Graduate Education in Entomology at Cornell

Grad Student Spotlight

Philip Houtz

Philip Houtz

Philip Houtz

Research Interests:  I am a Ph. D student in Nicolas Buchon’s lab. I am using Drosophila melanogaster as a model to study the genetic networks that control epithelial turnover in the gut. Specifically, I am interested in the mechanisms that control enterocyte extrusion from the epithelial layer, how this cellular delamination is coordinated with cytokine signaling to induce appropriate proliferation and differentiation responses in intestinal stem cells, and how the activity of bacteria within the gut can disrupt or maintain these events. My work should provide new, detailed insight into the cellular events that are responsible for maintaining gut homeostasis and integrity, and how different bacterial interactions may shape these processes. 

Grad Student Spotlight

Nick Aflitto

Nick Aflitto

Research Interests: My research is driven by a desire to reveal pest solutions that can be found in nature.  During my Ph.D., I aim to increase our understanding of acoustic-mediated chemical responses.  Specifically, I am interested in the interaction of sound and chemical communication across different trophic levels.  I see this work as a continuation of my M.S. research where I studied bark beetle acoustic communication and helped develop less toxic treatment options using biologically-relevant sounds.