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Current Lab People
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Here you can learn about current students, postdoctoral researchers, and technicians working in the lab. 

Technicians

Molly Dieterich Mabin

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During my undergraduate studies I developed a strong interest in ecology and the interactions between plants and animals. At OSU my thesis research focused on biological control of cucumber beetles within cucurbit crops. I examined how different farm and field management techniques affect the community of predatory arthropods within those crops, and if differences within that community affects predation on cucumber beetles. Currently, I am helping with a variety of projects in the lab that focus on how pollinator behavior affects gene flow between genetically engineered and conventional alfalfa. When not at work, I like to go hiking and camping with my family!

  1. Dieterich Mabin, M., Welty, C., Gardiner, M.M. 2020. Predator richness predicts pest suppression within organic and conventional summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L. Cucurbitales: Cucurbitaceae). Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 287:106689. 

Patricia Dombrowski

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As an undergraduate, I developed a love of invertebrate research working with land snails and benthic invertebrates. During my time at USD, I worked primarily with the Hine's emerald dragonfly, a federally listed endangered species, and the Captive Breeding Program. My thesis focused on the relationship and behavioral interactions between dragonfly larvae and devil crayfish, their temperamental roommates. Currently, I am helping on various projects in the lab that focus on pollinator behavior affecting gene flow and different management techniques for alfalfa production. Outside of the workplace, I am often found exploring with my family and the greatest dog, Hiro.  

Postdoctoral Trainees

Fabiana Palmieri Fragoso - July 2017 - Present

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I have a B.S. and teaching degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. As an undergraduate, I investigated the reinstatement of litter decomposition in areas of Atlantic Forest undergoing restoration. Subsequently, I earned a M.S. and Ph.D. in Entomology studying how pollinator communities, mainly bees, respond to forest restoration. Currently, I am assessing how how pollinator behavior affects gene flow of genetically engineered crops at the landscape level. Using alfalfa and bumblebees as the study system, I am analyzing the decision making process used to move between patches in various landscapes. I am also obtaining empirical evidence of gene flow from genetically engineered to conventional patches of alfalfa. These results will contribute to improved management strategies and enhanced coexistence among genetically engineered, organic, and export crop markets.

Luciano Palmieri - April 2018 - present

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I am an entomologist interested in systematics, taxonomy, and biogeography of weevils (Curculionid beetles), and during my Ph.D., I studied the association between weevils and fig trees. I discovered that a huge variety of weevil species are associated with figs all over the world. Currently, I am working on four projects on population genetics. I am applying high throughput technologies to understand the evolution, population structure and gene flow of different species of plants and insects. 

  1. Palmieri, L., Ellison, D., Senalik, Simon, P., Brunet, J. 2019. Genetic markers to detect introgression of cultivar genes in wild carrot populations. Acta Horticulturae

Andrew Flick

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 I am trained as a disease ecologist and am interested in tri-trophic interactions. During my PhD (Elderd Lab) I studied the interactions between a predator and a pathogen that attacked the same prey/host. I found that predators suffered reduced fitness when consuming infected prey through both meta-analysis and lab work. I also found that predators increased disease transmission in small-scale field studies. On the side I enjoy playing soccer and taking road trips. Check out my site here: www.ecoflicklab.com.