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The Team

Matthew Berry

Research Associate

Rodrigo Diaz

Associate Professor

Fatima Nguyen 

Student Worker

Matthew received his Bachelor of Science from LSU in Biological Sciences with a marine science concentration. He oversees the organization and completion of surveys and collections of Phragmites in the Mississippi River Delta and in the surrounding areas of southeast Louisiana. This is accomplished in order to better determine the health of the Phragmites as well as the abundance of roseau cane scale insects.

Rodrigo leads the research program on biological control and invasive species.  

Fatima runs thermal ecology studies of Mexican rice borer (Eoreuma loftini), and assists with field and laboratory experiments.

Emily Passman

Student Worker

Emily assists with sample processing including aquatic macroinvertebrates, salvinia weevils and roseau cane scale. 

Keyla Pruett

Student Worker

Keyla works with parasitoids of the roseau cane scale (Nipponaclerda biwakoensis), and assist with field and laboratory experiments.

Korey Pham

Research Associate

Korey has broad interests on conservation ecology in managed and natural systems. In partnership with the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) and LSU AgCenter, Korey is responsible for managing the giant salvinia weevil mass-rearing operation and monitoring giant salvinia infestations across Southern Louisiana.

Charlie Wahl

Research Associate 

Charlie is responsible for the mass rearing of salvinia weevils in open-earthen ponds. In addition, he conducts research on the impact of giant salvinia on coastal freshwater wetlands.

Carlos Wiggins

Graduate Student

Carlos studies the insect herbivores associated with Conyza spp. (Asteraceae) in the Southeastern United States. 

Lab Alumni

Leslie Aviles, MsC

Leslie studied the host range of the roseau cane scale and host plant resistance.

Leslie Aviles, MsC

Leslie studied the host range of the roseau cane scale and host plant resistance.

Leslie Aviles, MsC

Leslie studied the host range of the roseau cane scale and host plant resistance.

Leslie Aviles, MsC

Leslie studied the host range of the roseau cane scale and host plant resistance.

Salvinia weevil rearing operation in St. Gabriel, LA. Collection of plant and water quality parameters.

Rodrigo Diaz

Associate Professor

Rodrigo leads the research program on biological control and invasive species.  

Fatima Nguyen 

Student Worker

Fatima runs thermal ecology studies of Mexican rice borer (Eoreuma loftini), and assists with field and laboratory experiments.

Emily Passman

Student Worker

Emily assists with sample processing including aquatic macroinvertebrates, salvinia weevils and roseau cane scale. 

Keyla Pruett

Student Worker

Keyla works with parasitoids of the roseau cane scale (Nipponaclerda biwakoensis), and assist with field and laboratory experiments.

Korey Pham

Research Associate

Korey has broad interests on conservation ecology in managed and natural systems. In partnership with the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) and LSU AgCenter, Korey is responsible for managing the giant salvinia weevil mass-rearing operation and monitoring giant salvinia infestations across Southern Louisiana.

Charlie Wahl

Research Associate 

Charlie is responsible for the mass rearing of salvinia weevils in open-earthen ponds. In addition, he conducts research on the impact of giant salvinia on coastal freshwater wetlands.

Carlos Wiggins

Graduate Student

Carlos studies the insect herbivores associated with Conyza spp. (Asteraceae) in the Southeastern United States. 

Lab Alumni

Leslie Aviles, MsC

Leslie studied the host range of the roseau cane scale and host plant resistance.

Leslie studied the host range of the roseau cane scale and host plant resistance.

Leslie studied the host range of the roseau cane scale and host plant resistance.

Rodrigo Diaz

Associate Professor

Rodrigo leads the research program on biological control and invasive species.  

Matthew Berry

Research Associate

Matthew received his Bachelor of Science from LSU in Biological Sciences with a marine science concentration. He oversees the organization and completion of surveys and collections of Phragmites in the Mississippi River Delta and in the surrounding areas of southeast Louisiana. This is accomplished in order to better determine the health of the Phragmites as well as the abundance of roseau cane scale insects.

