Dr. Jennina Taylor-Wells of Oxford Brookes University in the UK will be joining Dr. Jeff Bloomquist's lab as a postdoc this month.
Dr. Thomas Chouvenc in the ESA news said, “We hope that the consortium approach could be a model for a scientific community to tackle taxonomic hard cases as a group rather than as dueling researchers. We believe that the consensus reached by the consortium may serve as a road map to provide a strong incentive to solve controversies within the Coptotermes genus in a foreseeable timeframe, and ultimately this approach could be applied to other important insect genera.”
Winner of the Departmental Mulrennan Award for best thesis in the department in 2015: Tyler Vitone - From pavement to population genomics: citizen science and ddRADseq partner to characterize the introduced pavement ant, Tetramorium caespitum, and enhance student engagement with science. Chair Dr. Andrea Lucky.
Winner of the Mulrennan Award as best dissertation in the Department in 2015: Dr. Yao (Juliana) Xu - Biological studies on the gut symbiont Burkholderia associated with Blissus insularis (Hemiptera: Blissidae). Chair: Dr. Drion Boucias and co-chair: Dr. Eileen Buss.
Departmental nomination to present a paper at the 3rd Annual Statewide Graduate Student Research Symposium to be hosted by UF on April 22nd, 2016. Denis Willett - Agricultural and ecological implications of interspecific social behavioral plasticity in entomopathogenic nematodes. Chair Dr. Lukasz Stelinski.
ABOVE: Our fall 2015 doctoral graduates (in blue) with our Graduate Coordinator (in black). From left to right Dr. Caroline Efstathion, Dr. Garima Kakkar, Dr. Heather McAuslane and Dr. Yao "Juliana" Xu.
Lauren Cirino has been awarded the Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid to support her research project entitled “Effects of male quality and territory quality on female mate choice.” Lauren works with leaf-footed cactus bugs, Narnia femorata, in Dr. Christine Miller’s evolutionary ecology lab.
“The Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research (GIAR) program has provided undergraduate and graduate students with valuable educational experiences since 1922. By encouraging close working relationships between students and mentors, the program promotes scientific excellence and achievement through hands-on learning.”
Vanessa Simoes Dias de Castro, a Ph.D. candidate in Entomology, along with 16 other participants are organizing the first Brazilian Graduate Students Conference (BRASCON) at Harvard University on March 12th and 13th, 2016. The BRASCON promotes activities to enable integration, communication, and professional development for Brazilian graduate students in the United States within the research fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Registration is now open and abstract submission is due by February 15th 2016. Online registration and submission: www.brasconference.org/en. See the Meetings and Presentations section below for a full color advertisement for BRASCON.
Need to name that bug? A host of experts are available to help Floridians identify any insect or related arthropod. If a mystery creature has six or more legs, the UF Insect ID Lab is the place to call.
ABOVE: Lately Lyle has received several reports of cotton stainers, Dysdercus suturellus. They are bright red (especially the nymphs) and often feed in groups, so they really attract attention. As their name suggests, they like to feed on cotton bolls, but they feed on several other plants as well. Check out the Featured Creatures article on cotton stainers. Photos by Annisa Karim, Lee County Department of Parks & Recreation, Ft. Myers, Florida.
Lyle Buss is the UF/IFAS Insect ID Lab manager.
Think it might be a nematode problem? The Nematode Assay Laboratory serves Florida and other states by providing nematode assays and expert advice regarding nematode management.
Bingham AM, Burkett-Cadena ND, Hassan HK, Unnasch TR. 2015. Vector competence and capacity of Culex erraticus (Diptera: Culicidae) for Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus in the Southeastern United States.
Journal of Medical Entomology. pii: tjv195.
Davis TJ, Kaufman, PE, Hogsette JA, Kline DL. 2015. The effects of larval habitat quality on Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae) skip oviposition. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 31: 321-328. DOI: 10.2987/moco-31-04-321-328.1
Sourakov A, Plotkin D, Kawahara AY, Xiao L, Hallwachs W, Janzen D. 2015. On the taxonomy of the erythrina moths Agathodes and Terastia (Crambidae: Spilomelinae): Two different patterns of haplotype divergence and a new species of Terastia. Tropical Lepidoptera Research 25(2): 80-98.
New on Featured Creatures:
Broad-tipped conehead katydid, Neoconocephalus triops (L.). Authors: Shari Linn and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.
Stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.). Authors: Phillip E. Kaufman, and Emma N. I. Weeks, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.
Do you have a favorite creature? Learn how to make it into a Featured Creatures!
From the Outreach Coordinator
A big thank you to the students and faculty who volunteered for our December outreach events.
ABOVE: Michael Gonzalez presents to pre-schoolers at La Petite day care as part of our outreach activities.
The live critters are always a hit with children and adults alike. The critters are available for you to check out should you be leading an outreach event. We have doubles of our most popular critters, as well as various native insect species depending on the time of year. We have large wood and Plexiglas cages for viewing our native orb weaving spiders. There is one travel cage and one larger static cage. Please be sure to contact us and review the protocol on transporting and handling the critters if you are not already familiar with it. If you lead an outreach, be sure to fill out a documentation form so your event can be included in the newsletter and we can log all outreach events.
If you have any questions, please email me.
Thank you — Erin Powell, Outreach Coordinator.
We have several social media sites for the Entomology & Nematology Department. To make them easily searchable, all three (YouTube, Facebook and Twitter) have the same page name: UFEntomology. Please share these links with past students or colleagues who may have an interest in departmental activities.
The “Amazing Pests” Award
The annual student award for the “Appreciation for the Biology of Insect Pests” has its winner for the year 2015. The award, administered by the Forest Entomology Lab at the University of Florida (Jiri Hulcr) and sponsored by the TREE foundation in Sarasota, FL, encourages students to transcend the border between fundamental and applies entomology. Each year, peer reviewed papers authored by students are scored by a committee from across three universities. The papers are judged by their originality, out-of-the-box thinking, and a “coolness” factor. The author of the winning publication receives a reward of $500. This year’s winner has just been selected: http://www.ambrosiasymbiosis.org/2016/01/congratulations-2015-winner/. We highly encourage our ENY students to apply for the award in the next year with their own innovative, cool papers on the amazing insect pests!
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