2016 AGRO New Investigator Finalist – Ana María Vélez

Ana María VélezDr. Ana María Vélez received her PhD in Entomology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2013 under the direction of Dr. Blair Siegfried. Dr. Vélez has also received an MS in Entomology from the National University of Colombia and a BS in Biology from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia. She is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and recently she accepted an Assistant Professor position at the same institution. Dr. Vélez research addresses the mode of action, resistance evolution, and potential effects on non-target arthropods of biotechnology crops, specifically Bt crops and RNA interference (RNAi). Her research on Bt resistance involves monitoring resistance in the European corn borer and characterizing resistance in different insects to improve resistance management strategies. Her RNAi research includes the understanding of the mode of action of RNAi in the western corn rootworm, identification and characterization of RNAi targets for the western corn rootworm, and risk assessment of RNAi. In addition, she teaches the undergraduate class Toxins in the Environment and will teaching the graduate level class Insect Toxicology in the upcoming fall semester.