help more ECPs feel connected to the ESA community. If elected, I will create a more welcoming and inclusive space for young and early career entomologists. Specifically, I hope to promote the EntoPOC Instar mentorship program to get more ECPs involved as mentors for BIPOC students who are looking at different careers in entomology. During the transition from student to professional, some ECP's feel disconnected from the community, so I also want to promote activities that would foster interactions among ECPs, students, and more experienced members of the entomology community. Highlighting ECP awards and research, teaching, and outreach efforts in ESA publications and newsletters is also an important goal that I would like to help accomplish.
- Monica Farfan, Colorado State University
- Eric W. Riddick, USDA Agricultural Research Service
- Anamika Sharma, Virginia Tech University
Bio: Monica is an acarologist and entomologist interested in mite community ecology, IPM, and biological control in vegetable cropping agroecosystems. In 2018, she was awarded a USDA-NIFA Postdoctoral Fellowship through Clemson University to investigate the diversity and abundance of natural communities of predatory mites in tomato and watermelon cropping systems across South Carolina and the probable non-prey resources they consume. Monica is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Colorado State University where she serves as the executive director of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative. Monica received her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2017 and holds an M.S. in evolution, ecology, and organismal biology from the Ohio State University and an M.F.A. in studio art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: A 15-year member of ESA, Monica has volunteered as a graduate student at the national level in helping write biographies of ESA Fellows of the past and has volunteered as a graduate student and a postdoc at ESA Annual Meetings. She served as the secretary/treasurer of the Acarological Society of America (ASA) (2015-2018) and is the current past president of the ASA (2021). Monica has judged student competitions at the ESA Annual Meeting and assists in reviewing abstracts for the Ecological Society of America's national meeting on a semi-annual basis. She is an active member of the Soil Ecological Society (since 2006).
Candidate statement: As the PI-E representative to the Publications Council, I seek to bring the perspectives of both the section members and of non-traditional entomologists to bear in my advice and consulting to the council. As a scientist with a non-traditional background, I hope to encourage the growth of diversity of career stages, education levels, and ethnicities involved at all levels of the publication process. I also seek to encourage the broadening of topics considered in entomological publication in the alternative areas of sustainability in pest management, agroecosystems ecology, and landscape management in hopes of broadening authorship and readership and, ultimately, forwarding the science of entomology.
Bio: Eric received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (1993), and then assumed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Maryland. From 1996 to 1997, he served as a research associate for USDA-ARS in Beltsville, Maryland, and the following two years at the U.S. EPA Office of Pesticide Programs. Since 1999, Eric has served as a research entomologist for USDA-ARS in Starkville, then later in Stoneville, Mississippi. His areas of interest include behavioral, chemical, and nutritional ecology of beneficial arthropods, mass production, and biological control. He has more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, including one co-edited book and book chapters. He served as an adjunct assistant professor of entomology at Mississippi State University (1999-2003).
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Eric has current roles within scientific publishing including subject editor, Journal of Economic Entomology (2017–present); associate editor, BioControl, International Organization for Biological Control (2019–present); Editorial Board member, Bulletin of Insectology, Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy (2011–present); and Editorial Board member, topical collection editor and guest editor, Insects (2020–present). Eric's volunteer service to the ESA Southeastern Branch includes chair and member, Education Committee (2017-2019); chair, Resolutions Committee (2016); member, Nominations Committee (2014); and chair, Member Awards Committee (2010–2012). He is a consistent moderator at ESA Branch and Annual Meetings.
Candidate statement: If elected, I bring over 20 years of professionalism, ESA committee experience, and a strong character, exemplary ethics, integrity, and a desire to work hard to strengthen the quality of ESA journals. I would serve as an advocate on behalf of all P-IE members and would provide a federal government perspective on challenges to publishing within ESA journals. Two topics that I am passionate about within scientific publishing include 1) reducing publication and author article processing fees in exchange for peer reviews or serving as guest editors and 2) developing an outreach plan to increase manuscript submissions from scientists in developed and underdeveloped countries throughout the world.
Bio: Dr. Anamika Sharma is currently working as a research associate at the IPM Innovation Lab at Virginia Tech University. Here, she is working on the biological control of invasive arthropod pests. Earlier she has worked as a postdoctoral research associate at Montana State University and evaluated the efficacy of entomopathogenic fungus, trap crops, and other IPM strategies to manage insect pests of agriculture in Montana. She has worked as a technical officer in Australia and as a research assistant in India.
Dr. Sharma obtained her Ph.D. from Australia, and her master's and bachelor's from India. Her work experience includes both basic and applied research. She has worked with arthropods in forestry and agriculture. Her research experience includes insect-plant interactions, microbe-insect interactions, bionomics, nutrition, and chemical and quantitative ecology.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Sharma has regularly attended ESA meetings since 2017 and has volunteered as a reviewer for ESA journals, as a moderator at ESA Annual Meetings, and as a student competition judge at ESA Annual Meetings. She is also a member of the Ecological Society of America and is a certified Associate Ecologist by Ecological Society of America. She is an acting secretary OF the Multistate Research Project S1070 since November 2017, which she attends every year during ESA Annual Meetings. She has regularly presented work at ESA meetings. She also regularly reviews articles for reputed journals such as Frontiers, and PLOS ONE.
Candidate statement: I am particularly interested in this position because of my interest in writing and publishing. Although English is not my native language, English at present is a global language and several European and Asian countries are also becoming prolific in scientific publications in English. However, I do feel that, from the last few years, several new publication platforms have emerged that publish in different aspects of entomology with a claim of very quick turnout. A quick turnout impacts the standards of review processes. If elected I would try to focus ESA's efforts on increasing the impact factor by attracting high-quality articles and creating an improved review process.
