Student Spotlight: Rufus Akinrinlola

  Rufus Akinrinlola was born and raised in Southwest Nigeria. While in his home country, he also received his undergraduate degree in microbiology. Before enrolling as a Ph.D. student within the Entomology and Plant Pathology Department (EPP), he attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to receive his master’s in plant pathology. During his time at UNL, he studied under the supervision of Professor Gary Yuen and Dr. Tony Adesemove. Akinrinlola mentioned that under their leadership, he learned “to treat everyone like family” and to “always be available ad create time for mentees”. Akinrinlola, a fourth-year Ph.D. student with a concentration in Sustainable Disease and Integrated Pest Management, has researched the answers to many questions related to his studies. His latest

A photo of Webster standing near goldenrods

Student Spotlight: Jesse Webster

  Jesse Webster grew up in Greene County, Tennessee, a county that he said is known for its strong foundation in agriculture and natural resources. As matured in a city surrounded by mountains and valleys, his parents took him hiking and hunting. Little did they know, it would put a lasting impression on his path in life. Webster now holds a full-time position with the National Park Service and is a current master’s student with a concentration in Entomology. It is a hefty workload, but with the help of his primary advisor, Dr. Jerome Grant, Jesse stated that he is building a “rock-solid foundation in EPP”. When asked about his coursework, he mentioned that he had recently completed Adult Insect

a hand holding a Colorado potato beetle

Graduate Student Spotlight: Swati Mishra

    After receiving her undergraduate degree in Biotechnology in India, Swati joined the department as a master’s student. However, time has flown since then. Swati is now a third-year Ph.D. student with a concentration in Bioinformatics, Genomics, and Molecular Interactions. With her course requirements being complete, she is now entirely focused on her research. Therefore, you will usually find her working in the Jurat-Fuentes Lab throughout the day. While in the lab, you can find her working through her research question, “What mechanisms are involved in resistance against insecticidal double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) in Colorado potato beetle”. “Double-stranded RNAs are the latest class of insecticides that act by silencing important insect genes via RNA-interference (RNAi) pathway.” She explained that one