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Department of Entomology, University of Arizona

Patricia earned her B.S. in Biology (emphasis in Zoology) and her Ph.D. in Natural Sciences (emphasis in Parasitology and Nematology) at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina. After completion of her degree, Patricia joined the Center for Parasites and Vector Studies (CEPAVE, Univ. of La Plata) and soon after held a teaching faculty position at the Dept. of Zoology, Universidad Nacional de La Plata. She held a position as a visiting scientist at the University of California, Davis, where she continued her research on entomopathogenic nematodes in Harry Kaya’s laboratory. In 1997, she accepted a NSF-funded post-doctoral position with Steve Nadler at UC-Davis to study free-living cephalobid nematodes integrating classical and molecular phylogenetics.  In 1998, Patricia was hired as Senior Museum Scientist (Assistant Curator) of the U.C. Davis Nematode Collection.  Besides her curatorial responsibilities, Patricia remained active in research collaborating in several research projects with colleagues from the USA, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.  Since 2001, Patricia has been at the University of Arizona. Currently, she is a Professor in the Department of Entomology and has also joint  appointments in The School of Plant Sciences and the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences at the University of Arizona.  Her research program focuses on insect pathogens as model systems for studying prokaryote-eukaryote symbiotic interactions.  She has authored and co-authored more than 100 refereed papers, eight book chapters and one book regarding systematics, biology of insect-parasitic and free-living nematodes.

Throughout her career, Patricia has served as associate editor and as an editorial board member and reviewer of numerous national and international journals. Patricia has been an active member of ISS since 2007 and participated in the organization of Student and Teaching Workshops. She also organized a satellite meeting on Nematode-Bacteria Symbiosis (funded by NSF RCN NEMASYM Program) during the 6th ISS  C(2009) and a symposium on Nematode –Bacteria Symbioses during the 9th ISS Congress in Lisbon, Portugal (2015).  She has played an important role in the organization of the scientific programs for other societies including Society for Invertebrate Pathology (SIP), Organization of Nematologists of Tropical America (ONTA) and Society of Nematologists (SON) annual meetings.

Patricia currently teaches and undergraduate course ENTO 310 “Leaving in Symbiosis” at the University of Arizona.  She developed this course and has taught it for the past eight years.  In Patricia’s own words “I truly enjoy teaching this course. Symbiotic associations are incredibly widespread in nature. We can expect to find symbioses occurring in every type of ecological niche.  I love teaching students to appreciate the diversity of associations that exist between microbes and eukaryotic hosts.  They are fascinating model systems”.

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