- Andrea Lucky, University of Florida
- Carly Tribull, Farmingdale State College (State University of New York)
Bio: Dr. Andrea Lucky is an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Florida specializing in ant systematics. She earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Brown University and Ph.D. in entomology from the University of California, Davis, and she was a postdoctoral researcher at North Carolina State University. Her research explores evolution of ants with an eye toward practical applications. The other branch of her research is educational: Dr. Lucky studies different teaching practices in entomology education and how they affect learning outcomes. Her teaching and teaching-focused research has been recognized with national awards from the USDA (2019 New Teacher Award) and locally (2015 UF College-level Undergraduate Teacher of the Year), and most recently a 2020-2021 U.S. Fulbright Scholar award to study entomology education in the Czech Republic.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Lucky has been an ESA member in the SysEB Section for more than 15 years; like many others, she first joined the society as a graduate student. Initially, she volunteered just at Annual Meetings, as a moderator or judge of student talks or posters. After organizing several symposia and regularly attending meetings, she wanted to contribute to shaping the future of the Society. She has taken on service roles in a variety of capacities including SysEB representative to the DEI committee and as a member of the Common Names of Insects Committee. On both committees, she found ways to contribute to making our Society more welcoming and supportive of all current and potential future members. Outside of the society she hass been active in leadership roles related to educational curricula, including as chair of UF's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Curriculum Committee.
Candidate statement: As president-elect of SysEB, my principal goal would be to continue the good work of past leaders and keep our Section active, growing, and relevant. As a Society we have become much more inclusive, and I would like to see our Section embrace the future of SysEB diversity—after all, SysEB is the only section with "diversity" built into its name—by continuing to support and highlight early career members. I also would work toward making successes of our Section more visible to non-specialists. Every SysEB member knows systematics is more important than ever in a changing world. However, it is essential for us to to convey the value of the work we do to the public, including to our policymakers. Mostly, however, my plan for leadership involves learning about the needs of our Section, and working to ensure that I work on the priorities most pressing for the SysEB membership (that's you!).
Bio: Carly Tribull is currently an assistant professor at Farmingdale State College (SUNY) where they teach General Entomology and Intro Biology. Working at a primarily undergraduate institution, Dr. Tribull is invested in developing best practices for undergraduate education and mentorship, and in 2020 they were granted the ECP Teaching Award for these efforts. Previously, they were a visiting assistant professor at Sam Houston State University, completed their Ph.D. at the American Museum of Natural History (2015) and Bachelor's degree at the University of California, Berkeley (2011). Their current research focuses on parasitoid wasp systematics and taxonomy in Bethylidae and Dryinidae, with particular interest in using barcoding techniques to match sexually dimorphic conspecifics.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Carly Tribull has been a member of ESA as a student and early career professional with yearly attendance at the Annual Meeting since 2010. As a graduate student, they began organizing events focused on educational outreach and undergraduate education and research mentorship. They joined SysEB as the ECP representative in 2018 and have served as the vice chair and chair of the ECP Committee. As ECP chair, they have facilitated meetings, organized submissions to American Entomologist and Entomology Today, and helped to produce webinars, symposia, workshops, and social events at meetings. Additionally, they have regularly volunteered at the Women and Allies in Entomology breakfast. They are also a member of the International Society of Hymenopterists, developed its anti-harassment policy, and currently edit its member magazine, Hamuli.
Candidate statement: If elected as vice president-elect of SysEB, I look forward to continuing the work I've done with the SysEB council in judging award applications, participating in meetings, and developing policies and activities that further the goals of our Section. This position would start a four-year journey that would eventually include being the president of the Section, giving me an opportunity to guide the policies and goals of SysEB: I am invested in developing resources and events for entomologists who broadly study insect biodiversity and evolutionary biology. As part of the goal of developing resources, I aim to support BIPOC and LGBTQ+ scientists, as well as students and early career professionals, by encouraging these members to apply for leadership positions, making funds available to aid in travel and professional development, and enforcing anti-harassment policies.
- Brendon Boudinot, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
- Patrick Gorring, Michigan State University
- Emily L. Sandall, Yale University
Bio: Dr. Brendon Boudinot is native to California and earned his Ph. D. at the University of California, Davis. Currently, he is an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany. He has worked as a collections manager, a teaching assistant, a summer camp leader for students ranging from elementary through high school, and a botanist for Washington State. His research interests are comparative anatomy, morphological phylogenetics, and systematics, with emphasis on the Aculeata and male genitalia across the Hexapoda. He has published 24 papers and two book chapters, received three ESA President's Prizes, been a member of three Entomology Games championship teams, and been recognized with the Comstock and Snodgrass Awards. Three of his undergraduate mentees are now in graduate school, and one co-authored an article with him.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Boudinot has acted as co-chair of the Pacific Branch (PB) Texting Competition for three years and currently serves on the SysEB Section nominations committee. He has attended PB and ESA Annual Meetings since 2012. At Entomology 2018 he co-led the "Evolutionary and Phylogenetic Morphology" symposium, for which he brought in a diverse range of speakers of multiple nationalities, personal backgrounds, and research subjects. The majority of his volunteer engagement has been at UC Davis where he served as the Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) president for three years and co-chaired the Entomology Seminar Series and Picnic Day committees. In 2019, he received the Graduate Student Service Award from the Entomology Department. He was recently a Student Competition Judge for the International Society of Hymenopterists Meeting, and he is an active peer reviewer.
