March 2006

Faculty News

Dr. Jaret C. Daniels was hired in a new, full-time, joint position as Assistant Professor of Entomology at UF/IFAS, and Assistant Director of Research in the McGuire Center at the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH), effective 27 January 2006. Daniel's primary duties involve Lepidoptera research and insect conservation. He will have teaching and extension duties in our department, as well as research duties in both our department and FLMNH

Daniels has two offices: at the McGuire Center, he is in 225 McGuire (352-392-5894, ext.250); in the department, his office is room 2006, (352-392-1901, ext. 121). His UF e-mail address is jcdnls@ufl.edu.

The Florida Environment, a daily NPR segment that airs in our state and is funded by FloridaEnvironmentt.com, recently featured Dr. Michael Rogers, extension entomologist at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center. Rogers discussed citrus greening and its vector, the Asian citrus psyllid. Learn more about the disease and psyllid at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/citrus/acpsyllid.htm and http://www.crec.ifas.ufl.edu/CRECHOME/citrus_greening.htm.

This Florida Environment radio segment broadcasts in the Gainesville area at approximately 8:30 every morning. It has featured a number of UF/IFAS entomologists, often each for several mornings at a time.

The following faculty were subjects of UF/IFAS news releases since the last newsletter: Dr. Forrest (Bill) Howard, entomologist at the Ft. Lauderdale REC, studies the lobate lac scale, an exotic invader causing severe problems with ornamentals in Florida. See http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/story.aspx?id=1070.

Thomas Fasulo, entomologist on the Gainesville campus, combines his knowledge of insects and their effects on history, with his American Civil War reenacting hobby. See http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/story.aspx?id=1069.

Drs. Walter Tabachnick and George O'Meara, entomologists at the Medical Entomology Laboratory in Vero Beach, were quoted in an article celebrating the Lab's 50th anniversary. See http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/story.aspx?id=1063.

Drs. Harold Browning and Michael Rogers, entomologists at the Lake Alfred REC, and Dr. Marjorie Hoy, entomologist on the Gainesville campus, are studying ways to manage the Asian citrus psyllid, a vector of citrus greening. See http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/story.aspx?id=1058.

Dr. Joseph Noling, nematologist at the Lake Alfred REC, helped show that methyl bromide use on crops can be reduced by 50 percent under metalized bed covers. See http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/story.aspx?id=1055.

Staff News

Biological scientist Jay Cee Turner and graduate student Aimee Fraulo attended the Strawberry Field Day at the new Gulf Coast REC facility on 6 February. While there, they attended talks on strawberry genetics, irrigation and nitrogen fertilization rates, and prevention of nematode and insect pests on strawberries.

Student News

The graduate students in Dr. Liburd's lab hosted a tour for the 2006 Junior Science, Engineering and Humanities Symposium, while Jay Cee Turner helped with setting up and supervised. The graduate students demonstrated insect trapping, identification techniques and explained what their research involved.

Aimee Fraulo spoke about the twospotted spider mite, Elena Rhodes showed insect collecting and preserving techniques, Alejandro Arevalo talked about thrips, Craig Roubos discussed the grape root borer, and Teresia Nyoike covered cucurbit pests.

Alumni News

David Almquist received a B.S. in entomology a few years ago, and his influence is still evident in the department. Dave was a master "artist" with our auto-montage camera system and actually purchased one of his own after he graduated. A number of his images have appeared on scientific magazine covers world-wide and some of them are displayed in the department. You can view them in room 3118 (Teaching Laboratory III), and on the small bulletin board outside room 2003.

David is married to Justine and they have two sons, Lukas (seven months) and Tyler (12). David was the site manager at a nature center in Connecticut for the past few years, working with animals ranging from hissing cockroaches to barnyard animals. He provided educational programs, mostly for children K-5, including insects when appropriate. Dave is happy to report that he is back in Florida working as an invertebrate zoologist for the Natural Areas Inventory (http://FNAI.org/) in Tallahassee. (Check out his photo and job description under "Staff.") He is responsible for gathering data related to rare invertebrates of Florida, doing both office and field work. He says he loves it as he is now being paid to study and collect insects.

More of David's images are available for viewing at http://microimaginings.com/gallery.htm. You can reach him at daidunno@microimaginings.com.

Seminar Series - Spring 2006

This semester's seminar coordinators are Seth Bybee, James Dunford, Luis Matos, Murugesan Rangasamy and Jennifer Zaspel. Seminars begin at 3:45 p.m. in room 1031, Entomology and Nematology (Bldg. 970). A complete listing of the topics and speakers is available in the January 2006 issue.

McGuire Center Seminars

The McGuire Center Seminar Series is held Tuesdays in room 233 on the second floor. Lunch is served at noon and the seminar begins at 12:15.

