Ariane McCorquodale

  • Dr. Tesfamariam Mengistu

    Featured in: DPM Fall 2017 Newsletter

    Dr. Mengistu has since moved to another position, you can read about his contributions the DPM program and students in the archived highlight below.

    Dr. Tesfamariam Mengistu is an Assistant Professor of Nematology in the UF Entomology and Nematology Department with a 45% extension, 30% teaching, and 25% research appointment. He also serves as the Director of the UF Nematode Diagnostic and Assay Laboratory on campus.

    Dr. Mengistu received his B.S. in Plant Sciences from Alemaya University, Ethiopia, his M.S. in Nematology from the University of Ghent, Belgium, and his PhD in Soil Ecosystem Phytopathology and Nematology from the University of Bonn in Germany. Before coming to UF, Dr. Mengistu worked as a Plant Pathologist and Nematologist at the National Plant Protection Research Institute in Ethiopa and as a Post Doc at the University of Illinois working on research focused on nematodes that infect plants grown for bioenergy crops. Continue Reading →

  • Dr. Rebecca Barocco

    Featured in: DPM Fall 2017 Newsletter

    Q: Describe your academic background?
    A: I obtained a BS degree in Horticulture at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in the fall of 2009. After graduating, I spent some time in the plant pathology department in Arkansas and then worked on a small CSA farm before deciding to pursue the DPM program from 2012-2016.

    Q: What is your current occupation and how has your DPM degree aid-ed you in the tasks and responsibilities associated with your position?
    A: My current position is a Post-doctoral Associate in plant pathology at the UF/IFAS NFREC in Quincy, FL. I am part of the agronomy and plant pathology team working on carinata and peanut research. One of our current projects is to develop high-throughput phenotyping methods using imagery and computer vision. This data combined with other agronomic and disease management trials will ideally discover the best cultivars and management strategies for growing carinata in the Southeast. The imagery techniques we develop for carinata will be then be translated for use in peanut research in the summer. Because the DPM program is integrated across a variety of fields in applied crop science, it was a great preparation for my current position. Although I am technically in the plant pathology department, I am part of a cross-discipline team in field research. The DPM program also allowed me to take a variety of electives in GIS, precision agriculture, and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), which are directly relevant to my current position. Continue Reading →

  • Spring Internship with Glades Crop Care – By Kayla Thomason

    Featured: DPM Spring 2017 Newsletter

    This Spring I had the opportunity to intern with Glades Crop Care in Jupiter, FL with Madeline and Charlie Mellinger. Working with a team of trained scouts and crop consultants, I learned how to identify many insect and disease pests in sweet corn, cabbage, green beans, tomatoes, radishes, and potatoes. Sweet corn was the crop I spent the most time scouting during my internship. This internship has helped me take the technical information that I’ve learned in classes, apply it to field settings, and pinpoint problems that growers were facing. My internship was extremely valuable and has contributed to my knowledge base.

  • Internship with FDACS DPI – By Nicole Casuso

    Featured: DPM Spring 2017 Newsletter

    During my internship with the Technical Assistance Department at DPI, I was granted the creative freedom to develop a innovative, visual, and interactive displays that represented the Division at the Florida State Fair held in Tampa, FL in February 2017. Celebrating the theme, DPI: 100 Years of Protecting Florida’s Plant and Apiary Industry, the Division’s presence was going to be larger than previous years and stand as the central feature in the Ag Exhibit Hall at the fairgrounds. As an adoring fan of museums and creative, hands-on education tactics, I dove into the vastness of the internet and utilized personal experiences to draft many ideas for the state fair exhibit. We wanted the DPI exhibit to tell a story and highlight the importance of the Division for audiences of all ages and professional backgrounds.

    I designed the overall exhibit layout as well as several key display items with assistance from my coworkers in TA and staff from the Division’s five technical Bureaus (Plant and Apiary Inspection; Entomology, Nematology, and Plant Pathology [includes Botany]; Methods Development and Biological Con-trol; Citrus Budwood Registration; and Pest Eradication and Control). Continue Reading →

  • Summer Internship with Dow AgroSciences – By Nicole Casuso

    Nicole CasusoFeatured: DPM Fall 2015 Newsletter Article

    This summer I had the privilege of working at the Indianapolis Global Headquarters for Dow AgroSciences (DAS). I served as an intern in Discover Biology – Crop Protection in Insect Management. My supervisor was Dr. Frank Wessels, a UF Entomology Department alumnus.

    Vinegar FlyI spent most of my time in the lab conducting behavioral bioassays with vinegar flies and grasshoppers. At the end of my 13 week substantial internship in Indy, I had the opportunity to present my project results during a student poster session with the other summer interns. The experience I had working with DAS was very enriching. I gained exposure and insight into what a career in industry entails as well as valuable lab training and poster presentation skills I did not previously have.

  • Summer Internship with Syngenta – By Kayla Thomason

    Kayla Adele ThomasonFeatured: DPM Spring 2015 Newsletter Article

    Last summer, I had the opportunity to work with Syngenta at their research station in Vero Beach, FL in their weed control department. I learned how to conduct and evaluate field and greenhouse trials as well as how to effectively identify some major weeds. Some of the trials Kayla Adele Thomason included the following topics: nozzle efficacy tests, herbicide tests for to-be-labeled-chemicals for minor crop use, and dose response tests for rotational crops. Overall, the experience was quite enjoyable. I was able to work with many talented scientists who took any opinions I had about the trials into consideration while pushing me to think outside the box and further develop my problem-solving abilities. This opportunity has allowed me to create memorable connections for the future.

