Mr. Newburn has been working on the Six Legged Aggie Team since late 2018. He worked for the previous extension program specialist in IPM (Dr. Scott Ludwig) and brings expertise gained from working at one of the ornamental facilities nearby. He is an invaluable asset to the team.
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.