What I like to study

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Herbivory Recognition

Plants are able to recognize their herbivores, and that I find fascinating! Much of my research has focused on studying how plants recognize these herbivores, and in turn, how herbivores are able to avoid recognition.

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Plants, Microbes, and Herbivores

Microbes are able to establish symbiotic relationships with many organisms. This research focuses on understanding how the presence of certain microbes can affect plant defenses and how that affects their response to herbivores. 

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Novel and Sustainable pest management

Pests continue to adapt to current management techniques. For this reason, we also must continue to identify new and more sustainable ways to control pests. This project is identifying potential RNAi targets to add to the cotton boll weevil management tool box. 

I am fascinated by plant-insect-microbe interactions. Are plants responding differently? What happens when plants are exposed to both at once? How do herbivores respond to plants previously inoculated with microbes? Can we use all of this information to develop new pest management tools? My research attempts to answer all these questions using a wide array of techniques including: transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, GCMS, HPLC, bioassays, microscopy, etc.