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 entomology_gsa@ncsu.edu or check out our facebook page.





Gabriel Zilnik: President

Gabriel is a PhD student from Arizona studying the evolution of insects in agricultural systems. He is broadly interested in how historical patterns in pest management shape current practices and thus impact insect pests on a broad scale. He completed a BA in Anthropology from Arizona State University with a thesis on intraguild predation and scavenging in Arizona cotton systems. He spends his free time on a myriad of creative activities.







Meredith Spence-Beaulieu: Vice President and Outreach Coordinator

Meredith is pursuing a PhD under the direction of Drs. Michael Reiskind and Rob Dunn. Her research interests include the dynamics of dog heartworm disease (a mosquito-vectored nematode), the effect of suburban development on mosquito assemblages, and the mechanics of mosquito host attraction. She holds a BS in Zoology with a minor in mathematics from NCSU, and has also worked as a veterinary technician for the past 5 years. When not working, she can be found snuggling her beloved fur-babies: Wren the lab/poodle/shar-pei mix (labradoodlepei for short), Logan the boxer, and Grim the cat.





James Withrow: Treasurer

James is a MS student studying social behavior and evolution in the lab of Dr. David Tarpy. His current research is focused on royal succession in honey bees: how workers collectively select which larvae to rear as new queens. He is also interested in the selective forces driving social evolution, caste evolution in social insects, and factors affecting queen quality in honey bees. Outside of research, James is interested in philosophy, politics, classical music, food, and wine.





Jeremy Slone: Secretary

Jeremy is a PhD student in Hannah Burrack’s lab focusing on integrating pest and pollinator management in the southeastern strawberry system. His recently completed his Masters at NC State working on integrated pest management (IPM) and barriers to IPM adoption in flue-cured tobacco. He received a B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and environmental studies from UNC Charlotte. While in his undergrad, he studied honeybee biology and communication under Dr. Stan Schneider. He plans to continue into a PhD at NC State working on integrating pollinator and pest management in NC blueberry agroecosystems. He enjoys the outdoors, movies, and cooking and spends much of his free time with his wife and dogs.





 Fallon Fowler: Symposium Coordinator

Fallon graduated with a B.S. in entomology from UC Riverside, but came to NC State in Fall 2014 to work with Wes Watson. Because of her passion for dung (yes, her passion), her MS currently revolves around where and why face fly maggots move through dung. Fallon hopes that this research will improve current dung techniques, validate (or invalidate) dung-fly theories, and further answer why adult flies might select certain types of dung pats to oviposit in (lay eggs). In her free time, Fallon enjoys drawing comics, reading epic novels, and generally frolicking about in nature.




Samantha Kaiser: Symposium Coordinator

Samantha (Sam) is a Master’s student in Dr. Steve Frank’s lab focusing on arthropod diversity within different landscape types. She's originally from NW Arkansas and studied received a B.S in Entomology from Oklahoma State University. While at OSU she looked at red imported fire ant parasitism by phorid flies. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring outdoors and going on adventures. She also enjoys spending time playing sports and spending time with friends and her 3-legged cat, Katy.






Pete Nelson: Social Chair

Pete is a PhD student co-advised by Drs. Clyde Sorenson and Hannah Burrack. He completed his BS and MS in Entomology at Michigan State University where his research focused on the ecology and biological control of tree fruit pests. His current research is focused on assessing the impacts of grower management practices and pest control tactics on biological control agents in Nicotiana tabacum. Additionally, he is interested in plant-insect interactions especially on trichome defended plants including N. tabacum. In his free time Pete enjoys cooking and spending time outdoors.






Lewis Braswell: Social Chair

Lewis is a P.h.D. student advised by Drs. Dominic Reisig and Clyde Sorenson. Lewis received his B.S. and M.S. from NCSU in Soil Science and Crop Science,  with work on Palmer Amaranth weed control in cotton his Master's research focus. He is working on biology of resistant and susceptible Helicoverpa zea in Bt cotton as his dissertation research. In his spare time Lewis enjoys spending time outdoors hunting, fishing and mountain biking.









Damon D'Ambrosio : Fundraising Chair
Damon is a PhD student under the direction of Dr. George Kennedy. He studies the biology of the tobacco thrips, Frankliniella fusca, in cotton. His research focuses on how insecticides affect thrips at all life stages, and compares how these effects differ between insecticide- resistant and insecticide-suceptible thrips populations. Through this, he hopes to better understand how insecticide resistance occurs in the field, evaluate newer, safer insecticides for use against thrips, and improve the ability to manage insecticide resistance with this pest. Damon was born and raised in nearby Fuquay-Varina, and holds a BS in Zoology from NC State. In his free time, Damon enjoys hunting, gardening, home improvement, and spending time with his wife, dog, and cat.