Doctoral student Joe Louis received the 2010 John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Award by the Entomological Society of America.
Louis, who currently is working toward his doctoral degree in plant molecular biology, is one of five students across the country chosen to receive the prestigious and highly competitive Comstock award. The award is designed to promote interest in entomology at the graduate level.
The award consists of a certificate, a $100 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip to the ESA annual meeting in December in San Diego, where Louis will receive the award. Also at the meeting, Louis will present two scientific papers: one that was published in Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions in May and another that was recently accepted by The Plant Journal.
His research involved the study of plant genes that allow plants to defend against green peach aphids, which are tiny insects that cause considerable damage to a large variety of plants. The research could facilitate the development of plants that are resistant to aphids and thus reduce the need for toxic insecticides and enhance plant productivity.
Louis conducted the research as a part of the Signaling Mechanisms in Plants research cluster under the guidance of Jyoti Shah, graduate advisor and associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.
Louis holds a bachelor's degree from Kerala Agricultural University in India and a master's degree in entomology from Kansas State University.
Elizabeth Smith with UNT News Service can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.