Entomology and plant pathology welcomes new faculty members

This fall the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology welcomed four new faculty. Alana Jacobson joined the faculty as an insect ecologist\row crop entomologist. Dr. Jacobson comes to Auburn from Dr. George Kennedy’s lab at North Carolina State University. Thrips are one of her primary research interests. She will be teaching the graduate course in insect ecology and likely the spring section of economic entomology. 

Joining the faculty as a new medical veterinary entomologist is Derrick Mathias. Previously at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Mathias’ primary research interests include mosquito-malarial interactions. Dr. Mathias also has research experience with pitcher plant mosquitos. He will be teaching the graduate course in medical and veterinary entomology. 

Jeffrey Coleman, previously of the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, joined the faulty as a mycologist. Dr. Coleman’s research focuses on supernumerary chromosomes in fungi that harbor virulence factors for many agriculturally important crops. He will be teaching a mycology course to undergraduate and graduate students.

Finally, Sang-Wook Park joined the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology faculty in August as assistant professor of plant-pathogen interactions. Park earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Chung-Ang University, Korea, in 1998 and 2000, respectively, and a Ph.D. in plant biochemistry from Colorado State University in 2004. From 2004 to 2008, he served as a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University’s Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research and, in 2008, was named a senior research associate at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech. His Auburn appointment will be 60 percent research and 40 percent teaching.



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<p><a href="https://agriculture.auburn.edu/author/mcb0005auburn-edu/" target="_self">Mary Catherine Gaston</a></p>

Mary Catherine Gaston

Mary Catherine Gaston is a freelance writer who specializes in agricultural and rural topics. She finds time to write in the midst of homeschooling two children and helping her husband Wes on their row crop and cattle farm near Plains, Georgia. MC holds degrees from Auburn University and Virginia Tech.

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