Get to know us … is a new feature for UF/IFAS CREC social media. In it we get to know one of the faculty, staff or students working at UF/IFAS CREC. Kristen Gaines is a University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences graduate student studying entomology and nematology, specifically molecular entomology and community ecology. She is in the 4th semester of herMaster’s degree and and working at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center. She currently works in Dr. Lauren Diepenbrock’s lab. She also works with Dr. Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski as the president of the Graduate Student Organization.
When did you start working at CREC?
I began August 2019.
What are your responsibilities at CREC?
As a graduate student, my responsibilities mostly entail data collection, analysis, and writing. I’m currently collecting molecular and community data of Lebbeck mealybug infested citrus groves. As the Graduate Student Organization President, my responsibilities are to the health, happiness, and success of my fellow grad students!
What are you really proud about working at CREC?
I’m really proud of the diversity at CREC. With international students, staff, and faculty, we have our own little microcosm of a melting pot.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
As I’m sure my fellow researchers will agree, the most rewarding thing about science is having success in finding a solution to a problem. Even in the small ways, like troubleshooting a miniscule aspect of an experiment, I think it is so rewarding to see those tangible results.
Who is your favorite superhero?
What is your favorite type of citrus?
I’m a Tangelo fan.
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
I’m a Florida beach lover through and through, but after almost a full year of lockdown in Florida I’d really like to be in the mountains.
What is your favorite thing to cook/eat?
Cookies for both!
If you could invite three people to share a meal with, who would it be (other than family)?
Angela Davis, Bill Nye, and Tom Stoppard.
What is your favorite song or recording artist?
I can’t pick a favorite, but I will never get tired of Roy Orbison.
Do you have a favorite movie? Book?
Also hard to pick a favorite! But I am always in the mood to watch Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining or read Shakespeare.