Back to top

Grad Student Spotlight

Rekha Bhandari

Research Interests: I am a Ph.D. student in Dr. Greg Loeb’s lab in Cornell AgriTech, Geneva. I am fascinated by research on monitoring and managing insects in agroecosystem by utilizing existing IPM tools and by developing innovative IPM strategies. Specifically, I am driven towards developing management tactics by understanding insect behavior, insect ecology, and chemical ecology. My Ph.D. research focuses on assessing effective timing for insecticide application to manage grape sour rot and minimize the risk of insecticide resistance, developing effective monitoring strategies for disease-associated insects (especially Drosophila fruit flies), and understanding insect vector dynamics in the sour rot disease etiology. I strive to contribute to outreach and extension by providing new information about insect pests to growers in an engaging way through educational videos, newsletter articles, updated websites, and hands-on activities.
Nathalia Florez

Nathalia Florez

Research Interests: I am broadly interested in systematics, evolution, and biogeography, with a deep focus on native bees. Since my Bachelor's degree, I have worked with this fascinating group, studying the mutualistic interactions between bee and plant communities in a Dry Tropical Forest. For my MS I studied the taxonomic delimitation and systematics of a bee subgenus for the Neotropics. As a Ph.D. student, I expected to understand the specialist interactions between bees and plants under an evolutive perspective, considering which phenotypic traits allow these close interactions