"I applied to the University Scholars program to learn more about the research process. Not every undergraduate student receives the opportunity to conduct his or her own research. The Scholars program allows students this opportunity and connects them with students and professionals that have similar interests and goals. This academic year, I plan to complete an Honors Thesis Project that will contribute valuable knowledge to the field of Veterinary Entomology. I hope to graduate in the Spring and be accepted into the University of Florida School of Veterinary Medicine."
Entomology and Nematology, Animal Sciences
I am currently double majoring in Entomology and Nematology and Animal Sciences. My research interests include pesticide resistance, specifically imidacloprid resistance, and methods of resistance in house flies (behavioral or physiological).
- Price Scholarship (2011)
- John A. Mulrennan Sr. Scholarship (2010)
- Anderson Scholar Award (2011)
- Presidential Service Award from UF President, Bernie Machen in recognition of community service and dedication and as a servant-leader in the area of health and community
- UF Entomology Club
- UF Pre-Veterinary Medicine Club
- UF Pre-Professional Service Organization
- Golden Key Honor Society
- Vice-President of Gators for Gainesille Pet Rescue
For the past two years, I have been a devoted volunteer and foster for the Gainesville Pet Rescue. I have also volunteered with the Turks and Caicos Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) every summer for the past three years.
Hobbies and Interests
- Outdoors, snorkeling, jet skiing, going on nature walks, camping, catching insects playing poker and traveling
The Role of Behavioral Mechanisms in House Fly (Musca domestica) Resistance to Imidacloprid
The purpose of this experiment is to evaluate the role of behavioral mechanisms in imidacloprid resistance by selecting for increased resistance within a lab strain of house fly, Musca domestica (FDMimi). Mortality rates following selection using choice and no-choice assays will be compared to classify resistance as behavioral or biochemical. Selection for imidacloprid resistance in M. domestica will be performed for five generations on FDMimi. Sexes will be separated prior to mating and general selection will be performed by administering imidacloprid bait for the amount of time necessary to kill approximately 70% of each sex (LT-70). Survivors will then be allowed to mate and their offspring will serve as the next generation upon which further selection will occur. Beginning with the third, and continuing through the fifth generation, a subset of the specimens destined for selection will be divided into an experimental group exposed to a choice assay (given both sugar and imidacloprid bait) and one exposed to a no-choice assay (given imidacloprid bait only). At the LT-70 of the “no-choice” groups, the imidacloprid baits will also be removed from the “choice” groups. An increase in the LT-70 may correspond to an increase in metabolic or target-site mutation resistance or some other mechanism. The no-choice assay will select for chemical resistance because the flies are forced to ingest imidacloprid bait, their only food source. If the flies are able to detect the insecticide and avoid consuming it altogether, behavioral resistance will result in a higher mortality rate in the no-choice assay when compared to the choice assay. Regardless of the mechanism of resistance, the results of this experiment will provide further support for and encourage the use of integrated pest management in livestock, food, and military operations.