Congratulations and welcome to the incoming officers of the Pacific Branch!
Congratulations to the members of the Pacific Branch recently elected to volunteer positions beginning in April 2023. The electronic ballot period for branch members began January 9, and was completed February 8, 2023. The branch members also voted to approve the proposed changes to their branch constitution and bylaws.
Pacific Branch President-Elect
Silvia I. Rondon
Oregon State University
Bio: Dr. Rondon is the Oregon State University Integrated Pest Management Center Director, and a Professor and Extension Entomology Specialist. She received her BA and MS in Entomology at the Agraria University in Perú, and a Ph.D. in Crop Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2002, she was a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Florida joining OSU in 2005. Her position at OSU includes Research, Extension, and Administration while managing her program relying on external funding managing over $12 million in private, state, and federal grants. Her area of expertise is IPM with an emphasis on insect ecology, distribution, population dynamic, plant interactions, and pest control. She has over 123 peer-reviewed scientific and extension papers, book chapters, and non-peer-reviewed publications. She is passionate about DEI activities.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Rondon has been an ESA member since 1996 starting as a student and then as a professional since 2001. She has served as a judge in multiple occasions (poster and oral presentations), she has organized symposiums at the branch and national level, she has also organized or co-organized the Pacific Northwest Branch Mixer for at least the last 10 years. She organized the first Hispanic/Latin Symposium now on its 10th year. She has been invited as key note speaker for the Hispanic/Latin Symposium in 2022. She is passionate about DEIJ and has served as a member of the ESA DEI group for the last couple of years. She is current part of a sub-committee organizing articles for American Entomologist "Entomology for ALL". She is a senior editor of Environmental Entomology and subject editor of Journal of Economic Entomology. She has won several ESA awards most notably the National IPM Extension Award.
Candidate statement: I have been part of the ESA community since 1996. After almost 26 years, I feel it is time to step up to provide leadership and to contribute to our society. I am proud of our society, especially during the last 5-7 years, where we are willing to face difficult conversations and to do something about the lack of inclusiveness that our society was facing. I think that as a professional group, we are now more welcoming and we are able to reach to a much wider audience. if selected, my vision is to continue to promote trust and create a safe environment where all feel a sense of belonging and ownership of our mission. I would like to foster and create opportunities for engaging and bringing more people to the table.
Pacific Branch Member-at-Large
Department of Entomology, University of California Riverside
Bio: Dr. Choe received his BS in Agricultural Biology at Korea University in 2002. He earned a MS and Ph.D. in entomology at the University of California Riverside in 2005 and 2009, respectively. He is currently an Associate Professor and Associate CE Specialist at the University of California, Riverside. His major area of research and extension activities deal with urban entomology. In recognition of his research, he received the Pacific Branch ESA Medical, Urban and Veterinary Entomology Award in 2020. Dr. Choe organizes two large extension conferences in California to train structural pest control operators.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: He is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Economic Entomology. He has organized conferences at Branch meetings. His students regularly attend and present papers at the Branch and National Meetings. He is a frequent contributor to the UC IPM Pest Notes. He is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Economic Entomology. He and his students regularly attend and present papers at the Branch and National Meetings. He has been an active participant and member of the National Urban Entomology Conference.
Candidate statement: As an Associate Cooperative Extension Specialist / Associated Professor in Urban / Structural Entomology, I would like to serve in this volunteer position (member-at-large) to increase the presence of “entomology in urban environments” within the PB ESA. According to the US Census Bureau, the Pacific division (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington) is among the most urbanized areas in the US, with nearly 92% of its population residing within urban areas. In these urban environments, various insect / arthropod species (and some are invasive) impact economical and health aspects of human life, and their control / management strategies require unique environmental and biological considerations. I believe my serving in this role will help to improve the diversity and inclusivity of the Pacific Branch’s Executive Committee.
University of Saskatchewan
Bio: Berenice is from Argentina, where she obtained her degree in Biology at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). She is currently a PhD candidate at the Prager Lab in the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Her research is focused on the interactions between bacterial pathogens, plants, and insect vectors. Her primary research system is Aster Yellows phytoplasma and the Aster leafhopper (Macrosteles quadrilineatus). Her work examines multiple plant and crop species including: canola, wheat, and barley, various wild asters, and the model plant Arabidopsis. In addition to being a member of the Entomological Society of America, she is an active member of the Entomological Societies Canada and Saskatchewan, where she is also involved in committees including the Student and Early Professional Affairs Committee (SEPAC) and the ESC Communications Committee.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Berenice has been a member of ESA for a few years and participated in the organization of the 2022 Pacific Branch Meeting in Santa Rosa, California. She is also an active member of the Entomological Societies Canada and Saskatchewan, where she is also involved in committees including the Student and Early Professional Affairs Committee (SEPAC) and the ESC Communications Committee.
Candidate statement: Since I started my MSc program at the University of Saskatchewan, I was encouraged to participate and engage with fellow entomologists from the province and other parts of Canada by attending the Societies' Meetings and sitting on several of their committees. Over time, I realized how important these committees and volunteering positions were for bringing together entomogists and the general public, and how rewarding it was to be able to work on that network in and outside academia. If I were elected, I would help fellow teammates if they wanted to pursue a new idea to be implemented within the Branch, I would propose new initiatives to get members more involved within the Branch, and I would bring some expertise from my years serving in committees within ESC and ESS.
Pacific Branch Secretary-Treasurer
Bio: Dr. Fisher received his Ph.D. in Entomology from Virginia Tech, where he studied the diversity of the Isopteran gut microflora. His academic interests also included work on inter- and intra-colony social behavior in termites. Upon joining Corteva (formally Dow AgroSciences), Dr. Fisher has served in various capacities, including as Field Scientist, Fresno Research Center Leader, Global Technical Education Leader, and Global Biology Characterization Leader. He is currently the Western Crop Field Science Leader for Corteva, living out his passion for developing and delivering crop protection tools to support our Western U.S. agricultural industry. Dr. Fisher is currently serving as a section representative to the National ESA Finance Committee.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: An ESA member since 2000, Dr. Fisher has served in numerous National, Branch, and Section leadership positions for ESA. At the national level, he is currently on the Finance Committee, and has served on the American Entomologist Editorial Board (member and chair), Awards Committee, Advisory Restructuring Committee, Student Affairs Committee (member and chair), Education and Youth Committee, and National Meeting Program Committee. At the branch and section level, Dr. Fisher has served as a Section F Program Committee member, branch Student Affairs Committee member, and section Awards Nomination Committee member. He has led the development of multiple successful symposia at the national and branch level, and he serves each year as a student competition judge, valuing the investment in the next generation of entomologists.
Candidate statement: During my 20 years as a member of ESA, I have enjoyed serving beside great women and men who value the impact and influence ESA has on broader society. These individuals have recognized that amongst all the biological science societies, ESA is unique in its ability to impact society’s view of science and its role in informing public discourse. I am passionate about that mission, and I wish to continue to serve beside my ESA colleagues in supporting that mission, specifically within the Pacific Branch. I feel my corporate/business experience paired with my ESA experience and highly organized leadership style will make me an effective Secretary/Treasurer. I would work to relieve the administrative burden of our branch leadership, allowing them to focus on more critical activities in support of the ESA mission.