Hadziabdic Lab

Our mission is to advance scientific knowledge and to provide science-based information to improve the sustainability of food
and fiber production, protection of natural resources and the lives of all the people in Tennessee and across the world.

test testThe ultimate goal of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is to excel in fulfilling the land-grant mission that sets it apart from other institutions within Tennessee and across the nation. The mission of UT AgResearch is to advance science in agriculture and food systems, natural resource management, and family and community sciences. A goal of UTIA AgResearch is to resources effectively to deliver service for the public good through solutions to problems facing agricultural producers and businesses, natural resource managers and industries, and the public. This is accomplished through knowledge discovery, innovation of these discoveries into new products and processes, and the application of these innovations to enhance the lives of citizens of Tennessee and the world.

Achieving AgResearch’s mission hinges on both a commitment of faculty members to research excellence and active participation of the AgResearch administration in accomplishing three key outcomes, which include achieve sustained, superior short and long-term scientific research performance; engage and maintain a satisfied and loyal clientele; and attain a culture of highly engaged and loyal faculty, staff and students with a passion for high performance


  • Bioinformatics, Genomics, and Molecular Interactions
  • Organismal Biology, Ecology, and Systematics
  • Sustainable Disease and Integrated Pest Management Systems

Bioinformatics, Genomics, and Molecular Interactions

Bioinformatics, genomics and molecular interactions encompass the study of the fundamental molecular components that build life and the relevance of their interactions to physiological and pathogenic processes in plants, insects, nematodes, and microbes. This area includes diverse, state-of-the-art research techniques to examine how inherited information and basic molecular building blocks yield organismal phenotypes, behaviors, adaptations and evolution.

Faculty with specialization in Bioinformatics, Genomics, and Molecular Interactions include:

Organismal Biology, Ecology, and Systematics

Organismal biology, ecology, and systematics includes the study of the plant and animal life histories, including interactions within communities and with the environment. Topics include biology and ecology of plant associated insects, nematodes and microbes; plant, human and animal disease vectors; arthropods associated with humans and their structures; host-pathogen, host-parasite, and host-parasitoid interactions; plant, insect, and nematode microbial symbioses; pollinator biology and ecology, and forensic entomology.

Faculty with specialization in Organismal Biology, Ecology, and Systematics include:

Laurie Barley Awarded the UTIA Extension “Award of Excellence”

Laurie Barley has been awarded the prestigious UTIA Extension non-exempt “Award of Excellence” that goes to an outstanding non-exempt employee who has gone “beyond the call of duty.” Laurie was instrumental in contributing to, and continuing, the educational and testing program of our state-wide Pesticide Safety and Education Program (PSEP) during the last 18 months. During this time, testing and recertification continued even as Covid-19 threatened to close them. This award recognizes her contributions to the attainment of the objectives of Extension:  including leadership, initiative, reliability, cooperativeness, personality, professionalism, communications, competence, planning and implementation. Please join us in CONGRATULATING Laurie on this outstanding recognition!

EPP Celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day

October 11th is a day to honor and celebrate Indigenous people. Indigenous People are often referred to as the first people or Native people. The UN states there are more than 370 million indigenous people spread across 70 countries worldwide. Practicing unique traditions, they retain social, cultural, economic, and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. EPP’s DEI committee will be celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day throughout the month of October. For events and seminars celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day, please visit our calendar.    

2021 Tennessee Entomological Society Award Winners

The Tennessee Entomological Society (TES) is dedicated to spreading entomological knowledge throughout the state of Tennessee. Every year, TES holds an annual meeting that highlights student paper competitions. We would like to congratulate each participant for their excellent work while also highlighting the winners from our department. Congratulations and keep up the good work! If you would like to learn more about the Tennessee Entomological Society, please click here for more information.   Undergraduate Award: 1st place, Rachel Baxter (works with Jennifer Chandler and Dr. Karen Vail)                       M.S. Award: 1st place, Kassie Hollabaugh; 2nd place, Allyson Dekovich                       Ph.D.

