Profile: Chris Kerr
Chris Kerr, a graduate student at the University of Florida, earned an M.S. in Entomology and currently is enrolled in the Doctor of Plant Medicine (DPM) program. He received a B.A. with honors in Linguistics from the University of Florida in 2009 and hopes to eventually put his passion for agriculture and languages to good use.
While working on his B.A., Chris took a one-year hiatus to teach English at the Honduran Bilingual School in Gracias, Lempira Honduras. There he taught all subjects to first through sixth grade and served as the sole translator between the English and Spanish speaking teachers and parents. During his time in Honduras he traveled extensively throughout the country and also into parts of Guatemala; there he was able to see huge disparities in the way crops and cattle were produced and the quantities harvested. So began his interests in all aspects of agriculture, and after helping friends clear several acres with a machete and working the fields with an oxen-driven plow his affinity for farming had been cultivated.
However, soon after graduating with the B.A., Chris decided to join the U.S. Army. He received extensive training in disease management including medically important arthropod monitoring, identification, and abatement; water, food, and air quality regulations and surveying; and regulated medical waste and hazardous waste handling among others. He used this knowledge during his deployment to Afghanistan during 2011-2012, where his small 3 man team protected thousands of US/NATO service members and contractors.
After returning he started working towards the DPM degree, and one year into the program decided a M.S. in Entomology would augment his abilities to help agricultural producers, the general public and the military. Chris joined IPM Florida in 2013 and has found a continued joy in public service and hopes his training and work experience with the IPM Florida group will refine both his goals and knowledge. Chris is senior author of a mole cricket IPM guide and conducted research on mass-rearing Tamarixia radiata, a parasitoid wasp of the Asian citrus psyllid.