About the Project

This project is led by Julio Bernal and Raul Medina, both professors in the Department of Entomology, and Hector Ramos, Lecturer in the Department of Educational Psychology. We are committed to delivering an exceptional learning experience to each student participating in the Diversity in Entomology program.

Dr. Julio BernalDr. Bernal’s research program focuses on biological control and plant defenses against pests in agriculture. His research is currently focused on studying the evolution of herbivore defenses in maize (corn), from teosinte (the maize wild ancestor) to commercial, high-yielding varieties, and the implications for pest evolution and pest management. His research is conducted in greenhouse, laboratory and field settings, and focuses on foliage feeding (Spodoptera frugiperda), root feeding (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera), and sap-sucking (Dalbulus maidis) insects. The long term objective of this research is to better understand the ways in which evolution of crops and farming systems mediated contemporary pest scenarios as a means of improving pest management. Dr. Bernal can be reached for questions at juliobernal@tamu.edu.

Dr. Medina’s research focuses on evolutionary ecology of pests and natural enemies, and within agroecosystems generally. His academic interests include diversity and inclusion issues faced by students. To that effect, he has trained numerous, underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students in his laboratory, and is active and recognized beyond his academic department. For example, he is a current member of the TAMU Diversity Science Research Cluster and a recipient of the TAMU Dean’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Diversity. Also, he served as a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Entomological Society of America in 2017, and as a mentor for the Ecological Society of America’s Diversity program (SEEDS) from 2008 to 2018. Finally, for the last 3 years, he has hosted weekly conversations on diversity inclusion and their importance in STEM fields for TAMU graduate and undergraduate students. Dr. Medina can be reached for questions at rfmedina@tamu.edu.

Hector RamosDr. Ramos’ area of expertise is creative thinking and educational psychology. He teaches a variety of courses, including Creative Problem Solving, Lateral Thinking, Educational Statistics, and Introduction to Educational Psychology. His main roles in the Diversity in Entomology program will be to conduct workshops on creative and critical thinking, supervise all work on coaching by the faculty mentors assigned to the students, lead project evaluation, and assist with project reporting. Dr. Ramos can be reached for questions at hreina@tamu.edu.

The Diversity in Entomology program is supported by a grant from USDA-NIFA (2021-67037-34655).

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