Rafael Carlesso Aita, M.S. Student

Rafael Aita


Bob Koch


Santa Maria – Rio Grande do Sul – Brazil

Research Topic

Flight behavior and dispersal dynamics of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)

Previous Education

B.S. Agronomy, Federal University of Santa Maria - Brazil

Why Insects?

Insects are among the most diverse and dynamic group of animals. Understanding and studying their specific morphology and behavior is fascinating. Also, insects as crop pests can cause severe economic damage, and to integrate management techniques to reduce such damage is one of my primary goals. 

Why University of Minnesota?

My history with the U goes back to 2014, when I came here as an exchange student from Brazil and was fortunate to be able to study here for two semesters. Everything fascinated me: the campus infrastructure and work environment, the cities, the people. When I went back to Brazil I always felt the need to return here one day. After two years in Brazil, I was fortunate to receive an opportunity to come here as an intern. I didn’t think twice.


That one day I can use all the knowledge and experience obtained from my education to help farmers, crop consultants, and researchers to improve crop protection tactics and to reduce environmental hazard.

Favorite Insect

To be able to pull almost 1000 times its own body weight, makes the horned dung beetle (Onthophagus taurus) my favorite insect.

Other interests/hobbies

I’m a huge sports fan, so anything that involves sports I’m in! Also, I love to travel, see the nature, go to the beach and in my free time I enjoy to watch some interesting documentaries and reading some books. 

Coffee or tea?

Oh, coffee for sure!