On the last Friday of each month we sit down with an Entomology graduate student to get to know more about them, how they became interested in Entomology, and what their role is in the department. This month, we sat down with Pooja Malhotra!
Q: Masters or Ph.D., and how far into your program are you?
A: Masters. I am in my very first semester, just prepped up with a big experiment.
Q: What is your research project?
A: To investigate effects of various abiotic stress responses (e.g. drought, salinity etc.) in complex multitrophic interactions involving pea-pea aphid-pea enation mosaic virus-soil rhizobia.
Q: How did you become an entomologist?
A: I worked as an undergrad technician in Dr. David Crowder’s lab during last summer, while I had the opportunity for the time to help students and postdocs with their projects. This opportunity to work with various insects ignited my interest in Entomology.
Q: Why would you recommend entomology as a career?
A: Entomology is an interesting field of research. It offers exciting opportunities for researching the physiology, behavior, nutritional aspects of insets and their interactions with various host organisms including plants. There are ample opportunities to make great contributions in different areas of agriculture including improvement of various pest control strategies, human and animal health, biochemical and molecular science, criminology and forensics etc.
Q: What are your future career plans after graduation?
A: After masters I want to continue my research in entomology to obtain PhD.
Q: What is your favorite insect?
A: pea aphid