Dr. Kamal J.K. Gandhi

Director

Kamal joined the Warnell School in 2008 and is a Professor of forest entomology. She conducts research on all aspects of community and population dynamics of terrestrial insects with a tight focus on forest management and sustainability. She is also a disturbance ecologist with an emphasis on insect-plant interactions and chemical ecology. Kamal has >25 years experience years working in the field of forest health with a M.S. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Alberta and Ph.D. in Entomology and Forestry from the University of Minnesota. She conducts both basic and applied research, trains the next generation of forest entomologists, and assist foresters and landowners with insect pest and conservation issues. Her lab group is multi-disciplinary, multi-national, and collaborates with many scientists, and state and federal agencies across the world.

Website: kjgandhi.wixsite.com/gandhi-lab

Dr. Caterina Villari

CO-DIRECTOR

Caterina is an Assistant Professor in Forest Pathology at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Her main interests are the interactions among trees, fungal pathogens and insect herbivores, and related chemical ecology aspects, and she uses an interdisciplinary approach that involves ecological, metabolomic, and molecular analyses. In the course of her career, she has developed skills that range from chromatography to mass spectrometry, the use of vibrational spectroscopy for the rapid identification of resistant trees, and innovative molecular diagnostic tools such as LAMP (loop mediated isothermal amplification). Caterina has a B.S in Forestry, a M.S. in Plant Health Sciences and Technologies from the University of Florence (Italy), a Ph.D. in Crop Science, Plant Protection Curriculum from the University of Padua (Italy), and postdoctoral work experience at the Ohio State University.

Website: villarilab.com/

Dr. Elizabeth McCarty

CO-DIRECTOR

Elizabeth is a Forest Health Specialist with the University of Georgia. Her areas of specialization include forest entomology, insecticide use, and environmental risk. Currently, her research in young pine stands is on 1) systemic insecticide use for pine tip moth (PTM) suppression, 2) non-target impacts of insecticides, and  3) PTM generation timing.   In addition, she’s worked extensively with insecticide effectiveness and risks for hemlock woolly adelgid management in natural forests.  She has an active outreach program within Georgia and the eastern United States, providing technical guidance to UGA Extension, the US Forest Service, and numerous state agencies.  She has a M.S. from the University of South Alabama and a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Tennessee.

Website: http://www.elizabethpbenton.com/