Meet Our Team

We are a growing team of entomology researchers exploring integrated tactics to suppress pests associated with horticultural systems, and alternative and niche crops in Colorado.

Ada Szczepaneic

Principal Investigator

Ada Szczepaniec 
Associate Professor of Horticultural Entomology 
[she/her/hers]

Email: a.szczepaniec@colostate.edu

Ada (both A’s pronounced the same way) Szczepaniec [Stra-PA-nyetz] is originally from a small town in northern Poland, and she came to the U.S. in 1998 after finishing high school in Poland. Ada earned her B.S. in Cell Molecular Biology and Genetics and Ph.D. in Entomology from University of Maryland, College Park. Her Ph.D. work focused on the mechanisms underlying secondary pest outbreaks in urban landscapes exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides. She has since studied IPM in field crops, indirect effects of insecticides on plant-arthropod interactions, and induction of direct and indirect plant defenses in response to herbivory. Ada’s current work is focused on sustainable approaches to management of pests associated with industrial hemp in conventional and organic hemp production, incorporating biological control in IPM of hemp and specialty crops, insecticide resistance, and management of new emerging pests.

Visit Ada’s Google Scholar Page for publications and creative activities.

Current Lab Members

gabe headshot szczepaniec lab

Gabe Alnajjar

Research Associate
[he/him/his]

Gabe joined the Szczepaniec lab in April 2022 and helps out with lab management, research, and content development for the CSU extension program. Gabe is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and enjoys cooking and spending time outdoors in his free time.

Taylor Janacek

Taylor Janacek

M.S Student
Entomology
[he/him/his]

Email: taylor.janecek@colostate.edu
Taylor joined the Szczepaniec lab during the summer of 2021 and has assisted with greenhouse and field research of hemp russet mites, and quinoa pest research in southern Colorado. In fall 2021 Taylor started his M.S. project focused on developing IPM strategies for alfalfa mosaic virus transmitted by aphids to chili peppers. He enjoys playing video games and dungeons & dragons in his free time.

Kat Gingrass

Kat Gingrass

Undergraduate Student
Ecosystem Science and Sustainability
[she/her/hers]

Kat is a 4th year undergraduate student majoring in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and minoring in Microbiology. She joined the Szczepaniec lab last year in 2021 and helps with research projects. In her free time, Kat loves being outside and learning new things about the world. Kat also has a pet bunny and is from Castle Rock, Colorado.

 

Carlo

Carlo Vaughn

Undergraduate Student
Horticulture
[he/him/his]

Carlo is a junior majoring in controlled environment horticulture and minoring in entomology. He joined the lab in summer 2022 and assists with field and laboratory research. In his free time, Carlo enjoys spending time with his cat Josie and houseplants.

Rebecca headshot szczepaniec lab

Rebecca Lampl

Undergraduate Student
Horticulture
[she/her/hers]

Rebecca is a 3rd year undergraduate student majoring in horticulture and minoring in organic agriculture. Rebecca is interested in pollination ecology and pollinator conservation by incorporating regenerative agricultural practices in our food system. Rebecca is originally from San Diego, California, and hopes to help find ways to grow plants more sustainably to help mitigate climate change.

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Luke Deyle

Undergraduate Student
Soil and Crop Sciences
[he/him/his]

Luke is a 4th year majoring in soil and crop sciences and minoring in agricultural biology plant health. He has over 10 years of horticultural experience and assists with laboratory research related to aphid transmission of alfalfa mosaic virus and management of hemp pests. Luke is graduating in fall 2022 and plans on pursuing a Masters degree in pest management. In his free time, Luke enjoys cooking, gardening, and being in nature with his dogs.

Former Lab Members

Abby Lathrop-Melting

Abby Lathrop-Melting

Lab Manager
[she/her/hers]

Abby joined the Szczepaniec lab as a research assistant after graduating from CSU in 2021. She assisted with research, lab management, and developing content for the CSU extension program. Abby is currently pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Maryland.

Darren headshot

Darren Cockrell

Research Associate
[he/him/his]

Darren worked in the Szczepaniec lab from 2021-2022 as a research associate, assisting with lab management and research. Currently, he is still a CSU employee in the School of Global Environmental Sustainability where he works as a research proposal coordinator.

James Hutzley

James Hutzley

Undergraduate Student
Agricultural Biology
[he/him/his]

James joined the Szczepaniec lab in 2021 and assisted with laboratory and field research. He is currently a senior at CSU, and in his free time James enjoys playing guitar and riding dirt bikes.

Join Our Team

We are currently accepting new students interested in entomology and horticultural specialty crops. We solve important and practical problems for growers and emphasize the importance of an integrated pest management approach to our research.

Please email Dr. Ada Szczepaniec with your interest.