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Insect Pathology/ Biotechnology Lab

Insect Pathology/ Biotechnology Lab

Current Lab Members

Picture of Bryony Bonning


Bryony Bonning


(352) 273-3984
VII Initiative
ISU Digital Repository
Google Scholar
Florida ExpertNet
Research Videos
Research Gate
Selected Works
JUSTIA patents

Dr. Bryony C. Bonning is an eminent scholar and professor of entomology and nematology at the University of Florida, and Director of the Center for Arthropod Management Technologies (CAMTech), a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center. Dr. Bonning held postdoctoral appointments at the Natural Environment Research Council Institute of Virology in Oxford, UK and at the University of California, Davis, USA. She then joined the faculty at Iowa State University, and moved to University of Florida in 2017. Bonning oversees cutting edge research on insect physiology and insect pathology with the goal of developing novel, environmentally benign alternatives to chemical insecticides for insect pest management.


A headshot of Arinder Arora

Arinder Arora

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Dr. Arora has joined the Bonning lab to work on the honeybee gut receptors that are utilized by the viruses to infect honey bees. He has extensive experience in insect molecular biology, RNAi, and paratransgenesis. During his postdoctoral at Cornell University, he developed RNAi control of various phloem feeding hemipteran insects. He holds a Ph.D. in Biology from University of New Mexico.


A picture of Rahul Bannerjee

Rahul Bannerjee

Postdoctoral Research Associate

(352)273-3793, (856)805-4797

Dr. Bannerjee works on the modification of Bt toxins to enhance their toxic effects towards relevant hemipteran pests. In this project he identifies Bt toxins via crystal preparations, bacterial expression and purification and conducts insect bioassays to test the efficacy of these toxins. His solid background in Molecular Entomology and Insect Physiology allows him to delve deep into engineering naturally occurring Bt proteins into better biopesticides for control of hemipteran pests in Florida. Dr. Banerjee previously studied lepidopteran insect resistance mechanisms to Bt crops at a genetic level. During his PhD and first post doc at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Bannerjee honed his skills in biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology. He also holds a MS in Biochemistry from the University of Calcutta.

Grace Crummer

Research Coordinator

CAMTech website

Grace Crummer joined Dr. Bonning's group as Coordinator of the CAMTech IUCRC in October 2018. She has a background in stable isotope ecology, ecosystem ecology, plant physiological ecology, and large interdisciplinary program management. She holds an MS in Botany from UF and a BA in Environmental Science & Policy from Duke.


Picture of Jaime Jimenez

Jaime Jimenez

Postdoctoral Research Associate


Dr. Jiménez researches plant virus transmission by insects. He holds a PhD in Entomology and Virology from the Spanish National Research Council (Madrid, Spain). His PhD addressed the mechanisms of transmission of several non-circulative viruses by their aphid vectors, as well as their competition and interference for the retention sites in the aphid mouthparts. As part of his PhD training, he performed a short-stay internship at the University of California Riverside, where he studied the delivery of phloem-limited virus particles by aphid vectors into the host plant. Dr. Jimé​nez​ has joined Bonning lab for a postdoctoral research project investigating the molecular interactions between persistently transmitted virus particles within the whitefly vector.

Photo of Sijun Liu

Sijun Liu

Research Associate

Google Scholar
Research Gate

Dr. Liu is a research associate scientist based at Iowa State University. works on insect virus discovery using Next Generation Sequencing data for identification of viral sequences, from transcriptome and from small RNA sequencing datasets. He has extensive experience with bioinformatics and with optimization of bioinformatics tools for virus discovery. His background is in Entomology, with particular emphasis on insect vectors of plant viral disease.

Photo of Ruchir Mishra

Ruchir Mishra

Postdoctoral Research Associate


Ruchir Mishra has 8 years of experience in the Bacillus thuringiensis field. He is currently working on engineering Bt Cry toxin to enhance its toxicity against lepidopteran insects. His areas of expertise include molecular biology, proteomics, transcriptomics and bioinformatics. He holds a PhD in Entomology, an MPhil in Biochemistry, and an MS in Molecular Cell Biology. 

Portrait of Grace Ortgiesen

Grace Ortgiesen

Graduate Student

Grace joined the Bonning lab in August 2020 as an incoming graduate student working on her MS degree. Grace earned her BS in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She comes to the lab with extensive biotechnology research skills. She will be working on the establishment of hemipteran cell lines and the testing of those lines for susceptibility to viruses. 

Photo of Suresh Pannerselvam

Suresh Pannerselvam

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Google Scholar

Suresh joined the Bonning lab in January 2018. He is working on the construction of a pesticidal protein database and the development of an improved classification algorithm. Suresh earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Science and Technology from Ajou University, South Korea, with a Brain Korea (BK21) Scholarship funded by the Korean government.  He has also been awarded a Senior Research Fellowship by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India.

Close-up of Clebson dos Santos Tavares

Clebson dos Santos Tavares

PhD Student

Clebson S. Tavares joined the Bonning lab for his Ph.D. in entomology in 2019. His past research has focused on insect resistance to transgenic crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis toxins. He holds a MS in Entomology and a BS in Agronomy from Federal University of Vicosa, Brazil.

Portrait of Emily Vu

Emily Vu

Graduate Student

Emily joined the Bonning lab as an undergraduate while completing her BS in biochemistry at UF. During this time she worked on bioassays of Bt toxins on lepidopterans. In August 2020, she began a rotation in the lab as part of her genetics and genomics graduate program lab rotation series. She plans to focus on the discovery of virus-derived sequences in the small hive beetle for her rotation project.