Central Asian Graduate Students at MSU

Graduate students are an essential part of the Feed the Future Food Security Innovation Lab: Collaborative Research on IPM Program. They assist researchers with fieldwork, conduct their own projects, and integrate IPM technologies into their professional careers down the road. Below are three MSU graduate students associated with the Development of IPM Packages for Field and Vegetable Cropping Systems in Central Asia program.

Shahlo Safarzoda

Hometown: TajikistanShahlo Safarzoda
University:
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, US
Program:
Masters, 2014
Advisor:
Douglas A. Landis
Thesis/Dissertation Topic:
Biological control of cereal leaf beetle
Research Interests:
Biological pest control of wheat and IPM
Email:
shahlos at msu.edu

Image caption: Shahlo Safarzoda in a MSU lab.

In 50 words or less, explain your work with the Collaborative Research on IPM.
I am working on the Collaborative Research on IPM project as a graduate student at Michigan State University. My major professor, Dr. Douglas A. Landis, and I started research on biological pest control of wheat. Our main goal is to improve IPM in my home country, Tajikistan. More specifically, we hope to attract and increase the population of the parasitoid natural enemy of the cereal leaf beetle.

What has been the most exciting part of your experience, interesting discovery you’ve found, or connections you’ve made while working with the Collaborative Research on IPM?
It is a great opportunity to be a graduate student in MSU. Although I just started my research, I found it very exciting that, in the past, the cereal leaf beetle was a serious pest in Michigan. Some beneficial insects were then imported from Europe that totally controlled this pest.

What do you hope to do after graduating?
After graduation, I hope on going back to my country where I can use my experience received here at MSU. I am also hoping to improve IPM systems and find a proper way of pest control that is harmless for people and the environment. In this way, I can make a contribution to protect the environment.

Bahodir Eshchanov

Hometown: UzbekistanBahodir Eshchanov
University:
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, US
Program:
PhD, 2014 (expected)
Advisors:
Dr. Frank Zalom, Dr. Bird George
Thesis/Dissertation Topic:
IPM Tomato
Research Interests:
Tomato
Email:
bahodire at msu.edu

Image caption: Bahodir Eshchanov, seven days after grafting tomato plants, UC-Davis, Aug. 2011.

In 50 words or less, explain your work with the Collaborative Research on IPM.
My research is on tomato IPM in Uzbekistan. In addition to the research in my country, research is being done at MSU and UC-Davis. The work includes pest control of both field and greenhouse grown tomato. Since I came to the US, I have been working with Dr. Bird George, who works with nematodes at MSU, and with Dr. Frank Zalom, who is an Entomologist from UC-Davis. Now, I’m doing research on tomato grafting, which is very well-established in European and Asian countries, in order to control soil borne diseases and some pest insects on tomato.

What has been the most exciting part of your experience, interesting discovery you’ve found, or connections you’ve made while working with the Collaborative Research on IPM?
I am at the beginning of my project, and I expect very exciting results in the near future.

What do you hope to do after graduating?
I will go back to Uzbekistan and establish my own style of teaching at my school, Tashkent State Agrarian University, and of course I will keep in contact with MSU and UC-Davis.

Saltanat Mambetova

Hometown: Bishkek, KyrgyzstanSaltanat Mambetova
University:
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, US
Program:
to be determined
Advisor:
Dr. David Douches
Thesis/Dissertation Topic:
to be determined
Research Interests:
Potato Breeding and Genetics
Email:
mambetov at msu.edu

Image caption: Saltanat Mambetova with tissue cultures in MSU‘s potato lab, Sept. 2011.

In 50 words or less, explain your work with the Collaborative Research on IPM.
I came to the Collaborative Research on IPM program on February 16, 2011. I am working with Dr. David Douches in the Potato Breeding and genetics program. The Potato Program includes a lab, greenhouse, barn, and research farm, and I work and study potatoes in all of these places. In the lab, I am learning about tissue culture and genetics material; at the barn, research farms, and greenhouse, I learn while doing research. The program has a lot of opportunity for work and research, and I try to explore and conduct experiments in all. I can say I see the full range of what makes a potato breeding program. I was involved in planting this spring, and we’ve recently started harvesting. Hopefully, I will see more and learn more throughout my studies here.

What has been the most exciting part of your experience, interesting discovery you’ve found, or connections you’ve made while working with the Collaborative Research on IPM?
I would say the first and biggest experience has been to come to the USA. It was my first time going outside of my country, and I had never seen a huge university like Michigan State University. I can say I got more experience than I expected and am still getting a tremendous amount. For me, everything is a significant experience. Some of them small, certainly, but most of them huge. I saw a lot of things which my country does not have. Here I see a lot of interesting things, exciting things that I have not never seen. The culture, place, new technology, and methods of teaching are all new to me. One of the great experiences was to be involved in an international IPM short course this past June where I got a lot of information and knowledge about IPM. It was very interesting and exciting to meet people from 12 different countries, learn about IPM in other countries, and just to know more about other countries. Of course, I have met very determined, good, kind people in this IPM CRSP program. People in this program are simply amazing. I am very grateful to the entire team and want to take this opportunity to thank all the people who work in this program and wish you success and prosperity.

What do you hope to do after graduating?
After graduation I will go back to my country. I want to work at the university. In Kyrgyzstan, we have a biotechnology lab where they do some kinds of tissue culture—like here—but it is not very developed. I want to learn here more about tissue culture and genetics and bring this knowledge over there to teach and develop. Also I want to extend research farms at my university. I just want to do something similar and research. I will give it my best.

The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.