Jessica Krob was born in the “Air Capital of the World,” Wichita, Kansas. However, when she was a young child, her family moved to Springfield, Missouri. Her favorite part about Springfield was being just a short drive to Table Rock Lake, where her family enjoyed boating on the weekends.
Years later, Krob relocated to Jonesboro, AR, to attend Arkansas State University as an undergraduate student. Little did she know, she would be exposed to the agricultural industry. “I became interested in entomology while working as an undergraduate researcher for Dr. Tina Gray Teague, a field crop entomologist,” Krob stated. During this time, she learned the ends and outs of small-plot research. Krob was responsible for maintaining her project and presented this research at many conferences. The opportunities, experiences, and excellent mentorship from her professors at Arkansas State University really prepared her for graduate school.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Plant and Soil Science, in May of 2020, she began her master’s degree with a concentration in entomology and a minor in statistics. When asked about one of her favorite classes, she responded, “My favorite class was Design and Analysis of Biological Research. I enjoyed this class because I learned about experimental designs, creating models, and interpreting results. The knowledge I gained from this class was instrumental while analyzing my data.”
Advised by Dr. Scott Stewart at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center (WTREC), Krob has excelled. Recently, she has successfully defended her thesis titled “Evaluation of Insecticide Resistance in Populations of Tobacco Thrips, Frankliniella fusca (Hinds), and Plant Density Effects on Thrips Injury to Cotton.” She considers this accomplishment her most significant academic achievement thus far.
When she spoke about her project, she mentioned two main objectives: (1) investigate the effects of plant density on thrips injury to cotton, and (2) evaluate tobacco thrips resistance to insecticides. Krob then mentioned that one of the challenges she encountered while completing her research project was “maintaining thrips colonies in the laboratory.”
Krob’s research results provide valuable information to cotton producers in Tennessee. “I discovered that lower plant densities had more thrips injury,” she stated. Her results also showed that tobacco thrips in Tennessee are resistant to acephate, a common foliar-applied insecticide used to manage thrips.
As the end of her journey to a master’s degree is approaching, Jessica reflected on her time at the University of Tennessee. She said, “During my time at UT, I have had many opportunities that have helped me develop numerous valuable skills that I will use throughout my professional career. Some of these opportunities include networking and presenting my research at professional meetings, presenting research to growers at field days, writing papers for peer-reviewed journals, and helping other graduate students with their projects.”
Jessica will be attending Mississippi State University to pursue a Ph.D. in entomology. Success will always be on her side with her knowledge and dedication, support from others, and three favorite hobbies, playing with her dog, going to the river, and spending time with friends.