Category Archives: Current

Jon Nemati – Ext. Demonstration Tech

Jonathan Nemati first joined the Six-legged Aggie team in early May of 2015 before returning to the center in April 2017. He graduated from LeTourneau University in 2016 with a B.S. in Biology.

He has had an interest in wildlife since he was little, collecting and observing a wide variety of wildlife as a hobby as well as studying to improve his knowledge of them. He also enjoys reading, hunting, hiking, fishing and a wide variety of sports. He intends to pursue graduate studies in ecology.

Jon’s role this summer will be to assist in data collection, analysis, and writing reports related to crapemyrtle bark scale, aphid, and thrips management.

Briton Grove – Ext. Demonstration Tech

Briton Grove is a graduate of University of Texas at Tyler with a BS in Biology and a minor in Biochemistry. 

She is interested in how the study of insects could help advance our understanding of antibiotics and disease. Her previous research experience including studying how CRISPRs grant acquired immunity to many viruses and how this tool could be used in autism research. She intends to start a master’s program this fall (2017) at University of Texas at Tyler, concentrating on entomology. For her master’s thesis, she will examine the roles that bacteria play in the stabilization of fungus-gardening ants and their symbiont fungi, including the use of antimicrobial compounds.

In her free time, Ms. Grove enjoys camping, traveling, and gardening. She also gives back to her local community by volunteering with Texas Mission of Mercy as a dental assistant, providing free dental care to low income residents.

Ms. Grove will be assisting Erfan Vafaie with research on the crapemyrtle bark scale, thrips, and aphid management this summer as an Extension Demonstration Technician.

Chris Knight – Ext. Demonstration Tech

Christopher Knight is a graduate from Texas Tech University with a B.Sc. in Horticulture and Turfgrass Science, where he was a member of the Honor Society for Ornamental Horticulture (Pi Alpha xi).  He previously worked for the Texas Tech University Library and currently works part-time for the Tyler Junior College library, providing him with the skills required to conduct literature research and shush disruptive library pests. Mr. Knight also spent time as a Lawn Specialist for TruGreen, the nations largest lawn company, giving him practical experiencing in landscaping and working with ornamentals.  Mr. Knight enjoys spending his free time hunting and fishing, as well as continuing as a hobbyist horticulturalist.       

 Mr. Knight will be assisting with research on the crapemyrtle bark scale this summer, as well as assisting in projects to test the impact of new pesticides on plant health and insect management.

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