Grad Students Receive Top Awards at National Conference

Zanthe Kotze, left, with Lauren Beebe, right, standing with their certificates. Photo by

Zanthe Kotze, left, with Lauren Beebe, right, standing with their certificates. Photo by Casey Flint.

The Department of Entomology would like to congratulate grad students Zanthé Kotzé and Lauren Beebe on receiving top marks for their presentations at the North American Forensic Entomology Association’s annual meeting in Indianapolis on August 5- 7.

Kotzé is a Ph.D. candidate mentored by Dr. Jeffery Tomberlin. She received the first place platform presentation award in the Ph.D. category for her presentation titled “Mechanisms regulating behavior of invertebrate decomposers: Deciphering arthropod succession as related to forensic entomology.”

“I am humbled and honored to have been awarded the PhD presentation award. All speakers were of an exceptionally high caliber and spoke and presented outstandingly,” she said. “The conference provided a wonderful opportunity to see what researchers countrywide and internationally are working on, and provided an opportunity to network for future collaboration.”

Kotzé also praised the NAFEA executive committee and said attending the conference was a great experience.

“The NAFEA executive committee did a phenomenal job at organizing the conference and included informative workshops and a fascinating keynote address,” Kotzé said. “I would highly recommend any students interested in decomposition ecology to attend this meeting and interact with a diverse group of researchers and professionals.”

Beebe is a Masters student advised by Dr. Aaron Tarone. She received first place platform presentation in the Masters category for her presentation titled “Thermal Tolerance of the Larval Stadia of Two Forensically Important Blow Fly Species, Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart) and Cochliomyia macellaria (Fabricius) (Diptera: Calliphoridae)”

“It felt great representing Texas A&M forensic entomology at the 2019 NAFEA meeting and receiving the Masters presentation award!” Beebe said.  “I am thankful to the Tarone and Tomberlin labs for their feedback during my preparation, and to the NAFEA committee for their hard work organizing this conference.”

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