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Name: Dan Hahn

Hometown: Hallandale, Florida, USA

Position: Chief e-mail writer and form filler-outer (PI)

Education: B.S. in Biological Sciences from

Florida State University

Ph.D. in Insect Science from the University of Arizona

Prized publication: Our next paper is going to be amazing because…


I am fascinated by evolution, particularly adaptation and diversification. About half of my work is driven by the desire to understand the vast diversity of life histories one can observe in across every group of animals and plants. As a comparative physiologist, I like to study diversification through the mechanistic lenses of cell biology, biochemistry, development, and genetics. We have studied diversification in a number of contexts including the evolution of phenotypic plasticity – particularly in life-history timing, and hardiness to environmental stressors. The other half of my interests lie in using this mechanistic perspective on how insects work to improve environmentally friendly facets of pest management. For example, our group has contributed to enhancing the performance of insect biological control agents and developing non-chemical treatments to eliminate insect pests from fresh fruits and vegetables. When I am not working, I like to spend time with my family. I love traveling, being outdoors, and eating.

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Name: Chao Chen

Hometown: Yongxiu County, Jiangxi, China

Position: Postdoc Associate

Education: B.S. in Plant Protection from

Jiangxi Agricultural University

Ph.D. in Crop Protection from Jiangxi Agricultural University

Prized publication: Inheritance of photoperiodic control of pupal diapause in the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner)


My research project in Hahn lab focuses on 1) the mechanisms of energetic regulation in insect diapause by using the flesh fly, Sarcophaga crassipalpis; 2) improving environmentally friendly methods SIT (sterile insect technique) for mosquito control and facilitating phytosanitary irradiation treatments for commodities. Beside these project, I’m always interested in utilizing beneficial insect such as black soldier fly for improving sustainable lifestyle.


Name: Geoffrey Broadhead

Hometown: Yanceyville, NC, USA

Position: Postdoc Associate

Education: B.S. in Biological Sciences

from North Carolina State University

Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University

I am interested in how individual physiological state generates variation and influences the success of organismal life history strategies.  In my PhD work I focused on chemical signaling interactions between plants and pollinators (floral scent), focusing on the allocation strategies of plants advertising to pollinators, and the behavioral preferences and fitness outcomes of visiting insect pollinators. In the Hahn lab I work in the Rhagoletis system to investigate the role of developmental signaling pathways in maintaining differential life history timing between host races. 


Joseph Berger;

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Name: Qinwen Xia

Hometown: Jiangxi , China

Position: Postdoc Associate

Education: B.S. in Agronomy from

Jiangxi Agricultural University

M.S. in Zoology from Jiangxi Agricultural University

Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Florida

Prized publication: Inheritance of photoperiodic induction of larval diapause in the Asian corn borer Ostrinia furnacalis


My Ph.D. work focused on the endocrine mechanisms underlying rapid evolution of life cycle timing via shifts in the timing of diapause. Specifically, I conducted endocrine studies in two classic models of ecological speciation via divergence in diapause timing, the apple maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella) and the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis). Each species has early and late diapausing races or strains that affect the timing of adult activity, thus generating reproductive isolation. They are the early emerging apple and late emerging hawthorn host races in R. pomonella, as well as the early and late emerging strain in O. nubilalis. The shifts in diapause timing in both species are associated with release timing of ecdysteroids and the timing of ecdysteroid sensitivity, a key hormone that promotes the start of morphogenesis after pupal diapause in R. pomonella and larval diapause in O. nubilalis. I will continue my research as a post doc by investigating the potential upstream molecular events underlying rapid adaption in diapause timing.

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Name: Dylan A. Tussey

Hometown: Lexington, North Carolina, USA

Position: Ph.D. Student

Education: B.S. in Environmental Entomology from

UNC Asheville

M.S. in Entomology from the University of Minnesota

Prized publication: Effects of adult feeding and overwintering conditions on energy reserves and flight performance of emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)


Broadly, I’m interested in improving the management of insect pests invasive species through a better knowledge of the species’ ecology and physiology. My current research focuses on improving the quality of sterilized Aedes aegypti mosquitoes for use in sterile insect technique (SIT). Specifically, I’m working to make sterilized males more competitive against wild males for access to females in the wild through reducing non-target effects that reduce the performance of males that arise during mass rearing and sterilization through gamma-irradiation. From egg collection through release, there are numerous inefficiencies that can lead to poor quality sterile males. If SIT is a business, then sterile males are the product, and my goals are to make that product more reliable and cost effective. When I’m not playing with mosquitoes in the lab, I am usually swatting them while enjoying my hobbies: fishing, gardening, and wildlife photography.


Photo by Dylan Tussey

Photo by Dylan Tussey


Photo by Dylan Tussey

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Name: Clancy Short

Hometown: Goshen, Indiana, USA

Position: Ph.D. Student

Education: B.S. in Entomology from The Ohio State University

M.S. in Entomology from the University of Florida

Prized publication: Entrainment of eclosion and preliminary ontogeny of circadian clock gene expression in the flesh fly, Sarcophaga crassipalpis


I'm fascinated by how insects, with their tiny brains, are still capable of making "smart" decisions. More specifically, I research how insects can change their reproductive development and behavior in response to malnutrition. The investigate this question, I use males of the Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa. When I feed these males enough dietary protein, they display more reproductive behavior. But how are they sensing that they've eaten enough protein? I think proteins called hexamerin storage proteins, are used as a circulating signal of how much protein an insect has consumed, and then insects use this information to make "smart" decisions about behavior and development.  One day SIT programs may be able to use my findings to trick insect males into displaying more courtship behavior, generating more efficient SIT programs. As my work continues, I want to investigate how insects integrate time-of-day/time-of-year information with nutritional information to make decisions about development and behavior. When I'm not in the lab, I like to play water polo and electric bass.


