Campus News

UGA forest health researcher named Entomological Society of America Science Policy Fellow

Kamal Gandhi has been interested in insects and their impact on humans since she was a 13-year-old at a nature camp in India.

Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia tree health expert Kamal Gandhi has been named a Science Policy Fellow for the Entomological Society of America, just one of five scientists across the country named to the program.

The competitive fellowship program formed in 2014 to support scientists for two-year terms. As a fellow, Gandhi will attend virtual and in-person educational events to learn more about science policy and funding decisions made at the federal level of government. She also will participate in conferences that focus on developing federal science policy and budgets, help draft policy statements and meet with legislators.

“This critical experience will allow me to become a stronger advocate for creating and implementing policies for effective forest management and conservation practices especially under the context of forest health issues,” said Gandhi, an associate professor of forest entomology in UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Gandhi joined the Warnell School in 2008, filling a void in Georgia with her expertise in forest protection and health. She teaches forest health protection and has been conducting research on issues that affect conifer and hardwood trees, including the effects of exotic insects like the Asian ambrosia beetles, European woodwasp and emerald ash borer. Gandhi’s research is particularly important in the South, where forestry is a billion dollar industry in what is called the “wood basket of the world.”

“Federal and state policies that guide management practices that enhances both the economic and ecological components of these forests will be critical to long-term sustainability,” Gandhi said. “This is becoming more imperative under climatic changes, habitat changes and loss, and invasion by exotic insects that are altering our native forests.”

The Entomological Society of America
The Entomological Society of America is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and individuals in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, this nonprofit has nearly 7,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry and government.

Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
The Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at UGA is the oldest existing forestry school in the South. Located on South Campus, the school’s educational and outreach programs focus on the conservation and management of forests and other natural resources, including discovering ways to restore and better use them. For more information, see