Candidate statement: ESA is the most important professional society of my career. As the ECP representative of the SysEB Section, I want to connect with and support other early career professionals; I believe it is my duty to ensure the success of others and the betterment of our community. Diversity is a critical component of robust communities, and the best way to ensure a broad range of backgrounds, experiences, and research interests is to follow through on the commitment to provide opportunity for the recognition and connection of students and ECPs. As the UC Davis EGSA president, I made all efforts to establish a channel of communication between students and faculty, which created greater responsiveness of both groups to unexpected and expected events. Being a recent graduate student, I am acutely aware of the pressures of the transition to ECP status, and I am ready to be called on to serve.
Bio: Patrick received his bachelor's degree from Cornell University in human biology and entomology, including research in social spider allometry. He then worked at the University of Michigan as a curatorial assistant focusing on beetles before beginning a Ph.D. at Harvard University in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. There his work focused on using genomics in the systematics and evolutionary ecology of flat-faced longhorned beetles with a focus on sawyer beetles. Patrick's current position is as a postdoc at Michigan State University in the Entomology Department, where his projects include building longhorned beetle identification tools, using museomics to expand phylogeny, and exploring the impact of plant feeding on phytophagous beetle speciation.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Patrick is dedicated to service and leadership. As an undergraduate at Cornell, he was recognized as a national leadership scholar and graduated with honors in leadership. Among his many commitments there, he served on the executive board of the Snodwiggs Undergraduate Entomology Club. While in Cambridge, Patrick served as president and executive board member of the Cambridge Entomological Club for six years. Beginning in 2016, as the treasurer of the Entomological Collections Network he has been a part of planning five annual meetings, has led a symposium, and is a co-PI on the current Entomological Collections Management Workshop NSF proposal in collaboration with the SysEB Section. In the ESA, Patrick has been a consistent contributor through talks and poster presentations in SysEB.
Candidate statement: As an early career member of the SysEB Section, I value Section policy that is fair and considers Section members at all levels of training. I will promote targeted programs in the Section for members that are job-seeking or have recently been hired, like a professional headshot salon. I would also like to include opportunities to be mentored by Section role models, recognize the efforts of ECP members, and bring ECP members together. Reminding the Section board of how ECP members are in a unique position that should be supported will be a priority. As a member of the ESA Early Career Professionals Committee, I promise to voice the unique needs of the SysEB Section's job seeking and early position members. As the SysEB ECP representative, I will promote the good of the Section while simultaneously developing opportunities for those beginning their careers.
Bio: Dr. Emily Sandall is a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Biodiversity and Global Change at Yale University, where she conducts research on global diversity and conservation of Odonata. In 2020, she earned her Ph.D. in entomology from Penn State, where she used specimen-based approaches to study odonate morphology, evolution, and ecology. While at Penn State, she was a curatorial assistant at the Frost Entomological Museum. She is interested in insect diversity, biodiversity data, public engagement with science, science policy, and natural history collections. She has been a part of six peer-reviewed papers, presented at ESA annually (aside from 2020 when she was moving to her postdoc), taught classes in entomology, and led a wide array of public outreach.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Sandall has been a member of ESA since 2015, and she has attended and presented at every Annual Meeting (aside from 2020). In 2018, with Chris Ernst, she co-organized a symposium at the Joint ESA, ESC, and ESBC Annual Meeting on ethics in entomology. She is presently a part of the social media team for the World Dragonfly Association, and she was the outreach coordinator for the Entomology Department of Penn State from 2017-2019. She was also the vice president of the Community Garden at Penn State from 2016-2017 and the president from 2017-2019. She has refereed manuscripts, mentored undergraduate and graduate students, curated entomological exhibits for a broad audience, and volunteered at other natural history-related events for a range of groups.
Candidate statement: In this position, I would like to help foster connection and communication for early career professionals and other trainees about the future opportunities in entomology and beyond. It can be isolating and challenging for ECPs to network and identify potential jobs and training for future positions. ECP entomologists can fit well in many careers and can have very different concerns from students and those in other more permanent positions. I would aim to help ensure their voices are heard and a part of decision-making in the SysEB Section and ESA. As the first in my family to attend college, I am also passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM since collaboration, connection, and progress can only be made through joining perspectives.
- Emily A. Carlson, Oregon State University
- Rowan French, University of Toronto
- Adam Haberski, Clemson University
- Shelby Kilpatrick, Pennsylvania State University
- Rebecca Jean A. Millena, AMNH Richard Gilder Graduate School
- Carrie Pratt, Oklahoma State University
- Amelia L. Smith, Purdue University
Bio: Emily joined Oregon State University in the Honey Bee and Pollinator Health Labs in 2019 as a Ph.D. student. She is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, USDA Future Leader (2020), and ESA Science Policy Fellow (2020-2022). Emily's research investigates the pesticide risk and forage overlap for honey bees and native bees in mass-blooming cover crops. Her research interests include: modeling pesticide exposure to the native bees of the Mid-Columbia region and understanding how remnant Garry Oak habitat functions to support pollinators in cherry production regions.
Emily holds a B.S. in biology from Gonzaga University (2014), served two terms with AmeriCorps in the Washington Conservation Corps (2014-2015), and then served as education specialist for a nonprofit nature preserve.
At home Emily has two cats and two tarantulas and enjoys kickboxing.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Emily is a member of the ESA Pacific Branch for both the SysEB and PBT sections and presented original research in the student section of the 2020 ESA Annual Meeting. In 2020, she joined the Science Policy Fellows and assists ESA with policy communication. Emily drafts sections of outside witness testimony sent to legislative staff, has met with Hill staff to discuss the goals of ESA and garner support for funding science institutions, and led a conversation with Senator Merkley's staff on entomology policy issues in Oregon.
