Elida Espinoza received her BS in Entomology, with a minor in Mathematics from Texas A&M University in 2012. She then began pursuing her PhD in Entomology in the Center for Urban and Structural Entomology during the fall of 2012. Her current research focuses on the behavioral ecology of the red imported fire ant (RIFA), Solenopsis invicta, in association with bacteria. She is examining the possible roles of bacteria in maintaining RIFA colony structure through brood care and nestmate recognition, foraging, and necrophoretic behavior. In addition, her research interests include studying the RIFA microbiome and bacterial interactions with invasive social insect populations. Outside of academia she is interested in the development of integrative pest management programs that will lead to the alleviation of current invasive species pests and preventive techniques for the management of future insect populations that may be introduced into a non-native habitat.