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

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

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.

Ben Gochnour, M.S.
Ph.D. Student

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

Holly Munro, B.S.
Ph.D. Student

Holly is working on the chemical interactions between pine bark beetles, and niche modeling of beetles.  She's an entomologist, hiker, and a mother.

Haley Ritger, M.P.A.
Ph.D. Candidate

Haley is working on the interactions between longleaf pine physiology, bark beetles, and prescribed fire.  She's currently living at the Jones Ecological Research Center with her husband and puppy.

Christine Fortuin, M.S.
Ph.D. Candidate

Christine is assessing the impacts of forest management and corridors on wild bees.  She enjoys dancing, poetry, traveling, and her ten-year old daughter. 

Lea Clark
M.F.R. Student

Lea is interested in urban and community forestry.  She likes to do tree climbing, running, kayaking, and off-road biking.  Lea is a Treasurer for the Atlanta Tree Climbing Club, and the Board for Lyndon Arts House.

Danyang Fu
Ph.D. Student, China

Danyang is a Visiting Scholar from the Northwest A&F University, China.  She studies chemical ecology of bark beetles, in particular Dendroctonus species.

Seth Spinner, B.S.
M.S. Student

Seth is studying the impacts of severe wind disturbance on woodboring beetle populations in pine plantations. Seth is an avid hiker, gardener, and insect collector. 

Christine Favorito, B.S. - M.S. Student

Christine is investigating how working forests affect pollinator communities.  When not chasing insects, Christine enjoys hiking, exploring new places, and baking.

Previous Students

Graduate Students & Postdoctoral Researchers (current positions)

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

Nicholas Bolton, Postdoctoral Researcher (WestRock Company, Professional Forester)

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

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

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

David Coyle, Postdoctoral Researcher (Clemson University, Assistant Professor)

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

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

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

Ashley Schulz, M.S. (Colorado State University, Postdoctoral Researcher)

Ansley Silva, M.S. (University of Washington, Yoga Instructor)

Jenny Staeben, Ph.D. (Lawyer, Wyoming)

Thomas Whitney, Ph.D. (Washington State University, Postdoctoral Researcher)

International Exchange Students

Jiangming Yao, Ph.D., China

Christiane Helbig, Ph.D., Germany

Undergraduate Students & Technicians (select, >50)

Joel Adair

Jackson Audley

Jamie Botsch

John Doyle

Madeleine Dupuy

Shawn Harrington

Steven Hughes

Sarak Klinect

Danielle Sank

High School Students (select)

Eduardo Ricome

Mauranda Upchruch

Nakia Lee

Daniel B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, 180 E Green Street, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
The content and opinions expressed on this web page does not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed
by the University of Georgia or the University System of Georgia
All Rights Reserved
Last Updated: July 2020
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