Emily is passionate about mutual aid and is the Horticulture Department Union Steward for OSU's Coalition of Graduate Employees. In this role, she advocates for the needs of fellow students to CGE leadership and supports students by directing them to union resources, facilitating conversations, and organizing the department in support of union initiatives.
Candidate statement: I am passionate about mutual aid, stakeholder engagement, and communicating science to the wider public. If elected to this role, I would support the business of the Governing Council in organizing local and national meetings that further the continued education ESA members need to become leaders in their communities. My strong background in community organization will make me a great advocate for the students of this section.
I am passionate about finding opportunities for students to engage with entomology professionals in their fields and the technicians who will use their research in applied settings. Bridging the gap between academia and application is of critical importance and benefits both students and professionals by demonstrating the real-world impacts of research and connecting career opportunities to future graduates.
Bio: Rowan French is a Ph.D. student in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Toronto. Since grade school, she has been fascinated by insects—especially beetles—and as an undergraduate she worked on the population genetics of tortricid moths and tiger beetles. The latter project resulted in the description of a new subspecies, Cicindela formosa gaumeri French, Bell and Acorn.
Her current work focuses on the systematics and evolution of longhorn beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Specifically, she aims to integrate classical systematics with molecular phylogenetics, comparative biology, and sensory ecology to (1) clarify the evolutionary history of the tribe Trachyderini and (2) identify drivers and constraints of pheromone diversity and exaggerated male traits. These projects are supported by funding from an ESA SysEB student research travel award.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: French joined ESA as an undergraduate in 2018 and has since presented three talks or posters at Annual Meetings, including one poster that received a President's Prize. Her attendance at these meetings has connected her with an international community of curators, academics, and industry professionals, and the Society continues to play an essential role in her development as an entomologist and systematist.
In addition to her involvement with ESA, she is the co-chair of the Student and Early Professional Affairs Committee for the Entomological Society of Canada (ESC). As part of this role, she co-leads a committee of volunteers from across Canada and is responsible for co-organizing student events and a graduate student research showcase for ESC's annual meeting. Her committee is also developing a webinar series to connect with ESC members between meetings.
Candidate statement: ESA was the first international academic society I joined as an undergraduate. I was intimidated by the size of the Society at my first meeting in 2018, but I was also impressed by the warm welcome I received from SysEB members and by the quality and diversity of their research. If elected as the SysEB student representative, I would be excited to further engage undergraduates by connecting them with SysEB graduate student or postdoc mentors at and outside of Annual Meetings. This initiative could provide senior students with valuable mentorship opportunities, help recruit and maintain entomological enthusiasts, and broaden the diversity of our Society and field. I also look forward to actively communicating with the global SysEB student membership via webinars, social media, and other channels to determine how best to represent our Section's varied needs.
Bio: Adam Haberski is a non-traditional Ph.D. student at Clemson University. His research focuses on the biogeography of Appalachian rover beetles, to help understand how mountains shape biodiversity. He earned his master's degree at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he studied beetle communities across an elevational gradient in Denali National Park & Preserve. He also worked with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game to monitor aerial insect prey at nest sites of a declining songbird.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Adam has been a member of the SysEB Section since 2015 and is a member of the Pacific and Southeastern Branches. He has participated in national symposia and student poster competitions. In 2018, he received the SysEB Student Travel Award to attend a taxonomy workshop at Clemson, which eventually inspired his dissertation. He is currently the vice president of the Clemson Entomology Club and has served as president of the Alaskan Entomological Society and the UAF Biology Grad Student Association.
Candidate statement: I am excited by the opportunity to represent SysEB student members. As a non-traditional student, I understand firsthand that every student’s situation is unique, and each has individual needs. I will work to ensure all student members can fully participate in ESA and take advantage of its many opportunities. Some of my goals are to reduce financial barriers, encourage work-life balance (especially for students with families), and promote an inclusive community.
Bio: In 2017, Shelby Kilpatrick graduated with her B.S. in entomology and agricultural leadership development (double major) from Texas A&M University. Shelby is an entomology Ph.D. candidate at the Pennsylvania State University. As a fourth-year student in the Integrative Pollinator Ecology Graduate Training Program, she studies bee biodiversity and evolution and maintains broad interests within entomology. Shelby also has a strong commitment to furthering insect education. She recently earned Penn State's Graduate School Teaching Certificate and, in addition to organizing and volunteering at numerous outreach events, has created several extension resources to distribute the results of her research. Her most gratifying accomplishments to date include receiving 1st Place Awards for her ICE 2016 undergraduate oral presentation and ESA 2018 SysEB graduate poster.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Since joining ESA in 2014, Shelby has participated in Branch and national meetings annually, as a presenter, volunteer, symposia organizer, and Entomology Games competitor. As 2020-22 Student Affairs Committee (SAC) Eastern Branch (EB) representative and the 2021-22 Entomology Games Committee SAC representative, Shelby collaborates with members to plan and promote student activities and identify and implement solutions to student and ESA priorities. Previously, she served three years on the EB SAC, including as 2020-21 chair; responsibilities included managing student awards and coordinating student events. Shelby has been actively involved as a leader and volunteer in the International Society of Hymenopterists (2020-22 student representative), Entomological Collections Network, Texas A&M and Penn States' departmental entomology associations, and 4-H.
