Graduate Students

Chris Holderman

CHRIS HOLDERMAN. PhD Candidate. Chris graduated from Kansas State University with interests in pests of livestock and domesticated animals.  He grew up on a small dry-land/cow-calf operation in southeastern Kansas.  He earned his master’s degree with Dr. Kaufman (see “Alumni”) researching control of the horn fly.  His doctoral research will focus on the causative agent of dog heartworm disease, Dirofilaria immitis.  The developmental vectors of dog heartworm are many mosquito species in several genera.  High prevalence of dog heartworm and mosquito pressure poses a major concern to dog owners in most of North America, but especially in the southeast.  Infection with D. immitis causes damage to the dog’s pulmonary arterial system and results in a serious disease for the dog host.  Chris’ research will focus on several aspects of the mosquito vectors: identification of major vector species, yearly prevalence, and vector competence.



KAREN PRINE. PhD Student. Karen is a graduate of University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine and has been practicing veterinary medicine since 1996.  She has worked with both large and small animals throughout her career.  Additionally, Karen is a veteran of the United States Army where she served in the Veterinary Corps servicing service members’ privately owned animals, military working dogs, cavalry horses, and also performing quality assurance inspections of companies that supply food for our troops.  She received a Master’s in Forensic Toxicology.  Karen has returned to Gainesville to complete a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the School of Natural Resources with a major focus in entomology.  Her current research is focused on tick-borne rickettsiosis in Florida, specifically Rickettsia parkeri, as well as a recently discovered potentially pathogenic rickettsia found in Amblyomma tuberculatum, the gopher tortoise tick. 



LIEUTENANT JEFF HERTZ.  PhD Candidate.  Jeff is a Lieutenant in the United States Navy and his current assignment is to complete a PhD at the University of Florida.  Lieutenant Hertz has been in the Navy for 19 years, serving 13 years as a Hospital Corpsman and 6 years as an entomologist in the Medical Service Corps.  Lieutenant Hertz's research is focused on the dynamics between lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, and wild turkey, Meleagris gallopova, in the transmission of Ehrlichia chaffeensis in Florida.  Ehrlichia chaffeensis is a zoonotic disease that causes 5-20, potentially fatal, human cases in Florida every year.


BOB ALDRIDGE.  Master's student.  Bob is a graduate of the Ohio State University where he majored in entomology.  From 2002-2010, as a student aid at Ohio State, he reared mosquitoes and researched vector behavior, specifically the sexual behavior of male Anopheles gambiae.  In 2012, he was accepted into the UF graduate school, and has been attending classes at UF and conducting research at the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE) supervised by Dr. Ken Linthicum.  Bob is researching the mortality effects of applying pesticides to specific regions of the mosquito body in an effort to improve topical bioassays used in pesticide evaluation, ultimately improving our understanding of how ULV and residual pesticide applications impact mosquito control.