Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Seema Rana

USDA Postdoctoral Researcher (2021-present)


Howdy! I am Seema. I recently joined Dr. Song’s Lab as a postdoctoral research associate. My research focuses on developing RNAi-based solutions for insect pest management, particularly for the control of orthopteran species: Mormon cricket (Tettigoniidae: Anabrus simplex) and locust (Acrididae: Schistocerca sp.). These are generalized herbivores. Their outbreak is widespread in several parts of the world, including the western United States, Africa, and Southeast Asia, causing a significant challenge to global food security. We will be conducting field collections at Idaho and perform experiments to investigate the RNAi challenges at the molecular level and then utilize different modern technologies to overcome these challenges at the field level. I received my doctoral degree in Plant Biotechnology from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, India, where my research’s main topic was to study the role of chemoreceptors and chitin synthase genes in lepidopteran crop pests using RNAi. My interest in agricultural research stems from my childhood’s life with my grandfather, a farmer whom I always admire for his eternal passion for agriculture.

Dr. Maeva Techer

NSF BPRI Postdoctoral Researcher (2021-present)


Bonjour! I'm Maeva, born and raised in the Reunion Island paradise, and I consider myself an evolutionary biologist with a love for tropical systems and insects. I am now a postdoctoral researcher in the Entomology Department at Texas A&M and proud to be part of the Behavioral Plasticity Research Institute (BPRI).
Before joining the BPRI, I completed my Ph.D. in Population Genetics at the University of Reunion Island: a French Overseas department located in the hotspot of biodiversity near Madagascar. I combined classical population genetics and demographic inferences to track the origin of the Western honey bee Apis mellifera and which factors shaped their evolution since their arrival on islands. I then moved across the globe to carry a Postdoc in Population Genomics to the gorgeous Okinawa islands in Japan at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. Focusing on the beekeeping pest Varroa mites, and decided to take advantage of NGS to investigate the complex history and evolution of invasive populations in a host-parasite system. Following a frustrating introduction to bioinformatics, I had the opportunity to create a world collection, sequence, and dig into a 1500 whole-genomes dataset. Now in College Station, my research will explore the genetic basis of the locust phase polyphenism by comparing high-quality genomes of six species of Schistocerca grasshoppers. I am excited to take advantage of the BPRI integrative approach to get in-depth insights into the evolutionary adaptations to new environments by combining genomics, epigenomics and transcriptomics.
I'm a pretty lively and social person, so in my spare time, I like to spend time with my family and friends, hike and playing amateur-naturalist, and teach classes of STRONG Nation as an instructor. Also, I am an anime and video-games enthusiast, chotto Otaku.