Candidate statement: I would be honored to serve as your SysEB Section Student Representative to the Governing Council! I view this position as a chance to give back to and grow the SysEB community. If elected, I will strive to ensure a smooth transition that sustains and builds on the outcomes of Sandra Schachat's work over four years in the position. As a new member of the SysEB team, I would also work to better understand student members' interests, and how SysEB can support them, by encouraging regular, open dialog. This broad perspective will allow me to effectively advocate for students on the Governing Council. I will bring my extensive experiences in ESA and SysEB, as well as responsibly representing students, to this position. I value integrity and am committed to advancing inclusive initiatives and opportunities that support students' diverse goals.
Bio: Rebecca (RJ) Millena is an entomology student who graduated from the University of California, Davis, in spring 2021. She minored in nematology and ecology, evolution, and biodiversity and conducted undergraduate research in the Rosenheim Lab from 2019-2021 through the University of California Leadership Excellence Through Advanced Degrees program. RJ was employed part-time throughout her college career as a lab assistant, during which she fulfilled orders for research-grade Drosophila media. RJ has presented her research—centered on the host-parasite relationship between Ammophila wasps and their Strepsipteran parasite Paraxenos lugubris—at several symposia and conferences. She will continue work on Strepsiptera as part of the comparative biology Ph.D. program at the American Museum of Natural History's Richard Gilder Graduate School in fall 2021.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: As a very new member of the ESA, RJ Millena is interested in becoming more involved in the organization and contributing her efforts to the network, resources, and opportunities that it has offered her. Her past relevant volunteer experience includes working on outreach efforts with the Bohart Museum of Entomology located on the University of California, Davis, campus. As a volunteer with the museum, RJ helped educate public museum tours on insect biodiversity or the general science of entomology and museum work. As a notable example, she has acted as an "insect zookeeper" during UC Davis Biodiversity Day, a free, educational event allowing the public to visit museums on the UC Davis campus and learn about organisms from around the globe.
Candidate statement: Though only having joined within the past year, I have enjoyed the extensive opportunities that the ESA has afforded me. The guidance and advice granted by more experienced members of ESA has inspired me to become more involved in the organization and stand alongside them. Becoming SysEB student representative would be an excellent opportunity to learn more about and integrate myself within the entomological community, and I believe that the position would also help me grow into someone who can effectively provide this same guidance from members of the ESA that has helped me so much. As a student who understands the current issues and needs of other students, I would also like to serve as student representative to ensure that my peers in the organization are listened to and accounted for.
Bio: Carrie Pratt completed an M.S. in entomology and plant pathology in May 2021 at Oklahoma State University, identifying the bacterial communities in carrion and burying beetle secretions. She currently oversees American burying beetle husbandry at OSU and is active in researching the effects of temperature and humidity on silphids. In August 2021 she will begin a doctoral program in microbiology, cell, and molecular biology at OSU, studying herbivore anaerobic gut fungi mycobiomes. In the past she has studied Lyme disease bacteria-host interactions in ticks and pollinator taxonomy, systematics, and microbiomics at the University of North Dakota. She is interested in research at the intersection of entomology and microbiology, particularly uncovering insect-associated microbiomes and understanding microbe-host interactions.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Pratt joined ESA in 2018 and has attended and presented at both in-person and virtual meetings at the national and Branch levels. In 2020 she received 1st place at the ESA Joint North Central & Southwestern Branch Virtual Student Poster Competition in the master's division. At Oklahoma State University she has served as treasurer on the Entomology and Plant Pathology Graduate Student Association and as team captain for one of OSU's Entomology Games teams. She is active at the university level presenting her research at OSU's Graduate College Three Minute Thesis Virtual Student Competition and receiving awards at OSU's Biochemistry and Molecular Biology GSA Virtual Research Symposium. This year she served as a judge in the bicrobiology and biochemistry category at the Oklahoma State Science and Engineering Fair. She looks forward to participating at a higher level within ESA.
Candidate statement: I'd be honored to serve as the SysEB Section student representative to the Governing Council. I am interested in helping to welcome student members to the organization and ensuring that they have a positive experience within the SysEB Section. At my first ESA conference I had a hard time opening up and meeting other members. I'd like to work on encouraging student members to get involved at meetings in order to facilitate new connections between members. If elected, I will bring my attention to detail, organization abilities, and commitment to excellence to the Governing Council. I am eager to volunteer for the society that has helped me to succeed as an entomologist and share my work with the community.
Bio: Amelia Smith is an entomology Ph.D. student under Dr. Aaron Smith at Purdue University. Her dissertation focuses on the systematics of the tribe/subtribe Diaperini/Diaperina (Coleoptera:Tenebrionidae:Diaperinae) as well as their gut microbiota and fungal host association. She is interested in beetles and their fungal host associations (particularly in Tenebrionidae) as well as general beetle phylogenetics and taxonomy. She earned her Master of Biology degree from Western Kentucky University with a focus in entomology.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Smith has been a member of ESA, the Coleopterists Society, and the Entomological Collections Network since 2017. She has presented her research both competitively and generally at past ESA meetingss, and she is currently serving as a student tepresentative for the Coleopterists Society. She actively participates in entomological education and volunteer opportunities whenever possible. She has volunteered at the Arizona Insect Festival in Tucson, Arizona, Science and Engineering Day at Northern Arizona University, and Purdue University Bug Bowl and served as a guest speaker for K-12 and college level courses. She is an active member of the Purdue University's Entomological Games team. She enjoys encouraging young people's participation in entomology, especially historically excluded groups, making entomology more diverse, equitable, and inclusive as she can.
