Team Members

My laboratory research teams include a number of talented individuals serving as graduate assistants, research associates and post-docs, and research assistants.

Team Photos



  • Joseph Disi, Ph.D. Student (Graduate Research Assistant, Started Fall 2012). Dissertation Title: Effects of plant growth rhizobacteria on induction of maize volatiles and consequences for maize herbivores and their natural enemies.
  • Tolulope Morawo, Ph.D. Student (Graduate Research Assistant, Started Spring 2014). Tentative Dissertation Title: Chemical ecology of some underexplored aspects of plant-herbivore-parasitoid tritrophic interactions
  • Olufemi Ajayi, Ph.D Student (Graduate Research Assistant, Started Fall 2015). Tentative Dissertation Title: Mechanisms of ant-parasitoid interactions.
  • Basu Kafle, Ph.D Student (Graduate Research Assistant, Started Fall 2017). Tentative Dissertation Title: Mechanisms of plant-insect interactions.


  • Elly Maxwell, M.S. (Completed Fall 2005). Current position: Entomologist, Dow Gardens, Midland, Michigan.
  • Ebenezer Onagbola , Ph.D. (Completed Fall 2007). Current position: Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Florida, Citrus Research & Education Center, Lake Alfred, Florida.
  • Yingfang Xiao, Ph.D. (Completed Fall 2009). Current position: Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Florida, Mid-Florida REC, Apopka, Florida.
  • Timothy Nafziger, M.S. (Completed Spring 2010). Current position: Education & Outreach, South Carolina.
  • Clement Akotsen-Mensah, Ph.D. (Completed Summer 2010);Current Position: Research Scientist. University of Ghana, Acrra.
  • Rammohan (Rao) Balusu, Ph.D. (Completed Summer 2011);Current Position: Research Associate, Auburn University, Alabama.
  • Esther Ngumbi, Ph.D. (Completed Summer 2011); Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Georgia Tech., Atlanta
  • Kate Nangle, M.S. (Completed Spring 2012). Current Position: Entomologist. Bayer, Raleigh, NC.
  • Prithwiraj Das, Ph.D. (Completed Fall 2012). Current Position: Postdoctoral Researcher, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO.
  • Jill Piorkowski, M.S. (Completed Spring 2014). Thesis Title: Morphological mechanism of rhizobacteria induced cotton-insect interactions.
  • Tolulope Morawo, M.S. (Completed Fall 2013). Thesis Title: Behavioral response of parasitic waps to host-related odor. Current Position: Ph.D. student, Auburn University.
  • Olufemi Ajayi, M.S. (Completed Summer 2015). Thesis Title: Sugar feeding effects on longevity, fecundity and ovigeny index ofPseudacteon phorid flies. Current Position: Ph.D. student, Auburn University.
  • Matt Burrows, M.S (Completed Spring 2016). Thesis Title: Plasticity of olfactory response to host-related plant volatiles in the parasitoid Microplitis croceipesCurrent Position: Entomologist, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA.
  • Blessing Ademokoya, M.S. (Completed Fall 2016). Thesis Title: Alternative strategies for managing Megacopta cribraria (Fabricius) (Hemiptera: Plataspidae) in soybean. Current Position: Ph.D. student, University of Nebraska Lincoln.



  • Rammohan (Rao) Balusu, Ph.D., Research Fellow (2011-Present)


  • Vincent Umeh, Ph.D. Visiting Scholar. (March 2005-November 2005); Current position: Chief Research Entomologist, National Horticultural Research Institute, Ibadan, Nigeria.
  • Hongyi Wei, Ph.D. Visiting Scholar. (September 2006-September 2007); Current position: Professor, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang, China.
  • Li Chen, Ph.D. Research Fellow. (March 2004-December 2008);Current position: Associate Professor, Beijing Forestry University, China.
  • Xiaofang He, Ph.D. Visiting Scholar. (February 2008-February 2009); Current position: Associate Professor, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China.
  • Kavita Sharma, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow (December 2008-April 2011) Current position: Research Associate, University of California, Riverside, CA.
  • Joseph Anikwe, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar. (February 2011-August 2011). Current position: Principal Research Entomologist, Cocoa Research Institute, Ibadan, Nigeria.
  • Clement Akotsen-Mensah, Ph.D., Research Fellow (August 2010-July 2012). Current position: Lecturer, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana.
  • Yuan Yuan Song, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar (2012-2013). Current position: Associate Professor, South China Agricultural University.
  • Esther Ngumbi, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-2014). Current position: Research Fellow, Auburn University.
  • Eunice Ajayi, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar (2012-2014). Current position: Senior Lecturer, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigera
  • Martin Mbai, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar (2013)
  • Simon Zebelo, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow (2012-2015). Current position: Assistant Professor, University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
  • Olalekan Soyelu, Ph.D., Visiting Research Scholar (2016-2017). Current position: Senior Lecturer, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigera.



