Candidates for the Southwestern Branch Election

Elections will be held by electronic ballot and voting will open January 11, 2021 and close February 10, 2021 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time US. For additional information on voting, please refer to the ESA voting instructions

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Secretary-Elect Candidates

Kimberly Engler attended Texas A&M University in College Station, where she earned a B.A. in Biology and an M.S. in Entomology with an emphasis on Urban and Structural Entomology. In 2004, she began her career at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas as an Extension Program Specialist for Urban IPM. There her main research focus was on the red imported fire ant, but she also studied other landscape and ornamental insect pests such as thrips, grub worms and Florida Wax scales. In July of 2011, Kim decided to leave Texas AgriLife Extension in order to move closer to her family in New Braunfels. She gladly accepted the Bed Bug Manager position with ABC Home and Commercial Services in San Antonio. Since 2017, her role at ABC Home and Commercial Services has changed to educational coordinator with an emphasis on training all new pest and lawn technicians. She is enjoying her challenging role at ABC since she is able to work closely with the pest control specialists and customers, all while reducing the number of urban pests in central and south Texas.

Dr. Suhas Vyavhare is an Assistant Professor and Extension Entomologist with Texas A&M University (TAMU). He has a Ph.D. in entomology from TAMU and MS in Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences from West Texas A&M University (WTAMU). He has over 10 years of experience in IPM and has been working with economically important arthropod pests of various field crops throughout his career. He has authored/co-authored >30 scientific and extension publications. Dr. Vyavhare’s extension entomology program focuses on planning, developing, and executing extension education programs and applied research that primarily addresses insect pest issues of cotton in the Texas High Plains region. He has been a member of the Southwestern Branch and ESA for 10 years. His service to these societies has been through serving on various committees and participating in various activities at annual meetings. As a graduate student, he actively participated in Linnaean games and student debate competitions representing TAMU and WTAMU. He has organized several symposia at the annual meetings of ESA and SWBESA. He has reviewed many journal articles for the ESA publications over the years and actively publishes his research in ESA journals and the Southwestern Entomologist. Dr. Vyavhare would be honored to serve as the Secretary-Elect with the Southwestern Branch of ESA.

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

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

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

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