Dr. Ana María Vélez

Ana's Picture
Assistant Professor – Entomology

 Department of Entomology

312 Entomology Hall

Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0816

Telephone: (402) 472-2152

FAX: (402) 472-4687

Email: avelezarango2@unl.edu


 

Appointment:

80% Research, 20% Teaching

Education:
  1. Ph.D. in Entomology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2013
  2. M.S. in Entomology, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 2009
  3. B.S. in Biology, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia, 2006
Professional Interests:   Insecticide/Environmental Toxicology, Resistance Management, Molecular Genetics
Professional Responsibilities:

Research:
The Insect Toxicology Lab’s research focuses on understanding how insects respond and adapt to chemical stressors. We are specifically interested in current and emerging technologies used for insect pest management such as transgenic plants that express toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and RNA interference (RNAi). In order to evaluate the durability and safety of insect control products, we spread our research across three different levels of biological organization:
I. Molecular: mode of action and resistance mechanisms
II.Organismal: characterization of new insecticidal molecules, characterization of insect resistance, and effects on non-target insects at the organismal level
III. Population: resistance monitoring, insect resistance management (IRM), and effects on non-target insects at the population level.
Our current research projects examine different aspects of RNAi for western corn rootworm management such as: mode of action, identification and characterization of targets, and risk assessment. In addition, we conduct a monitoring program to evaluate Bt resistance from field populations of European corn borer.

Teaching:
  • Entomology 300 “Toxins in the Environment”
  • Entomology 820 “Insecticide Toxicology”
Publications
Refereed Journal Articles
  1. Noriega, D.D., Arias P.L., Barbosa H.R., Ossa G.A., Arraes F.B.M., Villegas B., Coehlo R.R., Albuquerque E.S., Towaga R.C., Grynberg P., Wang H., Vélez A.M., Arboleda J.W., Grossi-de-Sa M.F., Silva M.C.M., and A. Valencia J. Transcriptome and gene analysis of three developmental stages of coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei. Scientific Reports. Submitted.
  2. Pinheiro D.H., Vélez A.M., Fishilevich E., Wang H., Carneiro N.P., Valencia-Jiménez A., Valicente F.H., Narva K.E., and B.D. Siegfried. 2018. Clathrin-dependent endocytosis is associated with RNAi response in the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte. PLoS One, 13(8): e0201849.
  3. Pereira, A.E., Vélez A.M., Meinke L.J., and B.D. Siegfried. 2017. Sublethal effects of vATPase-A and Snf7 on the biology of Southern Corn Rootworm, Diabrotica undecimpuctata howardi Barber. Journal of Economic Entomology, 11: 2545-2553.
  4. Bentivenha J.P.F., Montezano D., Hunt T.E., Baldin E.L., Peterson J.A., Victor V.S., Pannuti L.E.R., Vélez A.M., and P. Paula-Moraes. 2017. Intraguild interactions and behavior of Spodoptera frugiperda and Helicoverpa spp. on maize. Pest Management Science. 73: 2244-2251.
  5. Vélez A.M., Fishilevich E., Matz N., Frey M. L.F., Wang J., Hamm R., Narva, K.E., and B.D. Siegfried. 2017. Parameters for successful parental RNAi as an insect pest management tool. Genes, 8(1), 7; doi:10.3390/genes8010007.
  6. Vélez, A.M., Khajuria C., Wang H., Narva K.E. and B.D. Siegfried. 2016. Knockdown of RNA interference pathway genes in western corn rootworms (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte) demonstrated a possible mechanism of resistance to lethal dsRNA. PLoS One 11(6): e0157520.
  7. Tan S.Y., Rangasamy M., Wang H., Vélez A.M., Hasler J., McCaskill D., Xu T., Chen H., Jurzenski J., Kelker M., Xu X., Narva K., and B.D. Siegfried. 2016. RNAi induced knockdown of a Cadherin-like Protein (EF531715) does not affect toxicity of Cry34/35Ab1 or Cry3Aa to Diabrotica virgifera virgifera Larvae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 75: 117-124.
  8. Vélez A.M., Alves A., Blankenship E., and B.D. Siegfried. 2016. Effect of Cry1F maize on the behavior of susceptible and resistant Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata.
  9. Fishilevich E., Vélez A.M., Khajuria C., Frey M.L.F., Hamm R.L., Wang H., Schulenberg G.A., Narva K.E., and B.D. Siegfried. 2016. Use of chromatin remodeling vATPases as RNAi targets for multigenerational control of Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) and Neotropical stink bug. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 71: 58-71.
  10. Vélez A.M., Jursenski J., Matz N., Zhou, J. Wang H., Ellis M., and B.D. Siegfried. 2016. Developing an in vivo toxicity assay for RNAi risk assessment in honey bees, Apis mellifera L. to dietary RNAi. Chemosphere. 144: 1083-1090.
  11. Khajuria C., Vélez A.M., Rangasamy M., Wang H., Fishilevich E., Frey M.L.F., Portilho Carneiro N., Gandra P., Narva K.E. and B.D. Siegfried. 2015. Parental RNA interference of genes involved in embryonic development of the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 63: 54-62.
  12. Vélez A.M., Spencer, T.A., Alves A.P., Crespo, A.L.B., and B.D. Siegfried. 2014. Fitness costs of Cry1F resistance in fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda. Journal of Applied Entomology. 138(5): 315-325.
  13. Vélez, A.M., Spencer, T.A., Alves, A.P., Moelenbeck, D., Meagher, R.L., Chirakkal, H. and B.D. Siegfried. 2013. Inheritance of Cry1F resistance, cross-resistance and frequency of resistant alleles in Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research. 103(6): 700-713
  14. Vélez-Arango A.M., Duque-Vélez P and M. Wolff. 2010. The Life Cycle of Mesosemia mevania (Hewitson 1857) (Riodinidae) in a lower montane humid forest in Colombia. Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society. 64(1): 23-28.
  15. Saldamando C.I. and A.M. Vélez-Arango. 2010. Host Plant Association and Genetic Differentiation of Corn and Rice Strains of Spodoptera frugiperda Smith (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Colombia. Neotropical Entomology. 39(6): 921-929.
  16. Vélez-Arango A.M., Arango R.E., Villanueva D., Aguilera E. and Saldamando C.I. 2008. Identification of Spodoptera frugiperda biotypes (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) through using mitochondrial and nuclear markers. Revista Colombiana de Entomología. 34(2): 145-150.
Book Chapters and Invited Reviews
  1. Vélez A.M. and E. Fishilevich. 2018. The mysteries of insect RNAi: a focus on dsRNA transport. Pesticide Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
  2. Fishilevich E., Vélez A.M., Storer N.P., Li H., Bowling A.J., Rangasamy M., Worden S., Narva K.E., and B.S. Siegfried. 2016. RNAi as a pest management tool for the western corn rootworm. Pest Management Science, 72(9): 1652–166.
  3. Vélez A.M., Vellichirammal N.N., Jurat-Fuentes J.L, and B.S. Siegfried. 2016. Cry1F resistance among lepidopteran pests: A model for improved resistance management? Current Opinion in Insect Science. 15: 116-124.
  4. Vélez A.M. and B.D. Siegfried. 2014. RNAi Interference in Insect Pest Management: Assessing Potential Benefits and Environmental Risk. In: Biopesticides: State of the Art and Future Opportunities. Gross, A., Coates J. R., Duke, S.O. and Seiber J. N. eds. ACS Symposium Series 1172. American Chemical Society. Pp. 59-70.

