Our Team

Our goals are to conduct the highest quality research and to provide real-life solutions to intractable issues and grand challenges in forest health.  We are bound together on a scientific journey to better understand the ecology of forest insects in a constantly changing world.  Simply put, we want to achieve wise use, conservation, and stewardship of our natural resources.

Dr. Kamal J.K. Gandhi
Wheatley Distinguished Professor of Forest Health, Director

Kamal is a forest entomologist.  She's also a mother, an avid hiker, and meditator. Kamal is a strong advocate of making every moment count, and living a full, creative, and authentic life. 

Barnes_Brittany-3 (1).jpg
Brittany Barnes, M.S.
Research Professional

Brittany runs the day-to-day forest entomology program at the University of Georgia.  She enjoys yoga, camping, hiking, traveling, people, and her cute cat.

Haley Ritger
Ph.D. Candidate

Haley is working on the interactions between longleaf pine physiology, bark beetles, and prescribed fire.  She's currently working at the Clemson University while writing her dissertation.

Ben Gochnour
Ph.D. Candidate

Ben will be working on the interactions between longleaf pine restoration, bark beetles, and associated fungal and bacterial symbionts.

Mitchell Green
M.S. Student

Mitchell is studying the biocontrol of emerald ash borer. He enjoys spending as much time as possible outdoors and especially loves hiking, running, and exploring new places with his dog, Buckley. 

Briggs Photo.jpg
Emma Briggs
M.S. Student

Emma is studying the impact of herbicides on native bees in managed forests. When not thinking about bees, she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and hanging out with her dog.

Katie O'Shields
M.S. Student

Katie is studying the chemical ecology of southern pine beetle.  She enjoys being outside and likes to spend her free time drawing.

29217050_10156199664441873_7485556508579594240_n (1).jpg
Ourania Nikoliadis
Ph.D. Student

Ourania is focused on the effects of hurricane-force wind disturbances on arthropod communities. She enjoys hiking, camping, trail running, and spending time with her rabbit, Bun and bearded dragon, Fuego. 

Previous Personnel

Graduate Students & Postdoctoral Researchers (current positions)

  1. Brittany Barnes, M.S. (University of Georgia - Research Professional)

  2. Nicholas Bolton, Postdoctoral Researcher (Forisk Consulting LLC - Researcher)

  3. Jamie Bookwalter, M.S. (Barcelona University Autonoma, Spain - Ph.D. Student)

  4. Kayla Brownell, M.S. (Georgia Department of Agriculture - Agriculture Inspector)

  5. Jordan Burke, M.S. (University of British Columbia - Postdoctoral Researcher) - a brilliant star who left too soon

  6. Keith Caprio, M.F.R. (Athens, Georgia)

  7. Lea Clark, M.F.R. (Georgia Forestry Commission - Community Forester)

  8. David Coyle, Postdoctoral Researcher (Clemson University - Assistant Professor)

  9. Christine Favorito, M.S. (Jones Center at Ichuaway - Research Assistant)

  10. Christine Fortuin, Ph.D. & Postdoctoral Researcher (Mississippi State University - Assistant Professor)

  11. Bailey McNichol, M.S. (University of Nebraska - Ph.D. student)

  12. Angela Mech, Ph.D. (University of Maine - Assistant Professor)

  13. Chelsea Miller, Postdoctoral Researcher (Holden Arboretum - NSF Postdoctoral Fellow)

  14. Holly Munro, Ph.D. [National Council for Air and Stream Improvement Inc. (NCASI) - Senior Research Scientist]

  15. Derek Robertson, M.S. (Athens, Georgia)

  16. Ashley Schulz, M.S. (Mississippi State University - Assistant Professor)

  17. Ansley Silva, M.S. (State of Washington - Planner)

  18. Seth Spinner, M.S. (University of Kentucky - Pest Outreach Coordinator)

  19. Jenny Staeben, Ph.D. (Wyoming Attorney General's Office - Lawyer)

  20. Thomas Whitney, Ph.D. (Davey Tree Company - Entomologist)

International Exchange Students

Danyang Fu, Ph.D., China

Jiangming Yao, Ph.D., China

Christiane Helbig, Ph.D., Germany

Undergraduate Students & Technicians (select, >30)

Joel Adair

Jackson Audley

Jamie Botsch

John Doyle

Madeleine Dupuy

Shawn Harrington

Steven Hughes

Sarah Klinect

Danielle Sank

High School Students (select)

Eduardo Ricome

Mauranda Upchruch

Nakia Lee