  • Summer Entomology Internship with Driscoll Strawberry Associates, Inc. – By Carla Calvert Burkle

    Carla BurkeFeatured: DPM Fall 2014 Newsletter Article

    I had the privilege of working this summer as an Entomology Intern with Driscoll Strawberry Associates, Inc.’s Global Research and Development unit in Watsonville, CA. Driscoll’s is a family-owned company that began with Ed Reiter and Dick Driscoll growing ‘Sweet Briar’ strawberries in California’s Pajaro Valley in 1904. Driscoll’s has grown into a multi-national operation with production in 18 countries on 5 different continents and an annual revenue of $1-2 billion. Driscoll’s breeds their own varieties of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries which they Karla Burke grow and distribute in cooperation with private growers. Driscoll’s nationally recruits students for their internship program, and my multidisciplinary, applied Doctor of Plant Medicine training was a good fit for their objectives. I developed an integrated pest management applied research project with Driscoll’s Entomology Lead Dr. Michael Seagraves to support their ongoing efforts to control spotted wing drosophila. I assisted with weekly monitoring of western flower thrips and two-spotted spider mites in organic strawberry fields in the Salinas Valley, Driscoll and consulted with the breeding and plant pathology units as well. My internship was a challenging but rewarding opportunity to apply the extensive training I’ve received the last four years across the DPM disciplines of entomology and nematology, soil and water science, agronomy, horticulture, and plant pathology. Though I was an entomology intern, my multidisciplinary training facilitated a richer experience for both Driscoll’s and me.

  • Summer Crop Protection and Food Safety Internship with Pleasant Valley Gardens Farm in Methuen, Massachusetts – By Alicyn Ryan

    Alicyn Ryan

    Feature: DPM Fall 2014 Newsletter Article

    This internship fulfilled a requirement for my USDA National Needs Fellowship and counted as a substantial industry internship for the DPM Program. My goal was to create a Harmonized Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) program for the farm while gaining hands on experience in food production. As an approaching fourth year student who has spent all of her free time in the Alicyn Ryan Plant Diagnostic Clinic on campus, I was amazed how much in class/lab experience I was able to apply to situations in the field. This was eye opening to me; I realized how much I had learned these past three years working towards my DPM with each problem that was presented.

    Besides identifying and giving recommendations for controlling pests, I also learned basic farm work, such as fixing a leak in the drip tape, using a dosatron to fertigate with and tilling with an $87,000 tractor! The owner of Pleasant Valley Gardens, Dr. Rich Bonanno, is employed by UMass as a Senior Extension Specialist and also the president of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation. Due to this position, I was able to Alicyn Ryan attend a number of meetings with Dr. Bonanno where I was able to speak with to the commissioners of agriculture from New England and others involved in the agricultural industry. Besides making a food safety plan, I also completed a food safety presentation that will be used on the UMass food safety websites. This hands on experience was crucial for me during my last year in the DPM program as it has given me an improved confidence and awareness of my DPM skill set.

  • Dr. Tina Bond

    Featured in: DPM Newsletter Summer 2017

    Q: Describe your academic background?
    A: My background is in turf, ornamentals and aquatics. I obtained a BS in Agriculture from the University of Delaware where I majored in Plant Science with a Concentration in Ornamental Horticulture.

    Q: What is your current occupation and how has your DPM degree aided you in the tasks and responsibilities associated with your position?
    A: I currently work for Helena Products Group as a Product Specialist. I support Helena’s adjuvant and Value Added product lines in all specialty markets across the U.S. Some of my responsibilities include product registration and label amendments, new product development, and technical support. The markets I support are forestry, aquatics, IVM, golf, greenhouse/nursery, and turf/ornamentals (basically anything that isn’t Ag). Since I travel the country, it is important to be able to look at an issue in the field and be able to help in a va-riety of situations. I’ve looked at forestry tracks in Weed, CA, to bermudagrass lawns hit by extreme weather in Greenville, Texas, to aquatic weed pressures in Coeur d’Alene, ID, to fertility issues in my own front yard in Florida. From weed identification to pesticide application and everything in between, I use the knowledge I obtained in the Plant Medicine Program in all aspects of my job, every single day. Continue Reading →

  • Dr. Adam Dale

    Featured in: DPM Newsletter Summer 2017

    Dr. Adam Dale (see above photo left) is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist of turf and ornamental entomology in the UF Entomology and Nematology Department. He has been with the department a year and a half. Dr. Dale received his B.S. in biology and his Ph.D. in Entomology with a minor in horticulture from North Carolina State University. When asked what got him interested in entomology, Dr. Dale shared the following, “I began college interested in human biology and was working towards a clinical research or medical career. Towards the end of college, I began working for an entomologist out of desperation for a job, which ended up redirecting my interests towards entomology and ecology. That position turned into a multiple year job and me going to graduate school to study entomology.” Continue Reading →