Category Archives: Grad Student News

Texas A&M entomology student chosen as fellow for National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility Scientist Training Program

COLLEGE STATION — Tyler Pohlenz, a Texas A&M University doctoral student, has been selected as a fellow for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility Scientist Training Program, or APHIS-NSTP, starting the 2019 fall semester. Pohlenz’s doctorate concentrates on arboviruses, such as Zika, and other important pathogens. “With the move of the USDA’s Animal Disease Center from Plum Island, New York, to Kansas, USDA needs to staff the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, NBAF,” said Kevin Myles, Ph.D.,… Read More →

Grad Student Receives MUVE Travel Award

Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Caixing Xiong as she was named the newest recipient of the Entomological Society of America’s MUVE (Medical, Urban, Veterinary Entomology) Travel Award. The award allows Xiong to attend the ESA Annual Meeting that will be held in St. Louis, Mo. from November 17-20. Xiong is mentored by Dr. Patricia Pietrantonio and will be presenting in the President’s Prize graduate student 10-minute paper competition in the MUVE category. Xiong’s research interests include validating arthropod-specific G protein coupled receptors, or GPCRs, as targets, and discovering of… Read More →

Grad Students Receive Top Awards at Graduate Student Forum

Congratulations to three of our graduate students as they received awards during the 22nd annual Graduate Student Forum that was held on August 22 in Room 103. Ph.D. candidate Zanthé Kotzé received first place for her presentation titled “Mechanisms regulating behavior of arthropods that consume vertebrate carrion: Deciphering succession as related to forensic entomology.” Ph.D. student Pierre Lau received second place for his talk “Understanding honey bee foraging preferences and nutrient regulation to improve beekeeping pollen substitutes” while Ph.D. student Xiaotian Tang received third place for his presentation… Read More →

Grad Students Receive Top Awards at National Conference

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… Read More →

Grad Student Receives Top Prize for Presentation at Ecological Integration Symposium

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Crys Wright on receiving first place for her talk at the Ecological Integration Symposium that was held at Rudder Tower on April 5-6. Advised by Dr. Raul Medina, Wright tied with Raven Blakeway for first place in the Graduate Student Oral Presentation section. Wright’s presentation was titled “Fecundity Compensation: Possible in the Sugarcane Aphid?” Medina was very proud of Wright and her award. “I was thrilled, yet not surprised to learn Crys got first place for her EIS talk,” Medina said. “Crys is really… Read More →

Grad Student Receives Top Award at American Bee Research Conference

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Alex Payne for receiving the Student Paper Award for her presentation at the 2019 American Bee Research Conference in Tempe, Arizona. Payne received the award  presentation titled “Spillover in eusocial insects: Detection of honey bee (Apis meliifera) associated viruses in ants.” The award was given by the American Association of Professional Apiculturists to the best student papers at the conference at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Paper and presentation topics must include the genus Apis and are judged on the quality of the… Read More →

Grad Students Receive Honors at Texas Plant Protection Association Conference

Four grad students received awards for their outstanding research at the 30th annual Texas Plant Protection Conference on December 4-5 during a special luncheon at the Brazos Center on December 5. Ph.D. student Luke Pruter was presented the 2018 Ph.D. Student Award in Excellence in recognition of his research and outreach efforts with his dissertation on the best use of advanced pest management technologies (Bt-hybrid corn and atoxigenic strains of A. flavus) for reducing corn yield and quality losses associated with insect ear-feeders (corn earworm and fall armyworm)… Read More →

Grad Student Participates in Pandemic Simulation Exercise

Ph.D. student Jennifer Rhinesmith-Carranza recently got to see first-hand how government leaders plan and respond during a pandemic during a recent pandemic simulation event that was held at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in October. The exercise was part of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs’ Fourth Annual Pandemic Policy Summit.  The simulation was designed to help bring graduate students together to respond to a simulated disease outbreak and demonstrated the multidisciplinary efforts necessary to respond to global challenges and gives students a chance to… Read More →

Grad Students Research Presentations Receive Awards During Forum

Three graduate students received top awards for their research during the 21st annual Graduate Student Forum held in the Heep Center on August 23. The forum gives graduate students the experience of presenting their research to peers in a format similar to what they would see during a research paper competition at conferences. Students were given a set amount of time to present their research and answer questions from the audience. Erfan Vafaie received first place for his presentation titled “Use of multiple natural enemies for inoculative biological… Read More →

Raszick and Hawkings Receive Department’s Outstanding Graduate Student Awards

Congratulations to Ph.D. students  Tyler Raszick and Chloë Hawkings as they received this year’s Department of Outstanding Graduate Student Award during the Graduate Student Recognition Seminar on Thursday, February 15. Raszick is advised by Dr. Gregory Sword. His dissertation research utilizes high-throughput DNA sequencing technology and cutting edge bioinformatics to address critical issues in cotton entomology including boll weevil eradication efforts and risk assessment for the evolution of resistance by mirids to a new generation of Bt transgenic crops. He is active in the Entomology Graduate Student Organization,… Read More →