ESA ECP Career Track Webinar: Academia - Research/Extension

Monday, June 5th, 2023

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm ET



Careers in entomology are just as diverse as the insects and arthropods we study! For this installment of the ECP webinar series highlighting the diverse careers in entomology, we are focusing on academic careers with research and/or extension appointments. Come meet our panelists and learn more about what they do, the job interview and hiring process, tips on how to be successful in an academic career, and more!

Moderator: Priya Chakrabati Basu

Panelists: Morgan Pinkerton, Cassandra Olds, Isaac Esquivel

Headshot for Morgan Pinkerton Dr. Morgan Pinkerton is the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Extension Agent with the University of Florida/IFAS Extension in Seminole County. She is a graduate of the UF Doctor of Plant Medicine Program and has a master’s degree in entomology. In her current position, she regularly works with farmers and horticulture professionals in Central Florida and beyond. Through in person and virtual educational programming, field visits, and one-on-one communications, she helps extension clientele increase the economic and environmental sustainability of their operations. In many of her extension programs, she focuses on diagnostics of plant problems, integrated pest management (IPM), and invasive species issues.
Headshot for Cassandra Olds Dr. Cassandra Olds is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Entomology at Kansas State University. She teaches courses focused on animal health entomology as well as vector-pathogen-host interactions. In addition to her teaching appointment, she also has research and extension appointments. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating arthropod control strategies in livestock and reducing vector-borne pathogen transmission.
Headshot for Isaac Esquivel

Dr. Isaac Esquivel received his B.S. from the University of California Riverside in 2014. As an undergraduate, he worked on host preferences of tomato psyllids with Drs. John Trumble and Sean Prager. After a successful undergraduate research project, he sought a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, completed in 2020 with Dr. Mike Brewer. Here he studied the spatial dynamics of cotton pests and wild bee pollinators. After graduating in the height of Covid in 2020, he completed a 1-year post-doc with Dr. Brewer working with sorghum aphids. He then transitioned to a brief post-doc at Alcorn State University and USDA-ARS in Stoneville, MS, working on small farm pollinators before starting his current position. Currently, Dr. Esquivel is an Assistant Professor of Agronomic and Forage crops in Entomology & Nematology at the University of Florida stationed at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, FL. He has a 60% Research and 40% Extension Appointment. He is interested in the spatial dynamics of plant-pest-natural enemy-pollinator interactions driven by landscape structure and composition. A major focus of his research integrates approaches from landscape ecology and incorporates new tools, such as geographic information systems and remote sensing systems, into improved pest management systems. He is interested in priority and emerging pest management issues relevant to the Florida panhandle (piercing-sucking pests of cotton and peanut) while balancing other ecological and economic values and objectives in the extant agroecosystem, including biological control services provided by natural enemies and pollination services provided by pollinators contributing to local, regional, and national goals in pest management and pollinator health.

Priya Chakrabarti Basu headshot Priya Chakrabarti Basu is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State University, where she teaches “Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping”. Priya studies the interactive impacts of multiple stressors on bees (poor nutrition, pesticides and climate change). She uses a wide array of multidisciplinary techniques across fields such as physiology, toxicology, functional biology, multiomics-based approaches and neuroethology to address her research questions. She is currently the Secretary/Treasurer of the American Association of Professional Apiculturists and is the Chair of the Early Career Professionals Committee of the Entomological Society of America. Priya is also a children’s book author to help spread pollinator awareness among young readers.

*Closed captioning is available*

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