Entomology Graduate Student Symposium

An opportunity for students to present their research and to see what their fellow students are working on

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Entomology Graduate Student Association

Welcome to the EGSA website!

The Entomology Graduate Student Association is open to any person affiliated with North Carolina State University who has an interest in entomological endeavors. The objectives of the association are to provide members an opportunity to organize seminars, meetings, field trips and other functions concerned with common interests of EGSA  members. Feel free to contact this organization at egsa.ncsu@gmail.com or check out our facebook page.



President: Keith Bayless

Keith is a Ph.D. student from New Jersey studying fly systematics and genomics with Dr. Brian Wiegmann. He has a BS in Entomology and Genetics from Cornell University. Keith is interested in many aspects of the evolution and higher level phylogeny of flies. He completed an M.S. in Entomology at NCSU studying the systematics and taxonomy of horse flies and relatives. His doctoral research focuses on improving our understanding of the relationships of diverse fly lineages including Calyptratae with phylogenomic approaches. He spends his free time reading novels, traveling, and trying to learn Portuguese.      








Vice President: Colin Funaro

Colin is a PhD student studying termite chemical ecology and caste differentiation in the lab of Dr. Ed Vargo. His project examines the royal pheromones and chemical recognition cues in subterranean termites and their role in reproduction and colony organization. He is also interested in bacterial endosymbionts in insects, molecular ecology, and phylogenetics. He received a B.A. in Biology from the University of Richmond in 2007 before becoming a technician in the lab of Jake Russell at Drexel University studying the endosymbionts of ants. In his free time Colin can be found drawing pictures with MSPaint, cooking with friends, or grudgingly running despite his deep hatred for the activity.       









Secretary: Adam Dale

Adam is a Ph.D. student studying urban ecology and arthropod pest - street tree interactions with Dr. Steve Frank. His project is focused on determining why certain herbivorous pests are more abundant and damaging in cities than rural areas, what effect cities and pests have on urban trees, and how these effects can be mitigated. Adam received his B.S. in biological sciences from NC State in 2011 before beginning graduate school in 2012. When he's not working, Adam enjoys everything outdoors, photography, live music, and woodworking. 









Treasurer: April Hamblin 

After receiving her a B.S. in Environmental Sciences from The Richard Stockton College of NJ, April knew exactly what she wanted to focus her future studies on: community structure, indluding diversity and abundance of native bees in urban areas. April was offered an opportunity to become a Ph.D. student in Dr. Steve Frank's lab. Although she is new to EGSA, NC State University, and North Carolina in General, she plans to spend her free time catching insects, hiking, creating art, writing, and reading.








Outreach Coordinator: Angela Bucci  (ambucci@ncsu.edu; 410-459-4841)

Angela is a PhD student who is co-advised by Drs. Coby Schal and Wes Watson. Her research focuses on a combination of chemical ecology and forensic entomology. She has a B.S. degree in Biology from Loyola University Maryland. Angela is a ridiculously proud Marylander who enjoys cooking, making jaunty hats, dancing, eating at Which Wich?, killing spiders, and poking anything dead.Read more about the Outreach Program 








Outreach Coordinator: Carrie De Jesus

Carrie De Jesus moved across the country from Southern California to NCSU to be part of the Entomology Graduate program. Carrie joined the Reiskind lab in 2013 to obtain her master’s degree and is researching mating behavior in Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus which are two important disease vectors. She is specifically examining the role of the three lobed spermathecae in both species. After she obtains her degree she hopes work to at a vector control program as a biologist. Carrie is one of the outreach coordinators for the Entomology Graduate Student Association. She is responsible for caring for the insects that are brought to outreach events.








Mike Duke Seminar Coordinator: Alejandro Merchán

Alejandro Merchán hails from Cali, Colombia, where he developed a deep love of nature, the outdoors and science in general. He studied Biology at Universidad de Los Andes, one of the top universities in South America, where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree. He also did his Masters in Biology in the same university studying the evolution and population genetics of color pattern genes in Heliconius butterflies. His work with these butterflies took him to remote locations in Colombia, Peru and Panama, where Alejandro did his field work. He continued to work in genetics at the University of Puerto Rico and NC State and also worked as a lab assistant before developing a keen interest in agricultural science, particularly entomology. He began his PhD in Entomology in fall 2011, working with Dr.
Hannah Burrack in tobacco pest management, focusing on the interactions of green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) with pesticides and naturally occurring chemicals in tobacco leaves. He plans to study how different chemicals, natural and synthetic, affect gene expression levels in the aphid. Alejandro lives in Durham with his wife and their two cats. In his free time he enjoys both watching and playing sports, especially soccer.









Fundraising Chair: Fallon Fowler

Fallon graduated with a B.S. in entomology from UC Riverside in 2014 where, with Dr. Bradley Mullens, she studied the diapause and seasonality of the face and horn fly. Additionally, she investigated the differential utilization of cow manure between the horn and face fly. Fallon now dabbles in veterinary entomology, microbiology, and chemical ecology under Dr. Wes Watson at NC State. She is currently interested in the influence and persistence of gut bacteria throughout the life stages of the face fly. When not slaving for science, Fallon enjoys drawing ridiculous comics, participating
in nerdy activities, and generally frolicking outdoors.