Justin Renkema, PhD- Assistant Professor CV
I received a PhD from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada in Biology in 2011 and a MS in Environmental Biology from University of Guelph, Canada in 2004.

I grew up close to agriculture in small town/rural southwestern Ontario, Canada and became interested in applied entomology working as an undergraduate research assistant in a field crops entomology lab.


Graduate Students

Babu Panthi, PhD student
I joined the Renkema lab in Fall 2016 as a PhD student. I completed my MS degree in Entomology from University of Florida in 2015. My research interests are with integrated pest management (IPM), insect ecology and sampling techniques.

During my PhD, I will develop management practices for chilli thrips in strawberries and blueberries. I am currently investigating economic thresholds for chilli thrips in strawberries and determining the distribution of chilli thrips in strawberry fields.

Michael Hull, MS student

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Braden Evans, PhD student
I am getting an early start on my post-doctoral research, focusing on twospotted spider mite resistance to miticides in strawberries, as I complete my PhD in entomology from the University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada.

I’m likely one of the few entomologists with an MBA in finance, which gives me a uniquely broad perspective in addressing insect-related economic problems.

Karol Krey, PhD
I am a Florida native and received my Bachelor of Science in entomology from the University of Florida. I recently earned my PhD in entomology from Washington State University in Pullman, WA. I am interested in molecular ecology and improving techniques in agriculture. I am fascinated by insects and how much we can learn using molecular tools to examine ecological questions in agroecosystems. Karol_profile_pic-curved_edges20


Shashan Devkota, MS- Lab Coordinator
I completed my Masters in Entomology at the University of Florida in Homestead, FL in 2015. shashanprofile2
Marc Santos- Research Assistant
My BA from the University of New Orleans focused on Urban Planning and Hazard Mitigation, which I completed in 2011. I joined Dr. Renkema’s lab in January of 2016 as a lab tech and am learning about agriculture and GIS mapping when I can. I am also the current web guru for the site.

When I’m not working, I homestead on 5.7 acres with horses, dairy goats, chickens, herb/vegetable gardens, and a newly established fruit/food forest according to permaculture guidelines.

Ryan Batts- Research Assistant
Bio ryan-batts
Darsy Smith- Intern
Hola! I am young enthusiastic entomologist from Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico. I am interested in natural enemies, tritrophic interactions and insect ecology in agricultural systems. I believe that women and under-represented groups should focus on getting an education and contribute to science, as my adviser, Dr. Alejandro Segarra, always advocated. This is one of the main reasons I became an entomologist! I also believe in international collaboration as an opportunity to share and spread scientific knowledge. This has become a life goal for me, since I started my BSc in crop protection and completed several summer internships in the United States and Puerto Rico (2010-2014).

I am currently finishing my MS in entomology at the University of Puerto Rico. During my masters degree I determined the abundance of aphid species associated with citrus orchards and its relation with citrus phenology. I also completed a survey of hymenopterous wasps associated with citrus aphids (Aphis gossypii Glover, Aphis spiraecola Patch, Aphis (Toxoptera) citricida (Kirkaldy) and Aphis (Toxoptera) aurantii (Boyer de Fonscolombe) and I evaluated their role in controlling citrus aphids. From our research, two aphidiine wasps (Braconidae: Aphidiinae) were collected: Lysiphlebus testaceipes (Cresson) and Lipolexis oregmae (Gahan) the latter being the first record for Puerto Rico! Finally, as a complement, I performed DNA extraction and PCR with species specific primers to detect both aphidiine from aphid samples collected around the mountainous areas of Puerto Rico.

 Darsy Profile Pic

Advisory Committee Member for:

Iris Strzyzewski, PhD Student
Chris Crockett, PhD student
I grew up in Virginia Beach, VA and attended Virginia Commonwealth University where I received a BS in Biology and Environmental Studies. I received a MS in Entomology at the University of Florida, where my thesis focused on the use of remote sensing to detect infestations of the twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, on commercially grown strawberries.

Currently I am pursuing my PhD at the University of Florida focusing on the integration of unmanned aerial vehicle imaging technology in strawberries to further advance the proof of concepts in spider mite monitoring developed during my MS degree. My research interests include: landscape ecology, chemical ecology, remote sensing, IPM, and sustainable agriculture. I enjoy riding bikes, brewing beer, and playing musical instruments.


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