Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist I am broadly interested in plant-insect interactions and using ecology to inform arthropod pest management strategies on landscape plants.
Contact me at: 352-273-3976 firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicole Benda – Post-doctoral Associate/Lab Manager
I am interested in insect-plant interactions, particularly chemical ecology, host-plant use, insect behavior, and pest management. In my free time, I love cooking, astronomy and science fiction, and to explore the world with my family.
Pablo Allen – Post-doctoral Associate
I am an evolutionary biologist, with a special interest in phenotypic plasticity, sexual selection, and the allometry of morphological traits. I am also interested in combining teaching and research in the classroom to create a more creative educational setting. I am originally from Costa Rica and have extensive fieldwork experience in Panama, the U.S. southwest, and Florida. In my free time, I like to play football (soccer).
Alex LoCastro – Research Technician
I am interested in using entomology and ecology to re-introduce natural spaces to urban areas for the benefit of humans and the environment. In my free time I enjoy watching films, exploring nature and making art.
Matt Borden – Doctorate of Plant Medicine graduate student
I have experience in ornamental IPM, especially in landscapes and greenhouses of public gardens. I have also enjoyed some time in commercial beekeeping, and most recently worked for a Virginia Tech research station in their tree fruit pathology lab. I am excited to continue studying ornamental and turf entomology, particularly learning about woody plant protection. As an avid plantsman, I enjoy hiking, gardening, and photography of plants and insects.
Ethan Doherty – Master’s student (Entomology)
My interests lie in foraging behavior, but my motivation is conservation. Here at UF, I study tropical sod webworms, looking for ways to more sustainably manage them in urban landscapes. Outside of entomology, I play sports, write music, and study lemurs.
Brianna Whitman – Master’s student (Horticulture/Entomology)
I am from Idaho, where I did my undergraduate in both Entomology and Horticulture. In the past, I maintained ornamentals in a greenhouse for sale, propagation, and research. Most recently, I worked in the UF Biosecurity Research and Extension Lab where I reared insects and wrote extension publications. I am currently conducting research on insects and plants in turfgrass systems.
Rebecca Perry – Undergraduate Research Assistant
I am an undergraduate student studying entomology with a focus on plant protection. I have a passion for conservation, which has interested me in the relationships between insects and plants and how their interactions affect ecosystems. In my spare time, I rear insects, particularly butterflies and moths. I also enjoy hiking, kayaking, and reading.
Grace Cope – Undergraduate Research Intern
I’m interested in studying native pollinators and the interactions they have with their respective environments. This curiosity is driven by a passion to find an intersection between sciences and the arts in all that I do!
Larissa LaForest – Undergraduate Research Intern
I was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and have lived in the U.S. for seven years. My major is Biotechnology. I love to read, dance, and learn, and my interests include astronomy, mathematics, biomedical engineering, and quantum mechanics. I hope to one day work as a bioinformatician or work directly with CRSPR-CAS9 projects to make advancements in genetics and personalized medicine.
Tanner Felbinger – Undergraduate Research Assistant
I am from Raleigh, NC and came to UF in search of bugs and warmer weather. I am majoring in Entomology and am interested in learning about how we can use insects to promote more sustainable practices. You can find me teaching group fitness classes at the gyms on campus!