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Entomological Society of America names winners of 2013 student travel grants
Date:9/11/2013

her current dissertation work at Penn State, where she is pursuing a dual degree in entomology and international agriculture and development.

ERIN MORRIS received her MS in entomology from the Ohio State University in 2005. Her MS project was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Parwinder Grewal and focused on the use of entomopathogenic nematodes and fungi to control invasive Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica). Currently, Erin is a PhD candidate in entomology at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, working under Dr. Ann Hajek. For her dissertation research, she has continued to focus on nematodes as biological control agents, concentrating on Sirex noctilio, an invasive pest of pine trees. The parasitic nematode Deladenus siricidicola is under consideration for release in the United States, and Erin is investigating the potential for non-target effects, better ways to mass-produce the nematode, and potential hurdles to successful control. To do this, she is investigating the numerous interactions between invasive S. noctilio woodwasps, their nematode parasites, and the symbiotic fungi with which the woodwasps kill pine trees. Methods she has used to answer these questions include the development of molecular identification techniques for parasitic nematodes, nematode reproduction assays, fungal culture, and phylogenetic analysis, as well as fluorescence and cryogenic scanning electron microscopy. She expects to graduate with her PhD this fall, and is currently looking for postdoctoral opportunities in invertebrate pathology, biological control, or nematology.


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Contact: Richard Levine
rlevine@entsoc.org
301-731-4535
Entomological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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