Intellectual Property
  1. Siegfried B.D., Narva K.E., Arora K., Worden S., Khajuria C., Fishilevich E., Storer N, Frey M., Hamm R.L. and A.M. Vélez. Parental RNAi Suppression of Chromatin Remodeling Genes to Control Coleopteran Pests. Application # 14/971188, December 2014.
  2. Siegfried B.D., Narva K.E., Arora K., Worden S., Khajuria C., Fishilevich E., Storer N, Frey M., Hamm R.L. and A.M. Vélez. Parental RNAi Suppression of Hunchback Genes to Control Coleopteran Pests. Application # 14/971366, December 2014.
  3. Siegfried B.D., Narva K.E., Arora K., Worden S., Khajuria C., Fishilevich E., Storer N, Frey M., Hamm R.L. and A.M. Vélez. Parental RNAi Suppression of Kruppel Gene to Control Coleopteran Pests. Application # 14/971479, December 2014.
  4. Siegfried B.D., Narva K.E., Arora K., Worden S., Khajuria C., Fishilevich E., Storer N, Frey M., Hamm R.L. and A.M. Vélez. Parental RNAi Suppression of Chromatin Remodeling Genes to Control Hemipteran Pests. Application # 14/971515, December 2014.
  5. Siegfried B.D., Narva K.E., Arora K., Worden S., Khajuria C., Fishilevich E., Storer N, Frey M., Hamm R.L. and A.M. Vélez. Parental RNAi Suppression of Hunchback Gene to Control Hemipteran Pests. Application # 14/971417, December 2014.
  6. Siegfried B.D., Narva K.E., Arora K., Worden S., Khajuria C., Fishilevich E., Storer N, Frey M., Hamm R.L. and A.M. Vélez. Parental RNAi Suppression of Kruppel Gene to Control Hemipteran Pests. Application # 14/971550, December 2014.

Recognition/Awards
  • DuPont Young Professor Award, 2016
  • Entomological Society of America Student Transition and Early Professionals International Congress of Entomology Travel Award.
  • American Chemical Society New Investigator Award Finalist, 2016
  • International Congress of Entomology (ICE) Student Transition and Early Professionals Travel Award, Orlando, Florida, 2016
  • NIMBioS Investigative Workshop Travel Grant. Insect Pest Resistance Evolution Workshop, Knoxville, Tennessee, 2013
  • Recognition for outstanding student presentation, Society for Invertebrate Pathology, Pittsburgh, PA, 2013
  • Bacteria Division Travel Award, Society for Invertebrate Pathology, Pittsburgh, PA, 2013
  • Milton E. Mohr Teaching Fellowship, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, 2012
  • President’s Prize Student Competition, Runner up Oral 10-minute paper. Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), Reno, Nevada, 2011
  • Widaman Trust Distinguished Graduate Assistant Awards, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, 2011
  • Mary and Charles C. Cooper / Emma I. Sharpless Fellowship, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, 2010
  • Mary and Charles C. Cooper / Emma I. Sharpless Fellowship, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, 2009