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 email@example.com
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!