Candidate statement: I am interested in becoming the SysEB student representative, and serving as a student representative of a smaller international society has prepared me for this role. If elected I aim to support and promote DEI efforts. I intend to do my best to pass the feelings, needs, and opinions of our students to the board for better representation. Academia, entomology included, is a field enriched by the representation of others and by strengthening our students (academically, emotionally, and professionally) outside of traditional productivity foci. I believe we can only better our society by truly changing how we listen to our students as well as how we listen to our historically excluded colleagues. I will defend historically excluded groups, and I will leave my door open for our growth as a Society as a whole. Insects are diverse, we need to support that diversity in all ways possible.
Bio: Dr. Ryan Gott earned his B.S. in biology at Purdue University and his Ph.D. in entomology at the University of Maryland. Since then he has worked professionally in integrated pest management and plant health care, serving previously as the associate director of IPM at Phipps Conservatory, a nonprofit botanical garden in Pittsburgh, and currently as the IPM and quality control specialist at Maitri Genetics, a medical marijuana grower also in Pittsburgh. Dr. Gott is interested in plant health care, IPM, sustainable landscaping, and education. He has taught many courses for adults and children on these topics, given public presentations and media interviews, led nature tours, run insect and native plant landscaping-focused social media, and is part of the "Nature Check" virtual science communication project, all in the name of advocating for entomology.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: As a student Dr. Gott served on the Eastern Branch (EB) Student Affairs Committee and as the vice-president/president of the University of Maryland Entomology Graduate Student Organization. More recently he finished two years of service as vice-chair/chair of the EB Early Career Professionals Committee. Over his nine years in ESA, he has actively attended, presented in, and organized sessions and workshops at national and branch ESA conferences. He was part of ESA's Innovation Day in the summer of 2019, served on its Innovation Taskforce, and has participated in the non-academic career track initiative working group as well as the new Science Communication Award committee. Dr. Gott is also a member of the 2019 class of ESA Science Policy Fellows. Outside ESA he serves on his town's human relations commission, which acts to promote equity and justice for all town residents.
Candidate statement: If elected I will represent the newer generations of Eastern Branch entomologists and the unique issues we face. Identifying which of these struggles ESA could help with and how would be a major goal in this position. As an "alternative" entomologist who has worked in non-traditional areas, I have long been a vocal advocate for representation and inclusion of all entomological career paths and education levels within all aspects of ESA. I would advocate for ESA to continue the good work already being done on this front, and it would be an honor to join the ranks of the outstanding non-traditional entomologists who have served before me. Finally, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I also hope to contribute to the leadership ESA has undertaken on issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice.
Bio: Dr. Don Weber grew up in northern Virginia, received his B.A. at Williams College and M.S. in entomology at the University of California, Berkeley, with research on cole crop pests, and pursued his interest in fruit and vegetable IPM. Don's University of Massachusetts Ph.D. work researched biology and dispersal of Colorado potato beetle. After a stint at ETH Zurich, Don joined Ocean Spray Cranberries, where his research developed environmentally friendly IPM strategies for all growing regions. In 2002, he joined the Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory of the USDA-ARS in Beltsville, Maryland, as research entomologist and lead scientist, contributing to sustainable IPM tactics such as natural enemies and pheromones for major vegetable pests. He is author of 75+ refereed publications and eight book chapters, and coauthor of a recent biography of C. V. Riley.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Active with ESA and the Eastern Branch (EB), Don has organized 12+ symposia at ESA meetings, judging 20+ student paper/poster competitions. He was EB president (2017-18); chair of the EB Nominations, Awards, and Graduate Student committees; and twice EB representative and chair of the ESA national Awards Committee and is current EB representative to the ESA Science Policy Committee. He was 2020 recipient of the EB Herb Streu Meritorious Service Award. Don was president of the International Organization for Biological Control's Nearctic Regional Section (2015-16) and is its current vice president. He was also chair of the Northeast SARE Administrative Council (2013-18), and served on grants panels including NIFA, AAFC Canada, and USAID. He was recipient of the USDA-ARS NE Area's Outreach, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity Supervisory Award (2015).
Candidate statement: I hope to faithfully represent the Eastern Branch on the Governing Board and actively solicit your input on how best to do so. ESA has made tremendous progress in recent years serving members in an efficient, inclusive, and financially stable manner. Tracy Leskey has represented us well, both for ESA and for our Branch. We will have continuing challenges though, which will include:
- assuring vitality and self-determination of the branches, in balance with sections
- continuing to welcome and promote diversity and meaningfulness for all members
- getting the most from our various publications and outlets, for ESA and all its members
- optimizing our meetings to support member needs and preferences post-pandemic.
This list is never complete. I want to know what are your priorities for your society! I am ready and willing to promote the priorities of all Eastern Branch members.
- Joan van Baaren, Université de Rennes I
- Sevgan Subramanian, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology
Bio: Dr. Joan van Baaren did her Ph.D. on host-parasitoid interactions at Université de Rennes I (1994), followed by a postdoc with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. She started as an assistant professor at Université de Rennes I in 1996, working on social evolution in cockroaches for 10 years. She then went back to host-parasitoid interactions, with an integrative approach from the evolution of life-history traits to the functioning of agro-ecosystems in an international context. She is currently head of the Ecosystems, Biodversity, and Evolution unit in her faculty (150 members).
