Erika Bueno, Plant and Soil Science Graduate Program

The University of Vermont Graduate College is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2020-2021 Dr. Roberto Fabri Fialho Research Award is Erika Bueno, a doctoral candidate in the Plant and Soil Science Program.

Erika is a PhD candidate at the University of Vermont working under the guidance of Dr. Yolanda Chen.  As a member of Dr. Chen's research group, Erika combines empirical and theoretical approaches in evolutionary biology to study the molecular drivers of stress tolerance in the Colorado potato beetle (CPB). By using a multi-level approach that integrates phenotypic, transcriptomic, and epigenomic tools, she is characterizing how insecticide resistance influences cross-tolerance to subsequent heat stress in CPB. Her interests in evolutionary biology are driven by her natural curiosity for understanding how insects thrive under challenging environments associated with anthropogenic change. Her long-term goal is to bridge together evolutionary and genomic approaches to understand the mechanisms underlying rapid evolution and to inform management strategies for economically important agricultural pests.

Erika is originally from Lima, Peru, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Ecology and Evolution from San Francisco State University (SFSU). Erika is a founding member and current President of the first SACNAS (Society for the Advancement for Native Americans and Chicanos in STEM) Chapter at UVM. She is also a recipient of the prestigious HHMI Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study. In her spare time (pre-COVID), Erika enjoys spending time with friends, water coloring, dancing, and binge-watching Netflix shows.

The Fialho Research Award is given annually to a University of Vermont doctoral student in support of their research in areas related to ecology, evolution, population genetics, or animal behavior. The funds are awarded in memory of Roberto Fabri Fialho, Ph.D., Biology. For more information on the student awards offered through the Graduate College and to read about previous awardees, please visit our website here.