March 2004

Faculty News

Dr. Michael Rogers joined the UF/IFAS faculty as Assistant Professor of Entomology at the Citrus Research and Education Center in January. Rogers holds a 65% Extension and 35% Research appointment. He will be involved in integrated pest management programs for citrus pests. Rogers earned a B.S. in Entomology from Auburn University in 1999 and a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Kentucky in 2003. Areas of interest include integrated pest management and biological control. At the University of Kentucky, Rogers investigated parasitoids as a biological control method for root-feeding white grubs in turfgrass. He obtained over $180,000 in grants to fund his Ph.D. research, including a $130,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and published eight papers in his graduate career. Rogers also worked with several insect pests of cotton while an undergraduate student.

Dr. Marjorie Hoy reports that the committee for the Insect Physiology position will be meeting on or about March 15 to try to schedule applicants for interviews in April.

New Teaching Lab

Except for some minor cosmetic work the construction phase of the renovation of Dr. Jim Nation's research labs to a teaching lab is completed. Even the new chairs are now in the lab. All that is left to do is stock the lab and add some equipment (microscopes, etc.).

Publications

Dixon WN, Woodruff RE, Foltz JL. (December 2003). Black twig borer, Xylosandrus compactus (Eichhoff). UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-311. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/trees/black_twig_borer.htm

Slansky F, Kenyon LR. 2003. The broadening dimensions of wildlife rehabilitation: Providing information for scientific research. Wildlife Rehabilitation Bulletin 21 (2): 5-8.

The Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology published a 2004 report, "Bugs in the System: Issues in the Science and Regulation of Genetically Modified Insects," acknowledging Dr. Marjorie Hoy as providing a "major contribution...for authorship of a scientific review used in developing this paper." The report is available from the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, 1331 H Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20005 or at http://www.pewagbiotech.org/.

Awards

Nutritional ecology has staying power! Just prior to packing his bags and moving from the great north woods of Madison, WI to Gainesville, Dr. Frank Slansky, along with his best buddy from graduate school, Mark Scriber, wrote and submitted a chapter to the Annual Review of Entomology. Titled "The nutritional ecology of immature insects", it was published in 1981 and it became a big hit among entomologists and ecologists. Because it was so heavily cited, in 1993 it was named a "Citation Classic" by the Institute for Scientific Information. Over 20 years after it was published, its popularity has persisted it currently is the most frequently cited chapter ever published in the Annual Review of Entomology, having been cited 679 times, leading its nearest competitor by 223 citations (see http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/action/showMostCitedArticles?journalCode=ento).

However, this noteworthy performance pales dramatically in comparison to certain other fields. For example, the lead article in the Annual Review of Genetics was cited 2558 times and the front runner in the Annual Review of Biochemistry was cited 4984 times. So come on, you entomologists, let's get busy citing! - F. Slansky

Meetings and Presentations

Dr. Marjorie Hoy attended the 78th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Branch of the ESA February 15-18 in Charleston, South Carolina where she presented an invited symposium talk on "Genetic Tools for Biological Control".

Dr. Marjorie Hoy attended the Keystone Conference on Genetic Manipulation of Insects February 3-8 in Taos, New Mexico where she presented a poster and a workshop talk on "Risk Assessments Prior to Release of Transgenic and Paratransgenic Insects: Scientific Issues."

Posters Posted?

Announce new posters or other displays in Building 970. Send author(s) and title to fasulo@ufl.edu. Include location so interested parties can find them.

Entomology Seminars

3/18 - Dr. Joe Eger (Dow AgroSciences) "Pentatomoidea of Rancho Grande, Rondônia, Brazil."

3/25 - Dr. Lluberas (medical entomology consultant, Jacksonville) "How the Price of Copper Changed Malaria Control in Zambia."

4/1 - Dr. Burckhardt (Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel, Siwtzerland) Title Pending

4/8 - Dr. Dan Suiter (University of Georgia- Griffin research station) "Formosan termites in Atlanta GA: Thank you Louisiana!"

