SARIF Summer GRA Award – Michelle Odoi

Congratulations, Michelle!! The 2020 Faculty Senate Research Council Summer Graduate Research Assistantship Committee and the Office of Research & Engagement (ORE) has made its funding decisions, awarding Michelle Odoi a $3600 stipend for the summer. Michelle is a PhD student with a concentration on Bioinformatics, Genomics, and Molecular Interactions. She is under the tutelage of Drs. Denita Hadziabdic-Guerry and Robert Trigiano. Her proposal is titled Hunger Solution in West Africa: Genetic Diversity and Spatial Distribution of Native Frafra Potato Plants. This project had been previously worked on by her mentor, Dr. Hadziabdic-Guerry in Africa during her Fulbright fellowship. You can view Michelle Odoi’s proposal here We are very proud of Michelle and can’t wait to see where her accomplishments take her!…

Amani Khalil smiling candidly after her research poster was awarded "Best Judged Poster"

Amani Khalil Awarded “Judged Best Poster” from SSAWG Conference 2020!

Amani Khalil– Mani to her friends– recently won the poster competition at the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) this past week in Little Rock, Arkansas. She competed against 36 other posters from other students, extension agents, and organizations. Mani is a Graduate Research Assistant and working on her MS. She is tackling the interaction between native perennials and pollinators and follows the mentorship of Dr. Laura Russo. We are very proud of your accomplishment, Mani. Please keep up the great work!!

Marlo Black, equipped with proper lab equipment, pipettes material for a research experiment.

Marlo Black Awarded Undergraduate National Conference on Urban Entomology (NCUE) Scholarship!

Congratulations are in order for young Marlo Black who recently became the BS scholarship winner for the 2020 NCUE conference! In addition to her $1500 scholarship, Marlo is receiving complimentary registration for this year’s meeting in Mobile, AL where she will get to deliver her research paper during the main session at the conference. Marlo is co-advised by Dr. Rebecca Trout Fryxell, Dr. Karen Vail, and Jennifer Chandler. Along with her advisors, the rest of us in EPP are beyond proud and excited about Marlo’s accomplishment. Thank you for all that you do and congratulations!!

On the left, Swati showcasing a plant seed in a laboratory; top right, Matthew identifying insects in a laboratory; bottom right, Rebecca collecting rodents out in the field

EPP STUDENTS EXCELLED at the Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting; Nov. 17-20, 2019

ESA Meeting 2019 Faculty, post-docs, staff, and students from the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology participated in the Annual Entomological Society of America National meeting held in St. Louis, MO. Seven graduate students presented oral papers either in the Student Competition or in the invited Symposium. Swati Mishra, a PhD student working with Dr. Juan Jurat-Fuentes, co-organized two symposia, and three students were invited to speak in a symposium. Congratulations to two EPP students for winning first place in their individual student competitions. Rebecca Butler, a PhD student working with Dr. Becky Trout Fryxell, won 1st place for her study of ecological relationships of ectoparasites on rodents in western Tennessee. Matthew Longmire, an MS student working with Dr. Jerome…

Closeup of the Asian longhorned tick's different life development stages (adult, nymph, and larva)

Grant to Support Dr. Trout Fryxell’s Research on the Asian Longhorned Tick

Congratulations! Dr. Rebecca Trout Fryxell has just been awarded a grant for her research regarding the Asian Longhorned Tick by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR). The aim is to halt the spread of this invasive tick species, a problem with both canines and cattle. With this funding, greater resources can be pulled in to help identify solutions. FFAR’s contribution of $150,000 was matched by the University of Tennessee, making a $300,000 effort against this invasive. Please check the following news releases on the matter: FFAR’s News Release UTIA’s News Release EurekAlert!’s News Release (includes video)    

EPP Graduate Student Honored as Tennessee Doctoral Fellow

Julian Cosner, a Ph.D. student in EPP, is one of five PhD students recently honored as Tennessee Doctoral Fellows. Tennessee Doctoral Fellows are chosen every three years; this is only the second group of fellows at UT. The fellowships are funded by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and UT’s Graduate School. Congratulations, Julian! For more information, please see UT News here.

Nourolah Soltani receives the Myron K. Brakke Student Travel Award from APS

The American Phytopathological Society (APS) announces that Nourolah Soltani received the Myron K. Brakke Student Travel Award to supports his travel to the APS meeting in Cleveland, OH. Mr. Soltani was also awarded support for travel from the Plant Research Center and the Graduate Student Senate. At the meeting, he will present two posters on the quinoa-Cucumber mosaic virus interaction.

Nourolah Soltani Poster Featured in Pendergrass Library

The poster created by Nourolah Soltani was chosen for display by Pendergrass Library as an example of the #betterposter approach. Research on the impact of infection of quinoa by Cucumber mosaic virus on expression of genes regulating terpene biosynthesis is described in the poster. Nourolah will present the poster at the American Phytopathological Society meeting in Cleveland (Aug. 3- 7). Dr. Meg Staton, and Dr. Kimberly Gwinn are also authors on the poster.

Close-up of an emerald-green native bee digging into a purple flower for pollen and nectar

Dr. Russo Awarded Early Career Robert May Prize from British Ecological Society

The Methods in Ecology and Evolution (MEE) Robert May early career researcher award is named after Lord May, from the University of Oxford. The prize is awarded annually to the best paper submitted by an early career author at the start of their research career. The winning paper: Laura Russo, Adam D. Miller, John Tooker et al. Quantitative evolutionary patterns in bipartite networks: Vicariance, phylogenetic tracking or diffuse co-evolution? Methods Ecol Evol 2018, 9:3. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12914   Here is excerpt from BSE: Dr. Laura Russo led work to develop a framework that can incorporate species traits or behaviours to investigate diffuse evolutionary patterns within ecological communities, using plant-pollinator interactions as a case study. The study of interactions and their impacts…

Our EPP undergraduates proudly presenting their EUReCA awards

Three Students Working in EPP Win at EUReCA Competition!

Congratulations to all the Herbert winners at the Exhibit of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement. Forty three students presented 31 projects at the fair. Three students working in EPP were winners at the competition. Marlo Black, an Animal Science major, won the EUReCA Gold Medal for her work, “A Survey of Domestic Hosts of Cimex lectularius in an Urban Setting.” She was also the first place winner in the Herbert College of Agriculture competition. Her mentors were Dr. Karen Vail and Dr. Becky Trout Fryxell in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. Two students who were in the Herbert College competition of EUReCA won the 3-minute to Win It Video contest. Leah Dunlap (Plant Science) won the juried competition…