She has supervised 42 master students and 12 Ph.D.s and six postdocs, and she managed or was involved in 14 funded projects for a total of 3 million euros. She published 105 peer-reviewed papers, six book chapters, and presented more than 100 communications or posters and 21 invited conferences.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr Joan van Baaren is a member of the ESA International Branch and the French Society of Ecology and Evolution. She has been involved, in different roles, in organizing committees for 12 scientific meetings and conferences, including the ENTOMO2021 conference that will take place in November 2021 in France. She also organized several symposia for international conferences, including ICE 2020 (postponed to 2022) and the Second International Congress of Biological Control (ICBC2) in Switzerland in 2021. She or her students regularly participate and present at ESA, subject to funding. Dr. van Baaren is also associate editor for the journal CABI Agriculture and Bioscience and is a member of the French National Ecophyto Research and Innovation Committee.
Candidate statement: I have a large experience in different volunteering positions since the beginning of my career, both in research and teaching, but also in outreach. If elected, I would like to help develop the interest for international collaborations on insect research among young researchers all over the world, collaborations that could be facilitated through the annual ESA International Branch Virtual Symposium. Indeed, the broad decline of many insect populations around the world, accompanied by the opposite expansion of insect pests or disease vectors, requires the development of interdisciplinary knowledge and collaborations between all sciences related to entomology, and I believe that the International Branch of the ESA is a good forum to promote this kind of research.
Bio: Dr. Sevgan Subramanian, principal scientist and head of Environmental Health Theme, at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe ), has over 17 years of insect research for development (R4D) experience in Asia and Africa. He holds holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in agricultural entomology from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India. His key R4D focuses are in the areas of integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for staple and horticultural crops, biopesticides, climate change adaptation, and insects for food and feed. He has more than 150 publications, with over 109 peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals. Dr. Subramanian has contributed extensively to building African research capacity in IPM, climate change, and edible insects and guided four postdoc, 12 Ph.D. and eight M.S. scholars.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Sevgan Subramanian has been an active member of ESA since 2012. He contributes to the review of manuscripts in the Journal of Economic Entomology among the ESA journals. In 2019, Dr. Subramanian presented a plenary talk on "Development and Implementation of Biocontrol-based Integrated Pest Management in Africa – Challenges and opportunities" in ESA's International Branch Symposium. He serves as associate editor in the International Journal for Tropical Insect Science and serves as reviewer for more than 20 journals and USAID-HortCRSP project proposals. He serves in the regional steering group in Africa of the Global Action for Fall Armyworm Control. He is also a member of the Kenyan Multi-Institutional Technical Team for invasive species.
Candidate statement: Ending hunger by 2030 is a major target, and achieving it is only possible through sustainable increases in crop and livestock productivity of Africa. Sustainable management of major insect pests and harnessing of insect-based ecosystem services are key requisites to improving productivity and livelihoods in Africa. Effective linkages between entomologists from Africa with the global insect research community, is indispensable in this journey. As president of the International Branch of Entomological Society of America, I will be a voice for entomologists of Africa and other developing regions, improve their participation in international platforms such as ESA, and strengthen their linkages with the global entomology fraternity.
Centre de Recherche sur les Grains
Bio: Dr. Julien Saguez completed his Ph.D. in 2007 (Université de Picardie Jules Verne, France). His thesis focused on chitinases to manage aphids. From 2008 to 2015, he joined Dr. Charles Vincent's laboratory (Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu). He worked on the biodiversity and feeding behaviour of leafhoppers transmitting phytoplasmas on grapevine. Since 2015, he has worked for CÉROM, Centre de Recherche sur les Grains, (Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil, Canada) and conducts projects on field crop pests in a context of climate change and biosurveillance. He is involved in the provincial Pest Monitoring Network. He has authored or co-authored 24 peer-reviewed publications and six book chapters. Since 2008, Julien has initiated more than 4,500 students to entomology, visiting schools.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Julien is a member of three entomological societies: Société d'entomologie du Québec (SEQ), Entomological Society of Canada (ESC), and ESA (Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section, Eastern and International Branches). From 2014 to 2017, Julien was member of the executive committee of the SEQ (president in 2015-2016). In 2015, he was involved in the organizing committee of the ESC-SEQ Joint Annual Meeting. In 2016, at the International Congress of Entomology, he co-chaired a symposium and, in 2018, he co-organized a symposium for the ESA, ESC, and ESBC Joint Annual Meeting. He has co-chaired several sessions of the International Branch virtual meeting from 2019 to 2021. Since 2018, he has served on the ESA Governing Board, representing the International Branch, and on several committees. He is also reviewer for ESA journals.
Candidate statement: During the three last years, I had the honor and the privilege to serve on the ESA Governing Board, representing the International Branch. I really appreciate my functions that give me the chance to represent all the international community and to meet extraordinary and enthusiastic people. I am involved in the Leadership Development committee and we are working on different tools to encourage volunteering. I am also involved in a focus group regarding ESA Branches. I would greatly appreciate to continue to be involved in these groups to promote the richness, the diversity, and the importance of the international community for and in ESA. I will also continue to support the activities of the International Branch.
University of Sydney
Bio: Dr. Isobel Ronai's research interests are in ticks and tick-borne diseases. She was awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship at Columbia University (U.S.) to work on the genetic basis of host-seeking behavior of the blacklegged tick. Her award-winning Ph.D. from the University of Sydney (Australia) advanced mechanistic understanding of worker sterility in social insects.
The impact of her research has been recognized with three ESA awards: 2017 John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Award (International Branch), 2017 Lillian and Alex Feir Graduate Student Award, and 2016 Graduate Student Award (International Branch). In addition, she has been awarded the 2018 Jabez King Heydon Memorial Prize for the most meritorious biological sciences Ph.D. thesis by the University of Sydney and the 2016 Phil Carne Prize by the Australian Entomological Society.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Ronai has been actively involved in ESA since 2016, when the Society supported her attendance at the XXV International Congress of Entomology. Over the past four years she has helped organize two program symposia at the ESA Annual Meeting, three International Branch Virtual Symposia and two R workshops for ESA's early career professionals.
