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Summer Student – Jonathan Nemati

Jonathan Nemati joined the Six Legged Aggie Lab in early May of 2015. He is a senior student at LeTourneau University, where he is studying Biology.

Although he started in his father’s footsteps by studying engineering physics, he found himself more passionate about his grandfather’s career in ecology and environmental studies, which led him to change his major at the end of his sophomore year.  As such, Jon has good analytical and computing skills combined with his interest in living organisms and their interactions.

He has had an interest in wildlife since he was little, collecting and observing a wide variety of wildlife as a hobby and studying from a number of internet and text sources. His interest in insects began before he was able to read himself, asking his parents and brothers to read him books about insects such as Insects of the Los Angeles Basin (Hogue 1993), however, his primary interest is in the field of herpetology.His other hobbies include reading, hiking, hunting and a wide variety of sports. He intends to pursue graduate studies in ecology after graduating with his bachelors of science.

Jon will be primarily assisting Erfan Vafaie with work on the crape myrtle bark scale, as well as dabbling in other projects and general maintenance for the Six Legged Aggie venture.

Crape myrtle bark scale efficacy trial

Summary:

Efficacy of a horticultural oil + insect growth regulator mix (SuffOil-X + Molt-X) and two imidacloprid formulations (Bayer Tree and Shrub; Fertilome Tree & Shrub Systemic Insect Drench) were tested for control of bark scale (Eriococcus lagerostroemia) on crapemyrtles at LeTourneau University. There was a trend towards decreasing alive scales and decreasing alive:dead scale ratio with time, especially by the fifth week in all treatments (including the control). The systemic insecticides (imidacloprid) demonstrated a decrease in alive:dead scale ratio two weeks after treatment, whereas contact treatments showed a decrease one week after treatment (horticultural oil + insect growth regulator). Since the control also showed decrease in scale populations, in some cases before other treatments, the efficacy of the insecticides studied here are inconclusive.

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