Dr. Francine Soares joined the Six Legged Aggie Team near the end of May as an Extension Demonstration Technician. She is a true asset to the team as we continue to research solutions to common and upcoming pest problems impacting the greenhouse and nursery industry in Texas.
Francine Soares is a graduate of Santa Catarina State University (2006, Brazil) with a B.Sc. in Agronomy; she has a M.Sc in Genetic, Plant Breeding and Biotechnology of Plants from Agronomic Institute of Campinas (2009, Brazil) and Ph.D in Plant Genetic Resources from Federal University of Santa Catarina. She previously worked for 2 years as technical manager of in vitro micropropagation of banana plants at Flora Biotecnologia Company (Brazil) before she moved to USA. She has a strong research background in cell biology and physiology of plant development, biotechnology of plants, plant breeding and conservation of plants. During her Ph.D research she studied cellular and biochemistry parameters associated with development of somatic and zygotic embryos of Brazilian pine (Araucaria angustifolia) gymnosperm species native from Brazil.
Dr. Soares is very happy to be a part of our team and she is very excited to improve her knowledge in this new field as well as share her previous knowledge and experiences. In her free time Dr. Soares likes cooking and enjoys time with her family.
Dr. Soares will be assisting Erfan Vafaie as an Extension Demonstration Technician on the project of crapemyrtle bark scale, biological control of Bemisia tabaci in poinsenttia production, as well as assisting in projects to test the impact of new pesticides on plant health and insect management.
Below are some notes taken from some of the speakers at the 2018 Ornamental & Turf CEU Meeting held by Helena Chemical Company at the Rose Center, Tyler TX on June 26th. Disclaimer: the notes below do not represent endorsement, research, or vetting by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the AgriLife IPM Program Specialist Program. Notes below as provided as is from the speakers who provided the information.
Full program, including sponsors, is attached at the end of this document.
Another year and another successful greenhouse and nursery workshop here in Overton. We had many great speakers and are very grateful for our sponsors. I have included some summaries and resources from some of our speakers down below. I have created links below that will direct you to information pertinent to each speaker below. In the case where the speaker has given consent to share their presentation, I have also included that too.
With the plethora of pesticides out there, it can be challenging to know which will actually work an which wont. Many blogs and websites suggest different home remedies or natural products, but how can you know whether what the blogs are saying are reliable?
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 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.
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.
Adolfo Nieto is a recent graduate from The University of Texas at Tyler with a bachelors in Biology. As an undergraduate, he began his career as a researcher through the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in a project to design non-invasive sampling methods to identify the virology involved in Colony Collapse Disorder of native bumblebees. He has a deep felt passion for conservation and hopes his enthusiasm transcends through his work at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Extension Center in Overton, Texas where he will be involved in several projects targeted at prevention and management of invasive insect species such as the crape myrtle bark scale and conduct work on pollinator attractiveness to different flowers. Adolfo is happy to be part of such a great team and looks forward to facing the challenges and opportunities future research will bring.