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Get to Know….Erik Roldan

Erik Roldan UF/IFAS Graduate Student

Get to know….. Erik Roldan

 Erik Roldan: Ph.D.  student in Entomology and Nematology is the most recent president of the UF/IFAS CREC Graduate Student Organization

Anticipated graduation May 2023

Hometown:  Guatemala

Research areas:   Insect- microbiology and molecular biology

Dream job: One of my future goals is to open a biological control laboratory in Guatemala that could offer growers several bio-products including natural enemies to control pests, diseases, or improve soil characteristics.

I would like to work closely with industry, growers, and universities in developing novel pest-management strategies that can be affordable and sustainable for third world countries. I also strive to improve agricultural development in my country by creating job opportunities and supporting educations in rural areas of Guatemala. Coming from a coffee farmer family, my dream has always been growing high-quality coffee and exporting to different countries around the world.

Later in my career, I would love to become a professor of Entomology in Guatemala or maybe my alma mater Zamorano located in Honduras.

 When did you start studying/working at CREC?

I first started working at CREC in May of 2019 under Dr. Pelz Stelinski

 What was your favorite class at UF?

Insect Molecular Biology and Insect vectors of Plant Pathogens

What are your responsibilities at CREC?

I am currently Ph.D. Student in Entomology and a Graduate Student Research Assistant working on how the Asian citrus psyllid microbiome may facilitate the transmission of citrus greening (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus) throughout citrus orchards in the State of Florida.

What are you proud about working at CREC?

I am proud of working in an international citrus center and being able to have the opportunity to help protect and make grow the most important agricultural commodities for the State of Florida, citrus.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I enjoy working closely with growers and being part of a team that is working on providing novel management strategies to control citrus greening. I also enjoy networking with great scientists from all around the world and making long lasting friendships.

Who is your favorite superhero?

Ant-man and Spiderman!

What is your favorite type of citrus?

I like all types but citrus, specially Oranges as juice, they are the love of my life.