Entomology Graduate Student Association

The Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) is open to any person affiliated with NC State University who has an interest in entomological endeavors. Our objectives are to organize seminars, meetings, field trips and other functions of interest to EGSA members. Contact us at: entomology_gsa@ncsu.edu.

Marissa Cole: President 
Marissa is a PhD student in the Mikaelyan Lab, studying the interactions between termite diet, gut and fecal microbiomes, and social behavior, and is interested in using insects as sustainable food and feed. Marissa was born and raised in the Triangle, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Meredith College, and an Associate in Science from Wake Technical Community College, both in Raleigh, North Carolina. She enjoys sharing her love of entomology with people of all ages and backgrounds by being involved in the community both on- and off-campus through participating in EGSA, outreach events, and volunteering at local museums.


Ezra Bailey: Vice President
Ezra is a Ph.D. student in the Mikaelyan and Wiegmann labs exploring how the microbiome of Calliphoridae influences their evolution, trophic specialization, and phylosymbiosis. Additionally, she studies the temporal and spatial roles that microbiome structure have in the pollen provisions of Xylocopa. She earned her B.A. in Biology and Minor in Entomology at North Carolina State University in 2021 while working as an undergraduate researcher. If she’s not working with blow flies or carpenter bees, Ezra spends her time in nature, reading, drinking tea, drawing, and with her cat.


Melbert SchwarzMelbert Schwarz: Treasurer
Melbert is a PhD student in the Mikaelyan Lab. He grew up just outside of DC in northern Virginia and has also lived in Florida and Quebec. His research questions are focused on better understanding the influence of microorganisms on the biology of their host and incorporating existing ecological theory into the world of microbes. He enjoys hiking, fishing, rugby, brewing, listening to music, playing bass, stroking his beard thoughtfully, and just generally rocking out


Lindsey Christianson: Secretary


Sophia CopemanSophia Copeman: Fundraising Chair
Sophia is a Ph.D. student in Dr. Steve Frank’s lab studying the European pepper moth, which is an invasive pest in nurseries and greenhouses. She graduated from NCSU with a B.S. in Zoology. Her passion for entomology led her to seek out positions in the department, where she worked or volunteered during her entire undergraduate career. In her free time, she enjoys making art, playing video games, or exploring local thrift stores.


Abby RatcliffAbby Ratcliff: Outreach Coordinator
I am a Forestry-Entomology co-major pursuing a Master of Science in Dr. Kelly Oten’s Forest Health Lab. I am researching alternative eradication methods for the Asian longhorned beetle in the Charleston, SC federal quarantine. When I’m not hunting invasive beetles, I like making overly complicated dinners and spending too much time wandering through local art markets.


Zachary EversonZachary Everson: Outreach Coordinator/Insect Collection Curator
I’m a MS student in Steve Frank’s lab focusing on greenhouse pests on ornamental plants. I’m interested in creating repeatable procedures that growers can use to reduce pesticide use and lessen negative effects on beneficial insects by combining biocontrols with traditional chemistries. I love plants and animals, but also enjoy listening to/writing music and playing board or video games.


DayvionDayvion Adams: Seminar Co-Chair
I’m a PhD student in the Dr. Michael Reiskind lab studying tick and disease ecology on mammals in nature. My background is in arthropod vector ecology having worked with Mosquitoes during my masters degree. My goal is to become an academic professor who conducts high impact research on arthropod vectors while simultaneously educating our next generation of scientists and leaders on topics of public health. For fun, I love to play video games, hang out with friends, eat good food, and sing karaoke! Despacito is my go-to karaoke song. If you see me around, feel free to say hi!


Taynara PossebomTaynara Possebom: Social Co-Chair and Seminar Co-Chair
Tay is a M.S. student at Dr. Dominic Reisig’s lab. She is studying Helicoverpa zea (corn earworm) in soybeans. She graduated with her B.S. in Agronomy from Brazil. During her undergrad, she had the opportunity to work in different areas such as seed process, integrated crop-livestock forest system (ICLFS), and entomology. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities (biking, kayaking, hiking) and travel.


Chris Hayes: Social Co-Chair
Hello! My name is Chris Hayes, and I am a PhD. student in the Schal urban entomology lab here at NC State. I am interested in understudied topics at the intersection of global health and entomology. Currently my research is focused on the impacts of long lasting pyrethroid-treated bed nets, a critical tool in vector control, on non-target pest species; namely, the bed bug. Outside of my research, I love to spend time with my partner, our two dogs, reading, watching anime, hiking, gaming, and a host of other activities that easily capture my attention!


For current information about EGSA’s outreach and activities, please visit our website