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CASNR Student Captures Top Finish at Int’l Congress of Entomology

An estimated 6,000 Entomology and Plant Pathology faculty and students, the largest delegation in the history of the discipline, attended the International Congress of Entomology, held in Orlando earlier this month. The Congress allows scientists and students to interact with the world’s leading experts, two Nobel Prize winners among them, in many specialties to exchange ideas and build on their research. That makes it especially impressive that CASNR student David Theuret won first place in the graduate student oral presentation competition at the event!

Theuret is a member of assistant professor Becky Trout Fryxell’s lab in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. She says, “To me, David has already accomplished so much in such a short period of time. When he arrived as a student, David asked me to push him and he told me that he wanted to conduct research that was practical to the community, meaning he wanted me to help him develop his capability and meet his potential, to learn and grow as an entomologist and student, and to give back to his community. Students rarely ask for this before they start their graduate degree.”

Thus, David’s thesis is both practical and groundbreaking, Trout Fryxell says. “It focuses on the diversity of tick species that parasitize beef cattle (necessary for surveillance) and investigates the microbial communities within ticks (necessary to identify new modes of action for tick control). Already, he has developed an extensive network of producers within Tennessee (including UT AgResearch staff, private producers, livestock auctions, Extension agents) to ensure his research has an impact throughout the state. It is great to see him rewarded for all of his hard work.”