  • Brandice Kopishke, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2016-Present


  • Stinson Ellis, Field Research Assistant, 2003-2004.
  • Akin Morakinyo, Field Research Assistant, 2004.
  • Stephen Troth, Field Assistant, 2006.
  • Blane Stokley, DirectedUndergraduate Research Student, 2006.
  • Brandon Wall, Directed Undergraduate Research Student, 2007.
  • Shelia Boyt, Research Assistant, 2003-2007.
  • Maggie Jordan, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2007-2009.
  • Nicole Meyer , Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2007-2008.
  • Jennea Ollie, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2008-2009.
  • David Appel, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2009-2010.
  • Wykita Johnson, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2009-2010.
  • Zachary Jones, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2010.
  • Allison Tyler, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2010-2011.
  • Gregory Bryant, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2011.
  • Erica Williams, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2010-2012.
  • Gregory Bell, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2011.
  • Alfa Shuaibu, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2012.
  • Omotola Ajayi, Research Assistant, 2012-2013
  • Mathew McTernan, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2012
  • Angela Dobson, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2011-2013
  • Golpar Garmestani, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2013
  • Chelsea Graff, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2013-2014
  • Thelma Quansa, Research Assistant, 2013-2014
  • Tunde Awolumate, Field Assistant, 2013-2014
  • Heather Leyva, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2013-2014
  • Savannah Duke, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2013-2014; Current position: Graduate Student, Auburn University.
  • Benjamin Reeves, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2014-2015; Current position: Graduate Student, University of Georgia.
  • Lindsay McMillan, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2015-2016.

Joseph Disi, PhD. Student (started Fall, 2012)

The role of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in mediating volatile chemical signals of plants is less reported for belowground insect herbivores than aboveground species. My research focuses on discovering PGPR-mediated herbivore induced volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and understanding how the PGPR-mediated VOCs affect tritrophic interactions between subterranean herbivores and their natural enemies using the maize model system. The project adopts an interdisciplinary approach involving plant pathology, chemical/molecular ecology, and insect behavior to understanding plant response to biotic cues. Prior to joining Fadamiro Lab, I received a Master degree in Crop Genetics and Breeding at Southwest University, BeiBei, Chongqing, China.


Olufemi Ajayi, PhD. student (started Fall, 2015)

I am currently studying the chemical ecology of parasitoid-host interactions, using Pseudacteon phorid flies and Solenopsis fire ants as model system. I received my Master’s degree in Entomology at Auburn University in 2015. In addition to my dissertation research, I have spent the past few years conducting research on a number of invasive pests such as crazy ants, kudzu bugs and Mexican bean beetles. More specifically, I am interested in the biological control of insect pests, especially those of considerable medical importance. I am an amateur soccer player and l like outdoor activities.


Tolulope Morawo, PhD. Student (started Spring, 2014)

My dissertation research is on the chemical ecology of plant-herbivore-parasitoid interactions. My research is currently focused on the role of herbivore-emitted plant-associated compounds in tritrophic interactions, behavioral response of parasitoids to the defensive secretion of their herbivore hosts, effect of parasitism on metabolomic responses of infested plants, etc. I use Microplitis croceipes, Cotesia marginiventris, Heliothis virescens, cotton and soybean as a model system to answer my research questions. In addition, my research uses a combination of chemical ecology techniques including behavioral, analytical and electrophysiological tools to investigate mechanisms of tritrophic interactions (see illustration). I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from FUTA, Nigeria in 2009 and obtained a Master’s degree in Entomology at Auburn University in 2013. I like going to new places and making connections. My favorite sports are soccer, tennis and ping pong.