Tavvs Alves - Ph.D. Student


Bob Koch
Ian MacRae


Goiânia, GO, Brazil

Research Topic

I am fascinated to investigate new approaches that can improve the accuracy and quickness of decisions in insect pest management. My previous research experiences were dedicated to spatial distribution, biology, and establishment of economic injury levels of stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in rice fields. Currently, I am exploring remote sensing techniques to determine the correlation between insect feeding pressure and spectral reflectance of plants. My most recent experiments have focused on testing if hyperspectral and multispectral sensors carried by aircraft, orbital platform, or ground-based spectroscopy can detect changes in the reflectance of soybean plants due to soybean aphid feeding pressure.

Previous Education

B.S. Agronomy, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil
M.S. Plant Protection/Agronomy, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil

Why Insects?

Insects are the most marvelous organism for researching. Their relationship with us brings up incessant and intriguing questions that we can study for a whole life. I LOVE working with insects.

Why University of Minnesota?

The majority of the U of M professors are available for interdisciplinary studies that bridge the boundaries of the traditional science. They have approached the most interesting, varied and recent disciplines. In addition, I tried to find a university that cares about the importance of insect research. I believe in the relevant educational experience provided by the institutions of worldwide excellence such as the U of M.


I would like to work intensively helping in the sustainable development of agriculture. I hope that the pieces of knowledge built by my results have contribution for other investigators that have approaches beyond our current scientific status. I have faith in the harmonious coexistence of agricultural practices and insect diversity

Favorite Insect

All insects are amazing for me. If I need to choose a group, I like metallic colored beetles. To choose one of them, I am biased to elect the metallic sawtooth beetles.

Other interests/hobbies

Movies, Brazilian barbecue (that is made with fresh meat rather than burgers), music in general, and all sedentary activities of a young person with elderly behaviors.

Coffee or tea?

Both. However, if you have a Brazilian friend, keep in mind that we usually drink smaller daily quantities of coffee than a standard American, extra roasted coffee and no cream.