Graduate Education in Entomology at Cornell

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Grad Student Spotlight

Erica Moretti

Research Interests: I am applying to Cornell for a MS in Entomology.  My interests within the field are insect-plant interactions and landscape ecology with an emphasis on applied research.  I am largely interested in how the landscape, such as location, isolation, and size of fields influences pest populations.  I am also interested in how management within fields and in the surrounding areas, including soil management such as tillage and pesticide use, influences populations of both pests and beneficial insects.  More specifically, I would like to work with onion thrips resistance in the lab of Dr. Brian Nault, who is taking a landscape level approach to analyzing onion thrips resistance to spinetoram in onion and other field and vegetable cropping systems.  In addition to honing research skills, I would like to focus efforts on extension and outreach to become acquainted with the challenges faced by growers in the region.

Grad Student Spotlight

Kara Fikrig

Research Interests: I studied ecology and evolutionary biology as an undergraduate, followed by a fifth year Masters of Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology of microbial diseases. I am interested in combining these two fields of study as they relate to Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The complexity of the way in which the ecology of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes is intertwined with the social structure of humans is fascinating. Under the guidance of Professor Laura Harrington, I hope to investigate methods by which to harness the natural ecology and biology of these mosquitoes to control their population and ultimately reduce the burden of disease.