Our seminar series is a collaborative work between the Prager Lab (Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan) and Dr. Jorge Zavala´s research line (FAUBA, University of Buenos Aires). 


Dr. Sean Prager is an entomologist in the departments of Plant Sciences and Biology at the University of Saskatchewan. He holds a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary biology. His research focuses on the applied and fundamental aspects of insect ecology, particularly with respect to crops, bees, and disease vectors.

Dr. Jorge Zavala is a CONICET principal researcher and a professor from the School of Agriculture of University of Buenos Aires. He holds a PhD in chemical ecology and works with plant–insect interactions in agroecosystems. His research aims at an integrated approach to soybean chemical defenses, stink bugs resistance strategies, and stink bugs gut microbial diversity.

Zavala Lab

Organizing committee


Vanesa Jacobi studied Genetics at the National University of Misiones (UNaM), Argentina. There, she discovered the meaning of Dobzhansky´s words: "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution". She is currently finishing her PhD studies under Drs. Jorge Zavala and Patricia Fernández´s supervision, in the School of Agriculture of the University of Buenos Aires (FAUBA). She studies the interaction between a stink bug species (Dichelops furcatus) and crops such as corn and soybean. She works with volatiles collection, plant responses to insect attack, insect dissections, and behavioural assays.

Find out more about her project:

Plant volatiles guide the new pest Dichelops furcatus to feed on corn seedlings


Berenice Romero is from Argentina, where she obtained her degree in Biology at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). During her Introduction to Zoology course, she fell in love with insects and fellow arthropods, and while taking Organic Chemistry, she became curious about chemical compounds mediating interactions, namely those involved in plant-insect and insect-insect interactions. Under the supervision of Dr. Jorge Zavala, her thesis focused on two soybean pests (fall armyworm and thrips) and the defensive response of two commercial soybean varieties to these insects´ attack. Shortly after graduating from UBA, she came in contact with Dr. Sean Prager and decided to pursue a MSc in Plant Sciences under his supervision. Her project is aimed at identifying crop and non-crop species in SK that could be potential hosts for AY phytoplasmas and/or the main vector of this pathogen in the Canadian Prairies (Aster leafhoppers) and exploring those interactions. She has recently transitioned into the PhD program, hoping to expand on some of those original ideas and observations from her MSc project. 

Find out more about her project: 

Oviposition Behavior and Development of Aster Leafhoppers (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) on Selected Host Plants From the Canadian Prairies



Graphic design

None of this would have been possible without the AMAZING work done by Emily Jacobi.