4/15 - Dr. Oscar Liburd (University of Florida, Entomology/Nematology) "Developing an IPM program in Small Fruit and Vegetables."

Nematology Seminars

3/15 - Karen Ingram "Biological control of the cactus moth (Cactoblastis cactorum) on Opuntia spp. using endemic and commercially available entomopathogenic nematodes."

3/22 - Wade Davidson "The effects of simulated acid rain on nematode communities."

3/29 - George Kariuki "Management of peanut root-knot nematode. A biocontrol approach."

4/5 - Jon Hamill "Population dynamics of the sting nematode in commercial strawberry fields in Dover, FL."

4/12 - Roi Levin "Woody and perennial ornamental plants susceptibility to four Meloidogyne spp."

4/19 - Marisol Davila "Heat units required for Meloidogyne spp. for development."

Grants

Dr. Frank Slansky received a $3000 minigrant for the improvement of instruction from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The money is being used to hire staff to use the Department's Automontage photomicroscopy system to produce digital images of the larvae of flies that cause myiasis, which is the infestation of live animals and humans by fly larvae. These images will be incorporated into a website for use in various courses.

Associated with receiving an instructional improvement minigrant to take photomicrographs of fly larvae that infest humans and animals, Dr. Slansky is seeking preserved specimens of these insects to supplement his own collection. If you have preserved fly larvae identified to family or lower taxonomic categories in the families Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae, Cuterebridae, Oestridae, etc., which you would be willing to loan for photographing. Please contact Dr. Slansky at fslansky@ufl.edu.

Alumni News

Dr. Richard Pluke, a recent graduate of our department, is on post-doc in Puerto Rico working on a UF/IFAS project titled "Biological Control of Asian Citrus Psyllid in Puerto Rico." The PI is Dr. Phil Stansly of the UF/IFAS Immokalee Research and Education Center. Richard is based at the Rio Piedras experimental station of the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan. He states that if anybody is coming through Puerto Rico anytime, he would be happy to help out or show them around. You can contact Richard at rpluke@hotmail.com.

Matt Remmen, who received his B.S. in Entomology in 2000 and is currently working on an M.S. at the UF/IFAS Ft. Lauderdale REC, accepted the Technical Services Manager position for Western Pest Services in Parsippany, NJ. Laura Remmen (B.S. Entomology 2000, M.S. 2003) says that after she and Matt move there (by June), she will also search for a position in her field.

Outreach Activities

Erika Andersen is our Insect Outreach Program Coordinator. You can contact her at 352-392- 1901 or UFBugs@ifas.ufl.edu for information and scheduling.

Snack Time

"Insect Cuisine: Good and Good for You?", an interesting column by David George Gordon, who wrote The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook, is available at http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/Columns/?Article=scienceeatbug.

Professors?

"The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task, it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn't need its brain anymore so it eats it! (It's rather like getting tenure.)" - from Consciousness Explained by Daniel Dennett, Ph.D.

Featured Creatures

The UF/IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology and the FDACS Division of Plant Industry now have 316 UF/IFAS publications on the Featured Creatures WWW site at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/, with more undergoing development. During the last 12 months, the Featured Creatures Web site recorded 1,230,271distinct visitors and 2,253,175 page views.

New text and/or photographs were added to the files on: household casebearer (major revision), Indianmeal moth, lady beetles, ghost ant, southern pine beetle, ambrosia beetles and Asian subterranean termite (major revision).

Newsletter Minutia

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Please send submissions to him at fasulo@ufl.edu. Issues are published about the middle of each month. Items for each month's issue should be sent no later than the 10th of that month.

Printed copies are distributed only within Building 970. A notice is sent to all those on the UF-Bugnews-l listserv when HTML and PDF copies are posted on the newsletter Web site at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/news/ , which contains instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing to the listserv. Andy Koehler does the coding for the HTML version.

During February, the newsletter Web site recorded 2,405 distinct visitors and 4,568 page views. The newsletter listserv has 229 subscribers, including at least eight of our colleagues from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.


March 2004.