Joanie King

Joanie KingJoanie King is an entomologist and PhD student at Texas A&M University who is active in science communication (SciComm) and outreach. She feels that one of her responsibilities as a scientist is to communicate her findings and science with the general public. Her current research is investigating the molecular basis of behavioral and physiological manipulation of fire ants by phorid flies. Phorid flies in the genus Pseudacteon are parasitoids of the red imported fire ant — which is a super cool project because it is a lot like a real-life example of the film, “Alien.” She aims to better understand how these flies parasitize and manipulate the behavior of their fire ant host. Fire ants are major pests, and she hopes that this research will help with using these phorids as biocontrol agents. She also plans on developing a science communication project in addition to her scientific research.

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