The Entomology Graduate Organization (EGO) was started in February 2002 to improve the level of graduate involvement in department affairs and to increase social interaction among students. The organization facilitates communication among graduate students and between faculty and the Department Head. We also organize social and academic events in the department, such as picnics and departmental seminars.

Department Involvement

Entomology graduate students at Purdue are encouraged to become actively involved in department activities and strategic planning. Several students serve on departmental committees. EGO has provided a venue for sharing information and a process for offering graduate input on important department issues.

Social Activities

Students in EGO organize social events for students and faculty to promote interaction within the department. We also welcome new students by assigning a current student to show them around. Our goal is to improve the academic and social experience of all graduate students in Purdue Entomology. Working together, we can make this department the best it can be!

Academic Activities

Graduate students play a key role in organizing an ongoing Department Seminar Series. This involvement provides opportunities for students to interact with Entomology researchers in many fields from around the globe.

An annual Graduate Student Seminar provides opportunities for students to present their research to faculty and fellow students for practice and feedback. EGO members organize and plan this activity.

Graduate students often present posters and give presentations at national and branch meetings of the Entomology Society of America (ESA) or other professional meetings. EGO provides a network for students to support each other's efforts and make us the best that we can be. This includes a series of professional development workshops we organize each semester, where Entomology faculty and other guests present on topics such as research skills, teaching, grant writing and job-hunting.

Officers and Committee Chairs

Faith Weeks

Graduate Committee Chair
Teaching & Curriculum Chair

Mahsa Fardisi

Vice President
Advisory Chair
Symposium Chair

Tim Luttermoser



North Central Branch Rep


Journal Club Chair

Gabriel Hughes

Linnaean Team Chair

Morgan Lucke

PGSG Chair

Elizabeth Rowen

Intramural Captain

Gladys Andino

Seminar Chair

Dan Martin

Social Media Chair
Social Chair

Alli Duffy

Social Media Chair
Social Chair

Adam Salyer

Welcoming Chair
Tech Chair

Mike Garvey

Seminar Chair Social Chair



Bug-N-Brew is a department wide social event with friends and family included. Graduate students, faculty, and staff get together on the first Friday of every month at a local bar or restaurant. It is a good time for everyone to interact on a personal level outside of the walls of Smith and Whistler Halls. We all eat dinner while sharing jokes and stories until our appetites for both food and drink are met. This event really encourages interaction between everyone and there is always a good time had by all. Restaurants visited: Lafayette Brewing Company, Spurlock's, Cajun Connection, The Other Pub, Hunter's Pub Down Under, Buffalo Wild Wings, Parthenon.


For the past several summers, EGO has organized a camping & collecting trip to the Feldun-Purdue Agriculture Center in southern Indiana. With its rolling hills, wooded trails, and old rock quarries, this location has been a great place for hiking and insect collecting, and the campfires and night collecting trips are a favorite part of the weekend. Professors, grad students, friends, and family have all taken part in this social event.


Each year around the end of June, we all take a float down Sugar Creek, which runs through Turkey Run State Park. The trip is typically 15 miles and covers parts of the creek that are known to have fossils and Indian artifacts along the way, as well as intersecting a few historical covered bridges. This is a nice relaxing canoe trip that takes most of the day. Many faculty and staff also join in the fun. Most of us end up sun burnt and tired, but it is always a good excuse to get out and enjoy the sites of Indiana.


EGO organizes a departmental paintball trip every year that always proves to be a lot of fun. This social event is geared toward everyone in the department. In 2005 we headed to the Paintball Barn in Attica, Indiana. It's the one opportunity you get to shoot at grad students or professors without getting in trouble!

Halloween Party
Winter Gala (80's Night)
Rock Climbing

Graduate Spotlight

Brittany Faye Peterson

August 2014


Mike Scharf

Expected Graduation

May 2014

EGO Officer Position

None; Former Journal Club Chair

originally from

I was a military brat, so don’t really claim a hometown. I was born on Whiteman AFB in MO and graduated high school in Mascoutah, IL.

Future Career Plans

I would like to teach and have a small research group.

Area of Research

termite symbiosis and physiology

Summary of Research

My thesis focuses on how microbiota living in the termite gut influence host physiology, specifically digestion and immunity.

How You Got Into Entomology

I’m really interested in studying symbiosis, and as it turns out insects form a lot of really interesting relationships with microbes! Also, there’s a lot less red tape involved in using insects as study organisms and they are often ecologically and economically important, all of which are perks in my book.

Favorite Insect and Why

I should say the eastern subterranean termite, because I owe it. But I think the Madagascan sunset moth is pretty gorgeous.


Hanging out with my pup, Taq and binge watching Netflix.

Favorite Cookie Flavor

Sugar cookies with frosting, preferably cut into fun shapes!

Favorite Movie

I have too many… Probably Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Crash, or Up.

Favorite Book

Fiction: Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Non-Fiction: Devil in the Details by Jennifer Traig

Place I Would LIke to Visit in the Future

Anywhere and everywhere, there is still a lot of the world I haven’t experienced!

Graduate Spotlight Archive

Morgan Lucke

March 2014

Adam Salyer

February 2014

Gabriel Hughes

January 2014

Serena Gross

December 2013

Aaron J. Myers

November 2013

Elizabeth Rowen

October 2013