Two Grad Students Receive TAMU Dissertation Fellowship

Carrie Deans. Submitted Photo

Carrie Deans. Submitted Photo

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—The continuing dedication and hard work of our graduate students paid off again as Ph.D. candidates Meaghan Pimsler and Carrie Deans received the Dissertation Fellowship from the Texas A&M Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Both Deans and Pimsler are doctoral candidates in Entomology. Deans is co-advised by Drs. Spence Behmer and Gregory Sword and Pimsler is co-advised by Drs. Jeff Tomberlin and Aaron Tarone.

Deans’ proposed dissertation title is “The Interaction between Nutrition and Stress in Insects.” Some of the topics covered include characterizing the variability of resource quality for insects in cotton, exploring the different ratios and total amounts of dietary protein and carbohydrates affect the cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa zea) and Western tarnished bugs (Lygus Hesperus). She also is investigating how variability in nutrition impacts susceptibility to Cry1Ac endotoxins found in bollworms and how diet and Cry endotoxins impact gene expression.

Meaghan Pimsler. Photo by Rob Williams.

Meaghan Pimsler. Photo by Rob Williams.

Pimsler’s proposed title is “A Functional Genetic Study of the Behavioral Ecology of Chrysomya rufifacies (Diptera:Calliphoridae); Potential for sexual conflict in immature insects.” Her goal is to identify the genetic mechanisms that affect sex determination, development in Chrysomya rufifacies flies.

The Dissertation Fellowship is awarded to students that are pursuing their Ph.D. to support the final analyses and writing in preparation for their dissertation. In addition, candidates must attend a Writing Boot Camp, which is an intensive writing workshop that helps progressing through the difficult writing stages of the dissertation.

“I feel very honored to receive this award, and especially to represent the Entomology Department here at A&M,” Deans said. “It will be a tremendous help to me, as I can now devote my full attention to finishing up my dissertation.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity and it lets me focus on writing and researching my dissertation without having to worry about other things,” Pimsler said.

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