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Student Feature Friday with Kunle Adesanya

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 Kunle Adesanya to get to know him a little bit better!

Kunle giving a presentation
Kunle giving a presentation

Q: Masters or Ph.D., and how far into your program are you?
A: I am at the tail end of my PhD program.

Q: What is your research project?
A: My research is broadly interested in the mechanisms of arthropod adaptation to stressors like pesticides and host plant toxins. I use the generalist herbivores; two spot spider mite and onion thrip as model organisms. The goal of my research is to understand the genetics and biology of how noxious arthropod pests adapt to pesticides, so that we can we use the information to develop a better management tactics.

Q: How did you become an entomologist?
A: I had to do research as a senior student during my undergrad days in Nigeria. My research project was identifying pests that limit sweet corn production in Nigeria. My attraction towards the field of entomology developed during this project. I realized that I could positively impact humanity via entomology. I really had fun doing the project and it marked the beginning of my quest in entomology.

Q: Why would you recommend entomology as a career?
A: I think a career in entomology provides a rare privilege of achieving a major life goal of positively impacting humanity while also learning and doing cool science. Entomology also provides an opportunity to connect with almost every other profession. For example, we have forensic entomology that entails science and law.

Q: What are your future career plans after graduation?
A: My future career plans after graduation are to secure an academic faculty position that involves research, teaching and extension to address food security especially through crop protection.

Q: What is your favorite arthropod?

A: Tough call, I would say beetles and mites!