3/22 - Susan Weller - "Evolution of Courtship and Defense Behaviors in Tiger Moths (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae)"

3/29 - Jacqueline and Lee Miller - "The Research and Field Work Continue"

Publications

Stelinski LL, Pelz-Stelinski KS, Liburd OE, Gut LJ. 2006. Control strategies for Rhagoletis mendax disrupt host finding and ovipositional capability of its parasitic wasp, Diachasma alloeum. Biological Control 36: 91-99.

Sampson JB, Rinehart TA, Liburd OE, Stringer SJ, Spiers JM. 2006. Ecology of Endoparasitoids (Hymenoptera) Attacking Cranberry and Blueberry Tipworms Dasineura oxycoccana Johnson and Prodiplosis vaccinii (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 99:113-120.

Liburd OE., Arévalo HA. 2005. Insects and mites in blueberries. In Childers NF, Lyrene P. (ed.) Blueberry culture: a book for growers. Horticultural Publication. Gainesville, Florida.

Meetings and Presentations

On 11 January, Dr. Oscar Liburd was an invited speaker at the New Jersey Blueberry Growers Association annual meeting in Atlantic City. His talk was "Developing integrated management techniques for thrips and gall midge in northern highbush blueberries."

Dr. Oscar Liburd was an invited speaker at the Southeastern Regional Fruit and Vegetable meeting in Savannah Georgia. His talk was "Pest management techniques for detecting blueberry gall midge in southern highbush and rabbiteye blueberries."

We had more participants at the annual ESA meeting last year than was previously reported:

Graduate student Elena Rhodes gave a talk on "Comparison of single and combination treatments of P. persimilis, N. californicus, and Acramite for control of twospotted spider mites in Florida strawberries."

H. Alejandro Arevalo and Craig Roubos participated in the PhD. graduate student paper competition. Arevalo's talk was "Damage description and economic injury level for Frankliniella bispinosa (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) infesting Rabbbiteye blueberries." Roubos spoke on "Controlling cranberry tipworm (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) in Rabbiteye blueberries: evaluating reduced-risk insecticides and susceptibility of selected cultivars."

Undergraduate Research Mentoring

At an upcoming faculty meeting, I will seek your approval of a proposal to make one of our newest courses required for some of our undergraduate majors. Last summer, we instituted a new ENY 4905 course called "Undergraduate Research Mentoring." The fundamental idea was to associate undergraduates with members of our faculty to learn about research in a teaching, mentoring format. Faculty were to teach aspects of observation, hypothesis formulation, design of experiments, data collection and analysis and conclusions. To date, Drs. Hahn, Scharf, Kaufman, Lawrence, and Cuda have accepted such students. The word I get from these faculty is that it has been a productive experience.

We have six degree tracks for our undergraduates. One, basic science, is designed for students who wish to attend Graduate School in science following completion of the B.S. in entomology. For this particular group of students, an undergraduate research mentoring experience would be not only good, but critical to their future success. I would like you to consider making this course required for students in the basic science track. It would count as three of the 18 hours they must complete for the major.

There is a caveat to this proposal. This will not work unless a wider array of our faculty buy into the research mentoring course and agree to host some of our undergraduates in this learning experience. Please understand this is not to be viewed as provision of free labor for enhancement of your research. The entire idea is to actively teach an undergraduate how to conduct research.

More on this at an upcoming faculty meeting. - Dr. Carl S. Barfield, Undergraduate Coordinator

LIFE in the Department

The March 3rd issue covers monarch pupation and video; Yankees, Confederates and Insects; Bugology at the Florida State Fair; 50 years of Florida medical entomology; the "evil weevil" in Florida; and insect identification workshops.

The February 17th issue covers the state-wide School IPM working group, air potatoes, UF/IFASpeakers, a parasitoid of the Asian citrus psyllid, and recent departmental tours for high school science students and their teachers.

Mike Sanford edits this photographic journal of our department, located at http://life.ifas.ufl.edu/index.html.

Pests Popular in Polk

The Extension Bookstore let us know that the Polk County (Florida) School Board purchased 90 copies (30 of each) of the three Vegetable Pests Images CDs in January. We can only surmise that the Ag teachers in that county now have an additional educational tool. Details on these three CDs are available at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/fasulo/pests/software/det_veggies.htm.

Bug Quote

"The butterfly's attractiveness derives not only from colors and symmetry: deeper motives contribute to it. We would not think them so beautiful if they did not fly, or if they flew straight and briskly like bees, or if they stung, or above all if they did not enact the perturbing mystery of metamorphosis: the latter assumes in our eyes the value of a badly decoded message, a symbol, a sign." - Primo Levi (1919-1987 Italian chemist and author)

Newsletter Minutia

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Send submissions to him at fasulo@ufl.edu. Issues are published the middle of each month. Submit items for an issue by the 7th of that month.

Printed copies are distributed only within Building 970. UF-Bugnews-l listserv subscribers receive notices when HTML and PDF copies are posted on the newsletter Web site at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/news/, which has instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing. Pam Howell and Nancy Sanders review the newsletter for errors and prepare the print version for distribution.



March 2006.