Dr. Frank Hale Awarded the Richard E. Caron Outstanding Entomologist Award

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Frank Hale as he has been awarded the Richard E. Caron Outstanding Entomologist Award! This award honors the late Dr. Richard E. Caron, extension entomologist in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology from 1981 to 1991, who worked tirelessly with extension agents and producers, developing ecologically sound IPM programs for cotton and soybean. This award is presented to a TES member who has shown outstanding work in entomological pursuits. Dr. Hale is an outstanding entomologist and truly deserving of this award as he has shown ! Congratulations Dr. Hale!

Highlighting a família for Hispanic Heritage Month

As a part of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), the EPP Diversity and Inclusion committee would like to highlight a família em nosso departamento.

Scientists Discuss the Fall Armyworm Invasion

In The Conversation, entomology professor, Dr. Scott Stewart, discusses the invasive species, fall armyworms and control measures. The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, is an annual problem and has been invading lawns and fields across the United States. These species destroy lawns by feeding and chewing holes in leaves. To the eyes of many, these fall armyworms come across as worms. However, the fall army worm is a striped caterpillar. In the Summer, the entire lifecycle of the worm is about 30 days and twice the amount of days in the Fall and Spring. To read the full article, please click here.

FYS 129 A Bug’s Life Paints the Rock

The undergraduate students in “A Bug’s Life” (FYS 129), taught by Dr. Jerome Grant, painted UT’s ROCK with BUGS! Their creativity, artistic talents, and patience combined to create an awesome bug-filled painting! BUGS ROCK!

EPP Attends the Tennessee Valley Fair

Matthew Longmire and Kassie Hollabaugh, two graduate students, and one faculty member, Dr. Jerome Grant, have recently attended Down on the Farm at the Tennessee Valley Fair in Knoxville. They shared entomology with the kids in attendance. This annual outdoor event, sponsored by University of Tennessee Extension, is a special day dedicated to providing education and information about agriculture, farm safety, and more to young students. About 200 students attended this year’s event, which was modified slightly from previous events due to Covid-19. Bugs Rule!

The EPP Graduate Student Association Plans to Visit the Knoxville Farmers’ Market

Would you like to learn more about pest management and other information that relates to the growth of your crops? On Saturday, September 18th, the EPP Graduate Student Association (GSA) will be attending Market Square Knoxville to improve grower awareness and use of research-based information in pest management. To learn more, please stop by their tent between 9 AM EDT – 12 PM EDT. Flyers, informational packets, and EPP swag will be available.

This Was Not in the Job Description: Three Decades of Bouncing Around the Tropics Chasing Mosquitoes

EPP has invited Manuel Lluberas, a public health entomologist, to speak about his extensive experience in the control of insects of public health and veterinary importance obtained during the past three decades on September 16th at 1:00 PM EDT. He served twelve years as medical entomologist and medical intelligence officer for the US Navy attached to the US Marines and have been Executive Director for Public Health for H. D. Hudson Manufacturing Company over twenty-six (26) years. Manuel has provided technical assistance on the design, implementation, evaluation, and technical capacity building on integrated vector management to private and public entities and UN agencies in sixty-three (63) countries in three (3) continents. Some of his most significant accomplishments include designing the

Sustainable Disease and Integrated Pest Management Systems

Sustainable disease and integrated pest management (SDIPM) systems provide economic means to reduce pest and disease losses while minimizing negative impacts on the environment. SDIPM systems provide the solutions to positively impact food production and meet the increased global demand. SDIPM systems also improve plant and animal health in forests, parks, landscapes and other natural systems. These systems incorporate many disciplines, including entomology, nematology, plant pathology, weed science, animal science, veterinary medicine, public health, and food science and technology.

Faculty with specialization in Sustainable Disease and Integrated Pest Management Systems include: