Aaron Ashbrook – Postdoc (Mikaelyan and Schal Labs)
My current research focuses on screening entomopathogens against bed bugs, German cockroaches, and termites as alternative control options.
Julian Bello – Postdoc (Ristaino Lab)
Sean Bloszies – Postdoc (Hu Lab)
I am studying how chemical and biological properties (for example, pH, microbial biomass, and mineralizable carbon) as well as soil community structure (for example, abundance of certain soil nitrogen cycling genes) drive soil nitrous oxide production and whether these properties differ between organic and conventional farms.
Hongyu Chen – Postdoc (Rasmussen Lab)
Cesar Xavier – Postdoc (Whitfield Lab)
Seth Dorman – Postdoc (Huseth Lab)
As a postdoctoral researcher, Seth is studying environmental drivers of lepidopteran and hemipteran pests in field crop systems using geospatial analyses.
Seth Ellis – Research Technician (Villani Lab)
Beetle husband and culture specialist.
Josefina Fernandez Moreno – Postdoc (Baars Lab)
Gabe Zilnik – Postdoc (Burrack Lab)
I work on the application of artificial intelligence machine learning to agro-ecological land systems.
Ari Grode – Research Assistant (Gorny Lab)
I am a Research Assistant working on understanding and managing economically relevant, plant parasitic nematodes in North Carolina agriculture.
Fangfang Guo – Postdoc (Rasmussen Lab)
I am developing new recombination-aware phylogeographic and population genomic approaches to track the spread of agricultural pathogens.
Janetta Hakovirta – Postdoc (Fagen Lab)
Using CRISPR and phage as tools to combat plant pathogens and engineer microbial communities.
Surapathrudu Kanakala – Postdoc (Whitfield Lab)
I am currently modifying plant viruses as an effective tool for functional analysis of genes in plants and insect vectors.
Ying-Yu Liao – Postdoc (Huerta Lab)
I am currently a postdoctoral research scientist in the Huerta lab. My research projects are focused on management of endemic and emerging bacterial diseases of Capsicum by plant resistance, novel compounds, and understanding pathogen diversity.
Liliana Pimentel – Research Specialist (Burrack Lab)
At the USDA I provide technical support to IPM, biological control, and sterile insect research programs and maintains high quality host plants to support scientific research. I graduated with an M.A. in Biological Sciences where I studied harvester ant ecology and I am looking into pursuing a PhD in entomology.
Nicholas Pistacchio – Research Technician (Scott Lab)
I completed my undergraduate degree at Appalachian State University, and I currently work as a lab technician in the Scott lab at NC State University.
Thomas Ingram – Postdoc (Louws Lab)
Host resistance and Fungal Genomics
Jim White – IT Analyst and Programmer (Carbone Lab)
I am a programmer and make dna analysis tools available on the internet.
Marissa Cole – MS (Mikaelyan Lab)
I am a Master’s student studying the behavior, gut microbiome, and nutritional value of wood-feeding termites.
Rocio Davila – MS (Burrack Lab)
Chris Hayes – PhD (Schal Lab)
I am a recent Duke Global Health Institute graduate where my research focused on malaria vector identification in Myanmar, and I will now be working on pyrethroid resistance in bed bugs.
Melissa Pulkoski – MS (Burrack Lab)
I am working with Dr. Hannah Burrack to investigate plant-insect interactions to aid in the development of an IPM for Industrial Hemp.
Jessica Vigna – MR (Sorenson Lab)
I am excited to be pursuing my Master’s in Entomology at NCSU, after earning my Bachelor’s in Agronomy 13 years ago!
Plant Pathology Students
Johnny Balidion – PhD (Cubeta Lab)
I am a Fulbright fellow from the Philippines pursuing a doctoral degree in Plant Pathology with a research interest in latent fungal endophytes of woody plants and their interaction with water stress and host plant development.
Amanda Mainello – PhD (Ristaino Lab)
I’m excited to switch gears from my Master’s and research how to develop sensors for detecting Phytophthora spp. on nursery crops.
Inga Meadows – PhD (Ristaino Lab)
I help the commercial tomato, other vegetable, and herbaceous ornamental growers in North Carolina manage their plant diseases through outreach and applied research.
Peter Oppenheimer – PhD (Cowger Lab)
I am a Cornell Graduate and will be researching the spread of Fusarium and emerging mycotoxins.
Ashley Philbrick – MS (Louws Lab)
I’m excited to be a part of Dr. Frank Louws’ lab, working with an economically important species of root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne enterolobii.
Sydney Crawley – Assistant Professor
I specialize in manipulation and exploration of insect behavior and biology for improvement of integrated pest management strategies.
Jennie Fagen – Senior Research Scholar