About Andres Cruz

Andres is the Laboratory Technician for Dr. Cruz’s lab. His work focuses in setting up, operating, and maintaining the lab equipment. He tests, monitors, and keeps detailed logs of the experiments as well as supporting researchers with their work. Andres is a certified UAV flight operator and is in charge of conducting flights, maintaining equipment and data logging. He also is in charge of producing media for manuscripts, website, and presentation publications for the lab.

Job Experience

12/2016     Kansas State University Department of Plant Pathology

Research Technician

Created flight plans and flew Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) on several research experiments in multiple locations in Bolivia to study the epidemiology of Magnaporthe oryzae Triticum (MoT). Maintained a record of multispectral information to be processed in collaboration with remote sensing experts at Kansas State University. Took photographs and videos with a 4K RGB camera mounted on a UAS and with a regular DSLR camera to build an imagery collection of wheat blast symptoms; photos and videos were used on K-State Wheat Blast social media accounts and will be used on future research publications. Prepared media for the growth of MoT inside a biosafety-level-3 facility (Biosecurity Research Institute) and followed standard operating procedures for decontamination and disposal of hazardous waste and other materials. Oversaw the making and maintenance of a seed inventory for the use of our collaborators in the United States and Bolivia.

 

06/2016-12/2016        Kansas State University Department of Plant Pathology

Research Consultant (Bolivia)

Helped with evaluations of multiple laboratory, greenhouse and field experiments in Bolivia. These experiments were aimed at identifying new sources of blast resistance and understanding the ecology and epidemiology of wheat blast. Duties included assisting scientists with data collection through visual and remote sensing techniques, as well as with data storage. Helped generating content for a wheat blast website.

 

01/2014-04/2014        Kansas State University Department of Plant Pathology

Research Consultant (Bolivia)

Helped in a scientific study of the fungal pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae Triticum that seriously affects wheat production in Bolivia. Helped identify the pathogen on affected plants in the field and rate disease severity and incidence on disease nurseries. Collected field samples shipped to a BSL-3 laboratory in Kansas. Experiments were aimed at understanding the ecology and epidemiology of the wheat blast pathogen and identifying sources of resistance.

 

2009 – 2014                Ohio Agricultural Research and Development

(June-August)             Center (OARDC)-The Ohio State University

Student Research Aid-Non OSU

Helped with planting and harvesting of vegetables and legumes at Drs. Sally Miller and Anne Dorrance labs. Prepared media for pathogen growth. Helped with pesticide applications in the greenhouse and in the field. Helped researchers in general labors prior to the identification of new resistance genes of three fungal pathogens on soybean plants. Helped preparing specimens and samples prior to the identification and discovery of new races of fungal pathogens and new species of parasitic nematodes of soybean plants. Designed and implemented three hydroponic systems.

 

Research training and Certificates

2019

Phenome 2019, Tucson, Arizona

The 3rd annual Phenome 2019 conference represents a multidisciplinary community comprising plant biologists, ecologists, engineers, agronomists, computational scientists, and representatives from U.S. federal agencies who come together in a rich and diverse networking environment to foster collaboration, innovation, and the initiation of multi-investigator and multi-institution projects. Workshops and field trips allow participants to experience some of the exciting new hands-on applications available in the phenomics space, and to observe emerging technologies in action.

 

2017

Maricopa Field-Based High Throughput Phenotyping Workshop, Maricopa, Arizona

Four-day, ​hands-on ​training ​workshop ​to ​provide ​opportunities ​for ​participants ​to ​acquire ​a ​foundation ​in ​principles ​of ​Field ​Based ​High ​Throughput ​Phenotyping. ​ ​Instructors ​from ​USDA-ARS, ​University ​of ​Arizona,  and ​more ​will ​provide ​participants ​comprehensive ​exposure ​to ​field ​phenomics ​in ​action

 

2017

Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus

2310 Centennial Road, Salina, KS 67401-8196

sUAS Commercial Pilot Training (Certificate)

Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus

2310 Centennial Road, Salina, KS 67401-8196

Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Data and Image Processing

Kansas State University Biosecurity Research Institute

1041 Pat Roberts Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506

Fire Safety Training (Certificate)

Chemical Hygiene Lab Safety Training (Certificate)

Security Orientation Training (Researcher) (Certificate)

Cyber & Information Security Awareness Training (Certificate)

BRI (Non-SRA) High-Containment Refresher Training (Certificate)

Annual Hands-on Training (Certificate)

 

2015

Universidad San Francisco de Quito

Diego de Robles S/N y Vía, Interoceánica Cumbayá, Ecuador Research excursions and cultural visits to the Tiputini Biodiversity Research Station. The Tiputini Biodiversity Station is a biological field station established in the Amazon, located within the world’s greatest biodiversity hotspot and one of the planet’s last wilderness areas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FChrJlmpOQY

 

2012

EARTH University

Guácimo, Costa Rica

EARTH University is located in the heart of a tropical rainforest in Costa Rica. This university focuses on teaching sustainable agricultural practices to preserve species and the environment. Went on trips outside the university to see and learn about natural aquifers and how to preserve them. In charge of planning and developing a project where I used sustainable methods to fertilize organic lettuce. Designed a sensorial garden with sustainable materials that could be used and built inside the University

 

Extracurricular and volunteer activities

2015

Ministry of the Environment

Calle Madrid, 1159 y Andalucía, Quito-Ecuador

Helped with maintenance and reforestation of 1,600 hectares of public and private lands in a period of two months. Species planted included Tamarindus indica L., and Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC.

2015

M.Sc. Andreas Kay (Biologist)

Mindo, Ecuador

Photographic excursion at Coordillera Noroccidental Nambillo. Three-day excursion to photograph different species of orchids, butterflies, birds, reptiles and landscapes for later identification and media diffusion. https://www.flickr.com/photos/andreaskay/

2014

Museum Noel Kempff Mercado (Department of Education and Environmental Communication)

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia

Construction and maintenance of plant nurseries for developing communities

 

Skills

UAS DRONE PILOT- Commercial license to fly UASs

REMOTE SENSING- Multispectral and RGB cameras

APPLIED PLANT PATHOLOGY- Greenhouse, laboratory, and field experience

SOFTWARE- Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Excel, Power Point, Microsoft Word, Pages, FileZilla, Litchi, Micasense Atlas

PHOTOGRAPHY- DSLR, 4K RGB cameras, Multispectral

 

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