Dr. Ronai served as the inaugural International Branch representative on the Early Career Professionals Committee of ESA (2016–2018) and was selected to be on the Presidential Committee on Awards and Honors Canvassing of ESA (2020–2021), which supports the nomination of diverse candidates. Since 2018 Dr. Ronai has served as the elected early career professional representative for the International Branch and is seeking re-election.
Candidate statement: Early career professionals (ECPs) are at a critical juncture in their professional development and often lack support. I will foster the development of ESA activities that allow ECPs to develop their knowledge and advance their skills.
During my service for ESA I have striven for the needs of ECPs to have better representation in the Society. I have pushed for ECPs to have a dedicated seat on ESA's Governing Board since 2018 (being put to a member vote in 2021) and made amendments to the International Branch Bylaws to add an ECP representative to its Governing Board (branch members approved in 2018). In addition, I have ensured ECPs have been invited as a plenary speaker for the three International Branch Virtual Symposium sessions I have organized. As the International Branch ECP representative I will always make sure that ECPs, no matter their location in the world, have a voice.
Bio: Dr. Jesus F. Esquivel is incumbent Southwestern Branch (SWB) representative to the ESA Governing Board. He obtained his B.S. (agricultural education) and M.S. (general agriculture) from Tarleton State University, and his Ph.D. (entomology) from Texas A&M University. He is a research entomologist with the Insect Control & Cotton Disease Research Unit, USDA-ARS, in College Station, Texas. He has been an ESA member for 28 years, within the current Plant-Insect Ecosystems (P-IE) Section. His interests include hemipteran feeding mechanics and pathogen/plant interactions. Accomplishments include development of a mathematical model to estimate hemipteran stylet penetration potential, improved understanding of feeding mechanics and stylet morphology, and identified pentatomids as vectors of recent invasive bacterial and fungal pathogens of cotton.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Esquivel has extensive ESA leadership service: Governing Board Southwestern Branch (SWB) representative; SWB past-president (2014), president (2013), vice president (2012), and secretary-treasurer (2011); Annual Meeting Program Committee co-chair (program, 2016; poster, 2017; student competition, 2015); P-IE Section representative on the ESA Awards & Honors Committee (2011-14); and chair and member of numerous SWB committees including Awards & Honors, Entomology Games, Membership, Nominations, Program, and Site Selection. He also served on the 2016 International Congress of Entomology Organizing Committee and is a Society of Southwestern Entomologists member (28 years), serving as president-elect (2009), president (2010), and past-president (2011) and Editorial Committee member (2009-2021) for the flagship journal Southwestern Entomologist.
Candidate statement: As the incumbent, my interests include continued engagement of, and voice to, the Governing Board on behalf of the SWB membership and providing governance counsel as liaison to assigned ESA Committees. My vision includes improved transparency on the governance process and enhanced Branch representation and inclusivity at higher leadership offices of the ESA. I feel I have provided sound, practical logic to the Governing Board and will continue to do so on behalf of the SWB and the general membership. Through my leadership experiences at the Branch, Section, and international levels, I feel that I have developed an improved understanding of ESA processes and governance that will enable me to continue representing the Southwestern Branch.
Bio: Tracey Payton (she/her) has a B.S. in horticulture (entomology minor), M.S. in entomology, and Ph.D. in entomology, all from Oklahoma State University. Her research interests include greenhouse and field production of horticultural crops and biological control of horticultural insects. She has worked for the Cimarron Valley Research Station as a research technician, Bluebird Nursery as supervisor of propagation and cuttings, and the USDA-ARS Insect Genetics Laboratory as a biological science technician/graduate student and served 10 years as a horticulturalist for Oklahoma Cooperative Extension.
Dr. Payton is now the crop and soil science program leader, assistant professor of horticulture, and chair of the Industrial Hemp Committee at Langston University. She is involved in the Horticulture Industry Show, the Oklahoma Nursery and Landscape Association.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service:
- ESA member (16 years)
- Entomology Games competitor (2015-2018)
- Southwestern Branch representative, Early Career Professionals Committee (2019-2021)
- Entomology and Outreach Committee (2012-current)
- Oklahoma Nursery and Landscape Association (2008-current)
- Horticulture Industries Show, member (2008-current), incoming president (2022)
- Insect Expo volunteer (2009-present)
- Gamma Sigma Delta, Oklahoma State University Chapter
- Pi Alpha Xi, member and past president, Oklahoma State University Chapter
- Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program, Class XVI
- HORTECUS study abroad program and internship (2003)
- Oklahoma State University Floriculture Crop Judging and Design Team, member and assistant coach (2001-2002)
Candidate statement: I have served as the SWB ECP representative for three years and believe I am a good candidate to transfer to the Governing Board representative position for our Branch. I have been active at the Branch level since I joined ESA in 2005. In this time, I have been on several committees; attended most, if not all, of the ESA Annual and Branch Meetings; and been an active presenter, symposium organizer, and volunteer. Over the years, I have honed my communication skills to be an informative, yet succinct, contributor. I'm also well versed in Robert's Rules of Order. If elected, I would document Governing Board meeting details to contribute to SWB board meetings. In addition, I believe I am a worthy representative to convey the needs of the Branch to the association. I feel that our Branch may be small, but we are mighty. I would relish the chance to work at both the Society and Branch level.