Raquel Hill

I am originally from the Caribbean Island of Dominica. I obtained my B.S. degree in Biology from the University of the Virgin Islands.

My interest in agriculture, particularly plant pathogens, was untypical. After completing an Associate degree in Biology from Dominica State College, my plans were far from agriculture. However, I worked at Plant Protection & Quarantine (PPQ) laboratory as a lab assistant. During my tenure, I got introduced to the world of entomology, pathology, extension, and plant propagation through intense lab and field training. I had the opportunity to travel throughout the Caribbean to receive training in various plant health problems experienced in the region. I also received training in plant mite identification at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. I worked on a joint research project with EMBRAPA, Brazil, to control the red palm mite (Raoiella indica) using Beauveria bassiana, entomopathogenic fungi applied under greenhouse conditions in Dominica. The knowledge and experience gained from working at PPQ led me to pursue a bachelor’s degree and, presently, the DPM program.

Developing countries such as the Caribbean have limited technical and financial resources, and agriculture remains one of the highest contributors to GDP. My goal is to use the resources and network achieved through the DPM program to aid in regulatory pest management in the region. I am particularly interested in this program since it provides students with immersive experiences and training in all aspects of plant health.