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Douglas is an Environmental Life Sciences (ELS) PhD student who started in 2016. He comes from North Carolina where he obtained his B.S in biology from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). He is interested broadly in plant-insect interactions and would like to focus on the interactive effects of plant diversity and crowding on locust phase change. He will link this ecophysiology research to socioeconomic factors coupling communities and ecosystems with the overall goal of seeking solutions to locust plagues around the world.
Balanding is a MasterCard Scholar from The Gambia, he is majoring in Biological Sciences (Genetics, Cell & Developmental Biology) at Arizona State University. He is part of the SOLUR undergraduate research program and works under the mentorship of Dr. Arianne Cease. His project titled “Linking livestock grazing practices with the nutritional ecology of grasses and locusts in West Africa” is focused on understanding how various livestock grazing and land management practices coupled with the nutritional ecology of grasses can cause locusts outbreaks. Balanding is interested in hunger and food security related issues and how these issues can be tackled sustainably. His passion led him to start an organization called Rural Impact in his home country of The Gambia. Rural Impact works to empower smallholder farmers, mostly women by providing them with support such as seeds, basic financial literacy training etc., to help them start small businesses so as to increase their levels of income and combat hunger.
Ruth Farington is an undergraduate student at Arizona State University, majoring in microbiology and global health. Her primary interest focuses on developing sustainable methods to combat global health issues. Her research includes exploring organism behavior in relation to water / nutrition trade-offs and the metabolic processes experienced during insect flight. Ruth brings previous experience from an insect physiology, which delved into processes involved in regulating oxygen and performance. Her passion for food security and water availability provides a global output for innovative collaborative laboratory research.
Jenni worked as a Research Specialist at Arizona State 2009 to 2016 and was integral to setting up the Cease lab and initiating field campaigns for the Living with Locusts team 2015-2016. She is now dedicating her talents to enhancing seabird populations as the operations manager and GIS specialist for the Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project in Maui. Her history in the biological sciences has varied over the years, and includes studies of tidal pool dynamics, innovations in biofuel technology, and protection of endangered species. At ASU she has facilitated a broad spectrum of research projects; from the stoichiometry of aquatic crustacea to the microclimates of residential landscapes across the country. She loves getting good data, and also enjoys some GIS and spatial analysis on the side. She enjoys managing the lab, but her favorite thing about her job is supporting the team, especially for field work. In the Cease lab she is thrilled to be a part of field campaigns in Senegal, Australia, and China. Her goals are to make quality science and efficient progress easy and sustainable for the students, faculty, and research scientists that she works for.
Dr. Rivers holds a dual-title doctorate in entomology and international agriculture and development, and is broadly trained across the agricultural sciences. She joins the Cease Lab to serve as the Program Manager for the Global Locust Initiative (GLI), an effort housed at ASU with the intent of enabling innovative advances in locust research and management by promoting interdisciplinary systems- and solutions-oriented approaches. Most recently, Dr. Rivers worked as the Postharvest Coordinator for Latin America at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), designing research methodologies for studying grain storage with smallholder farmers, coordinating postharvest research in Mexico and Guatemala, and training farm advisors on postharvest practices. While at CIMMYT, Dr. Rivers had the opportunity to learn from a variety of collaborators, and she is excited to apply this experience to building connections through the GLI. She hopes you'll check locust.asu.edu for more information!
Mira’s research interests are related to agroecology and land management under changing climate conditions, specifically looking at opportunities to enhance resilience and ecosystem restoration through addressing soil conditions and biodiversity. Mira has a BA in Global Studies from Arizona State University with minors in Sustainability and Spanish and is currently in the MS Sustainability program. She has done work with non-profits, social enterprises, and farms in South America and well as here in Phoenix.
Baoming Du is a visiting Ph D student, from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. His research focuses on the stoichiometry of plants and insects under climate change, as well as plant-insect interactions. He is currently exploring the effects of an endophytic fungi on plant growth and resulting insect herbivore performance. His passion is to improve crop quality and reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture.
Lysiane is a French student in ISARA-Lyon, an engineering school of agriculture, environment and food science. She is in her third year of five, and this summer she is taking an internship in the Cease laboratory to study the locusts. Her work is to do research about the history and causes of locust outbreaks. She researches the factors (rainfall, temperature…) in relation with the agriculture and land uses to know what increases the plagues aids the development of locusts. She also works with Stephen Rogers, Ruth Farington and Balanding Manneh to help with the locust experiments in the laboratory. After university she will work with the farmers to help them to develop sustainable agriculture, or work in a research center in agronomy to find new techniques of sustainable production.
Caroline is working in the Cease Laboratory during the summer months of 2015. She comes from France as a five-year MSc Program student in the Engineering School of Agriculture, Food Science and Environment Studies in Lyon (ISARA). She likes agriculture and thus tries to find a way to protect the farmers and their productions, while also protecting the landscapes and the Earth. She worked in two different organic farms during the past two summers. She will soon begin her fourth year at ISARA and is discovering how the work is done in a laboratory and in relation to agriculture. In the Arianne Cease Laboratory, her main mission is to help other people on their experiences, and with the locusts nutrition. After that, she will work to find the factors that cause the outbreaks of criquets (temperature, rainfall, crop species, climate, locust species, etc).
Grant Falvo is an undergraduate in the School of Sustainability and the College of Integrated Sciences and Arts. He is broadly interested in understanding the human ecological niche. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to the study of social-ecological systems, he incorporates research from complex adaptive systems, common pool resource and institutional analysis, and agroecology into queries of food system sustainability. Currently, he is using theories and frameworks from transboundary and adaptive governance, resilience, and robustness research to understand the response of relevant institutions from Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay to the recent locust plague.