Alex DeYonke

Alex DeYonke

My undergraduate coursework at North Carolina State University was greatly supplemented with four years of undergraduate research with Dr. Fred Gould and Dr. Megan Fritz. I completed my undergraduate degree in 2016 with a B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation, with a minor in Plant Sciences. After graduating, Dr. Fred Gould hired me as a lab manager. My responsibilities in the Gould lab included a plethora of molecular biology techniques like ddRADSeq, rearing various populations of ​Heliothine ​moths, field work, and data analysis. With the help of employee benefits, I started taking classes and enrolled into the Master’s of Entomology Program in the Spring of 2018. My thesis was​ Linking Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Mutations in Heliothis virescens​ to Pyrethroid Resistance Phenotypes.

During my time at NC State, I was also involved heavily with the North Carolina School of Science and Math’s Mentorship program, which pairs rising high school seniors with scientists in the local area. Mentoring and teaching has become a cornerstone in my career path, and I have a special interest in worthing with students from underprivileged backgrounds- including, but not limited to, students who would be first generation college graduates, veterans, minorities, and students with disabilities. Frequently, I find that students have an idea of what they want to do, but are not sure what steps to take in order to pursue these dreams. I firmly believe that hands-on experiences allow students to build confidence in their own skills and successfully commit to their educational paths.

I take a one on one on approach to Mentorship- best showcased in this comic by Every Vowel. I am always available for help workshopping personal statements and application packets, editing manuscripts and grant applications, and interview advice/practice. I am happy to be a resource.

From 2019-2020, I briefly attended at the University of Maryland: College Park in their PhD program for Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, and Genomics to focus on my bioinformatics skills. I am a seasoned programmer in R and Python, and have developed a handful of workshops to teach statistics and data analysis at the undergraduate level. During this time, I gave birth my first son during the Covid-19 epidemic. My family and I decided to move to North Carolina for support and stability during uncertain times.

As one door closes, another opens- and serendipitously Ke Dong was moving her lab from Michigan State to Duke University at the same time. I jumped at this opportunity- and am extremely excited to work in pyrethroid resistance again.

Currently, my research in the Ke Dong lab is elated to insect repellency and pyrethroid resistance mutations in the voltage-gated sodium channel gene.