Emilie Ann Eastman

Emilie Ann assists with Phragmites research, including field surveys in the Mississippi River Delta, colony maintenance, and lab processing of samples.In addition, she aids in research about the biological control of giant salvinia.

Ilgoo Khan

PhD Student

Ilgoo studies the phylogeny of the subfamily Cardiochilinae (Braconidae) which contains several parasitoid species of crop pests. In addition, Ilgoo assists with the identification of parasitoids of our projects.

Hannah Laville

Student Worker

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Fatima Nguyen 

Student Worker

Emily Passman

Student Worker

Korey Pham

Research Associate

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Keyla Pruett

Student Worker

Josh Snook

Research Associate  

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Tanner Sparks

PhD Student 

Charlie Wahl

Research Associate 

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Carlos Wiggins

Masters Student

Hannah assists with the aquatic weed biocontrol program. Activities include sampling salvinia weevils and monitoring recovery of freshwater wetlands.

Fatima runs thermal ecology studies of Mexican rice borer (Eoreuma loftini), and assists with field and laboratory experiments.

Emily assists with sample processing including aquatic macroinvertebrates, salvinia weevils and roseau cane scale. 

Korey has broad interests on conservation ecology in managed and natural systems. In partnership with the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) and LSU AgCenter, Korey is responsible for managing the giant salvinia weevil mass-rearing operation and monitoring giant salvinia infestations across Southern Louisiana.

Keyla works with parasitoids of the roseau cane scale (Nipponaclerda biwakoensis), and assist with field and laboratory experiments.

Josh completed his Master’s of Science degree in Entomology at Michigan State University in 2020 where he identified the effects of heat waves on the interaction and development of potato plants, early blight, and the Colorado potato beetle. Josh will be studying the invasive Roseau cane scale and its role in the Phragmites “Roseau cane” die-off in the Mississippi River Delta.

Tanner studies the parasitoids of the roseau cane scale (Nipponaclerda biwakoensis) present in Louisiana. The three species, Astymachus lasallei, Neastymachus japonicus, and Boucekiella depressa, are potential biocontrol agents of the scale. Tanner received his master’s degree from the University of Georgia in 2020 studying insecticide resistance in sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci. 

Charlie is responsible for the mass rearing of salvinia weevils in open-earthen ponds. In addition, he conducts research on the impact of giant salvinia on coastal freshwater wetlands.

Carlos studies the insect herbivores associated with Conyza spp. (Asteraceae) in the Southeastern United States. 

Seth Spinner, B.S. 

Seth studied air potato beetle distribution in LA and MS, and the biology of the fortuitous biological control agent of parrotfeather.

Lab Alumni

Steven Woodley, PhD,

Postoctoral Associate

Steven worked on biological control of giant salvinia, specifically, on population dynamics and the impact of salinity on the salinia weevil. 

Ian Knight, PhD, Postoctoral Associate

Ian managed the roseau cane scale project including field sampling, biological control, and host plant resistance projects.

Leslie Aviles, M. Sc.

Leslie studied the host range of the roseau cane scale and host plant resistance among Phragmites populations.

Giovana Matos, M. Sc.

Giovana studied the impact of commercial entomophatogens on the crapemyrtle bark scale and associated predators.

Balwinder Kaur, M. Sc.

Balwinder evaluated the establishment of parasitoids for the emerald ash borer.

Lori Moshman, M. Sc.

Lori measured the impact of row cover fabrics and crowding as methods to increase overwintering temperatures for salvinia weevils.

Zinan Wang, M. Sc.

Zinan studied the overwintering ecology of the crapemyrtle bark scale.

Alana Russell, M. Sc.

Alana compared the thermal ecology of the salvinia weevil from populations from Louisiana, Australia and Argentina.