Diversity and Inclusion
The Graduate School embraces the University of Minnesota's position that promoting and supporting diversity among the student body is central to the academic mission of the University. A diverse student body enriches graduate education by providing a multiplicity of views and perspectives that enhance research, teaching, and the development of new knowledge. A diverse mix of students promotes respect for, and opportunities to learn from, others with the broad range of backgrounds and experiences that constitute modern society. Higher education trains the next generation of leaders of academia and society in general, and such opportunities for leadership should be accessible to all members of society. The Graduate School and its constituent graduate programs are therefore committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities through recruitment, admission, and support programs that promote diversity, foster successful academic experiences, and cultivate the leaders of the next generation.
The Graduate Program in Entomology is committed to increasing diversity in our discipline, including gender, racial and ethnic diversity. In addition, we welcome the perspectives and contributions from students from foreign countries.
What Does an Entomologist Look Like?
With great power (even entomology power) comes great responsibility. I want to use my ecological education to enhance local ecosystems and empower communities to care for their environment.
Many of our research projects involve an examination of how neurons change during development to give rise to adult-specific behaviors. As Manduca develops from the larval to adult form, dramatic changes in its nervous system are observed. Some larval neurons (not needed by the adult) undergo developmentally programmed cell death, while others are retained and re-modeled; their morphology and synaptic contacts become altered. In addition, many new neurons are generated de novo and are used only in the adult stage. Our goals are to understand how all of these changes, which are under hormonal regulation, contribute to the "construction" of particular adult behaviors. We have focused on the re-use of larval interneurons and the cellular mechanisms that enable "old" neurons to be incorporated into the adult nervous system to generate new behaviors.
My research interest is in vector-borne diseases, especially Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis (HGA) a disease of rising importance in United States and Europe. I mainly interested in the interactions of the bacteria causative of this disease,Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and its interactions with its vector and host.