Photo by Dylan Tussey

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Photo by Dylan Tussey

Photo by Dylan Tussey

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Name: Valeriya Prytkova

Hometown: Edmond, Oklahoma, USA

Position: Undergraduate Volunteer

Education: Ongoing B.S. in Biology from the University of Florida

I am fascinated by fascinated people, and Dr. Hahn’s lab is contagious with a passion for knowledge. Within the last year, I have become extremely interested in analyzing universal events such as puberty and circadian rhythms in tiny creatures such as flies. I especially love hands on learning through meticulous dissections or brain injections! For my project, I am investigating whether protein storage regulates the growth of the salivary glands (a secondary sexual character) in the Caribbean fruit fly. This is a pathway to decreasing the costs of SIT which is an environmental-friendly method of pest-control.Outside of the lab, I’m studying to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and enjoy playing the piano in my free time.

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Name: Olivia Smith

Hometown: Orlando, Florida, USA

Position: Laboratory Technician

Education: B.S. in Biology from the University of Florida

My research experience includes work with MBNL1 and MBNL2 mice, C. elegans, and now Aedes agypti. Most of my work has revolved around evolution and population genetics. In the Hahn lab, exposure to insect physiology has taken me out of my comfort zone and proven to be a wonderful experience so far. I help with some of the metabolic measurements for the diapause timing project involving Rhagoletis pomonella. I will also be assisting with the current Sterile Insect Technique project. Outside of the lab, I enjoy volunteering in various areas in the community and take time to destress with my cat Bubbs.

Postgraduate Alumni


Andrew Nguyen

Postdoc 2017-2019

Last Known Whereabouts:

PETA International Science Consortium Ltd.

James Brown

MS Student 2016-2019

Last Known Whereabouts:


Leigh Boardman

Postdoc 2015-2018

Last Known Whereabouts:

Postdoc, University of Florida

Vanessa Simoes Dias De Castro

PhD Student 2014-2018

Last Known Whereabouts:

Research Scientist, FAO/IAEA Insect Pest Control Laboratory

Tom Powell

Postdoc 2013-2016

Last Known Whereabouts:

Faculty, Binghamton University

Nick Teets

Postdoc 2013-2015

Last Known Whereabouts:

Faculty, University of Kentucky

Catriona Condon

Postdoc 2013-2015

Last Known Whereabouts:

Patent Examiner, IP Australia based at Canberra University Medical School

Internet Ghost

Caroline Williams

Postdoc 2012-2014

Last Known Whereabouts:

Faculty, University of California Berkeley

Bo Idsardi

MS Student 2012-2014

Last Known Whereabouts:

PhD in Science Education, University of Georgia

Faculty, Eastern Washington University

Dehlia Albrecht:

MS Student 2011-2013

Last Known Whereabouts:

PhD Student, UF Agricultural Education and Communication

Program Coordinator, UF Center for Precollegiate Education and Training

Giancarlo Lopez-Martinez

Postdoc 2009-2013

Last Known Whereabouts:

Faculty, North Dakota State University

Bertanne Visser

Postdoc 2012

Last Known Whereabouts:

Postdoctoral Fellow, Catholic University Leuven, Belgium

Greg Ragland

Postdoc 2007-2011

Last Known Whereabouts:

Faculty, University of Colorado-Denver

Sharon Clemmensen

MS Student 2008-2010

Last Known Whereabouts:

PhD in Ecology & Evolution, University of Tennessee

Lecturer, University of Tennessee

Frank Wessels

PhD Student, 2005-2010

Last Known Whereabouts:

Scientist, DowAgroSciences/Corteva

Undergraduate Alumni


Samantha Thomas


Last Known Whereabouts:

Bone Histology Lab at UF

Johanna Schwartz


Last Known Whereabouts:


Nicole DeLorenzo


Last Known Whereabouts:

Full-time lab tech NOVA Southeastern Medical School

Andre Szjner-Sigal


Last Known Whereabouts:

PhD program in Integrative Biology, University of California-Berkeley

Bailey Pierce


Last Known Whereabouts:

Florida Atlantic University Medical School

Megan Laughrey


Last Known Whereabouts:

Taking a year off before applying to medical school

Emily Richter


Last Known Whereabouts:

UF Undergrad

Jennifer Kight


Last Known Whereabouts:

UF Pharmacy School

Theodore Cogley


Last Known Whereabouts:

Biology PhD program at Arizona State University

Sabrina White


Last Known Whereabouts:

Helicopter-flying EMT and rock-climbing guide in Utah

Laura Castellanos


Last Known Whereabouts:

Univ. South Florida Medical Arts MS program

Rachel Silverberg


Last Known Whereabouts:

UF Undergrad

Lazaro Dias


Last Known Whereabouts:

NOVA Southeastern Physicians Assistants School

Gabi Cervoni


Last Known Whereabouts:

UF Medical School

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