Lab Members

Kerry Oliver

Kerry M. Oliver

Associate Professor of Entomology

Office 505 Biological Sciences

Kerry is broadly interested in symbiosis, but his work is mainly focused on defensive symbiosis in aphids. He arrived in Athens in 2009 and is now Associate Professor of Entomology and currently serves as Graduate Coordinator for the department. He teaches general Entomology (ENTO 4000/6000) every spring semester, and Insect Ecology (ENTO 8500) every other fall semester. Originally from Alabama, Kerry moved to Salt Lake City for his BS in Biology (Univ. of UT) and then to Tucson for a PhD in Insect Science (Univ. of AZ). At Arizona, along with Drs. Molly Hunter and Nancy Moran, Kerry began studying pea aphid- Hamiltonella/APSE- parasitoid interactions which continues to the present.

Kerry is also very active in mentoring junior researchers, regularly providing research experience for undergraduates either through paid positions, internships (ENTO 3910) or research courses (ENTO/BIOL 4960). He also participates in the UGA CAES ‘Young Scholar’s Program’ each summer, which encourages STEM participation by underrepresented students from Georgia High Schools.

 

Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Department of Entomology
University of Georgia
413 Biological Sciences Building
Athens, GA 30602-2603

Phone: (706) 542-2311
Email: kmoliver@uga.edu

KM Oliver Entomology Site

KM Oliver Microbiology Site

 

 

Kyungsun Kim (2)

Kyungsun Kim

Research Professional

Office 508 Biological Sciences

Kyungsun Kim began working at the University of Georgia in the Department of Genetics in the laboratory of Dr. Wyatt Anderson. She joined the Oliver Lab in 2011 and serves as lab manager maintaining lab infrastructure, training students, and conducting research.

 

 

Vilas Patelva

Vilas Patel

Post-doctoral Professional

Office 505 Biological Sciences

 Vilas is a current international post-doctoral fellow that completed her Ph.D. at Sardar Patel University, India. She joined Dr. Oliver’s lab in February of 2015 with an interested in insect-microbe interactions. Her current research includes analyzing microbial diversity using next generation sequencing (illumina) in insects and also understanding the mechanisms of protection to parasites by heritable symbiont in aphids.

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Graduate Students

 

Clesson Higashi

Clesson Higashi

 I was born and raised on the beautiful the island of Kaua’i. I received my B.S. in Plant and Environmental Biotechnology and an M.S. in Entomology from University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. For my masters, I studied virus-vector-host interactions between Peregrinus maidis, Maize mosaic virus, and virus resistant maize genotypes. After completing my masters, I worked for CABI-International in Switzerland as a research assistant before moving back to Hawaii and working as a Jr. Researcher at UH on various projects. I am currently a second year PhD student investigating host-symbiont interactions between the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, and two of its facultative symbionts, Hamiltonella defensa and Serratia symbiotica. When I’m not in the lab, I’m out playing sports, enjoying outdoors, or just hanging out with friends. Although Hawaii is far away, you will still find me in a pair of surf shorts during the summer.

 

Nicole Lynn-Bell (2)

Nicole Lynn-Bell

Nicole obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with an emphasis in Natural Resources from Central Michigan University. My undergraduate research under Dr. Peter Kourtev focused on invasive plants which triggered my passion to study microbes in an environmental context. After obtaining her degree she was eager to further her education and learned of an opportunity for early enrollment through UGA’s Summer Bridge Program. As a PhD student in Microbiology, under advisement by Dr. Kerry Oliver, her current research projects involve elucidating diverse bacterial and bacteriophage interactions within the pea aphids’, Acrthosiphon pisum, protective symbiosis. By seeking additional experience in understanding the various organisms involved in this symbiotic interaction, she accepted the responsibility of maintaining the lab’s primary aphid stocks, as well as rearing and maintaining the primary wasp population. Although her responsibilities as a graduate student keep her busy, she enjoys volunteering and taking scenic walks to observe nature.

 

Jayce Brandt

Jayce Brandt

Honorary Graduate Student, UGA Entomology, Ph.D.

 

Suzanne Allison

Graduate Student, UGA Entomology, Ph.D.

 

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Undergraduate researchers

       

                                                 Bryan Kamalaker                    Dorbin Abendano