A note from Dr. Siegfried
The last few months have been kind of blur with all the interviews and annual evaluations going on at the same time. Now that we are nearing the end of the process, I thought it would be good to reflect on what has taken place.
The process of annual evaluations was extremely valuable for me. I feel like I have begun to get to know our faculty and to learn about the diversity of programs that we have here in Gainesville and around the state. Our REC’s offer a unique resource and I thoroughly enjoyed all my visits and look forward to having a little more time next year to get to know the areas.
This year, my travels extended from Homestead to Quincy, but next year I will get to visit even more of the state, as we will now have an entomologist at the WFREC in Jay. In fact, we have completed searches for six positions at REC’s and another four have been completed here in Gainesville. To put this in perspective, we have hosted almost 30 people in the department over the last seven months. This includes 30 seminar receptions (with numerous trips to Sam’s Club to purchase refreshments), organization of 30 itineraries, 90 meals (resulting in 10 lbs of weight gain for me) and untold number of credit card receipts and reimbursements. Hopefully you get a sense of how much effort went into the process and that our staff really stepped up to make this all happen.
Of all the candidates that I interacted with, they all complemented us for our organization and hospitality, and I am extremely grateful for the efforts of our faculty, staff and students for their professionalism and enthusiasm. While there are still a few positions in negotiation, I believe that we will have hired 10 outstanding faculty, and I look forward to welcoming them to our department.
~Dr. Blair Siegfried
ABOVE: On May 31st, Jane Medley retired from the Entomology & Nematology Department after working for 32 plus years as a graphic designer and layout specialist. Her job was to make us all look good. She was a “Wonder Woman” and her work was phenomenal. Jane started her career at the University of Florida with Dr. Phil Koehler on a 4-H IPM grant in 1979-1980. For that project, many 4-H IPM materials were developed and used by youth throughout Florida and the rest of the country. She then transitioned into Newell Hall on campus to work with the extension entomologists on their print publications and training manuals for pesticide applicators.While Jane was working at the University of Florida, she took advantage of the employee education program and earned her degree in the journalism department. In 1990 when the department moved into what is now Steinmetz Hall, her responsibilities expanded to include designing publications and presentations for the entire faculty. Jane has been a valuable resource for all of us. It will be hard for us to look good without her here as “Wonder Woman.”
The article “Living Light” in the June-July 2016 National Wildlife Magazine quotes Dr. Marc Branham. The article explores the diversity of glowing organisms and their use of bioluminescence.
Dr. James P. Cuda was invited by Dr. Chris Reuter of Osprey Biotechnics, Inc., to give a presentation about the hydrilla IPM project and tour the company’s production facility on 12-13 May. Osprey Biotechnics, located in Sarasota, FL, is a leader in the development of microbial products for a large range of environmental, industrial and agricultural applications. Osprey was a potential licensee for the hydrilla pathogen Mycoleptodiscus terrestris.
Ms. Nancy Sanders was awarded a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Performance in Property Management. Nancy was 1 of 3 people in the entire University that got her UF Inventory done in a month.
Now hiring: Assistant Professor in Insect Pathology/Symbiosis, Gainesville, Florida. For full consideration, candidates should apply and submit additional materials by July 18, 2016. The position will remain open until available applicant pool is determined. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT # 00013269 Requisition # 497420
Bethany McGregor, a Ph.D. student in the lab of Dr. Nathan Burkett-Cadena, was selected to present her research in the Graduate Student Symposium at the Society for Vector Ecology Meeting in Anchorage Alaska, September 11-15, 2016. Bethany will receive one year free membership, conference registration waiver and $300 towards travel from the Society to attend the meeting. As part of the symposium she will present a 15-minute oral paper of her research entitled "Host utilization by Culicoides biting midges at a captive deer preserve in Florida."
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: Dr. Joe Cicero photographed these interesting leaf beetle larvae feeding on blackberry this spring. These Neochlamisus sp. larvae live in a case that they construct with an oral regurgitation, enlarging it with each molt to accommodate their increasing size. Adults have a warty appearance and resemble caterpillar droppings. Obviously the larvae aren’t immune to parasitoids, as you can see from the exit hole in his second picture.
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.
Metagenomics poses basic ecological question of which organisms are present and what function do those organisms play in the environment? A metagenomics workshop was held by the Nematode Assay Lab group between May 10th and 20th. It included students from four different UF labs. We were very fortunate to have one-on-one training with an expert in the field of metagenomics: Dr. Feseha Abebe-Akele. He works under the direction of Dr. W. Kelly Thomas of the Hubbard Center for Genome Studies based at the University of New Hampshire.
The first week of the workshop focused on the application of computer in biological sciences, an introduction to and working with basic Linux commands. The focus of the workshop for the second week was on understanding bioinformatics and the different bioinformatics pipelines.
The highlight of the workshop was understanding metagenomics with multiple practical examples using different pipelines for sequence assembly, annotation and microbial diversity analysis with 16s rRNA.
ABOVE: Metagenomics workshop participants. The instructor created an interactive environment so that all in attendance could participate in the discussions. Overall, it was an eventful workshop, the attendees are all more competent and confident in analyzing our research data.
Bateman C, Hulcr J. 2016. Predaceous diving beetles as pets and the self-cleaning aquarium. EDIS Publication # FOR330. IFAS Extension, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr398
Are you looking for a cool new pet that will bring you a lot of excitement with almost no care needs? Or do you need a display organism that is interesting enough to attract kindergarteners but is also safe to release back into nature? Try our own Florida predacious diving beetles! Check out this new EDIS manual edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr398 on how to keep them, why keep them, them and how amazing they are. Additionally, Dr. Hulcr also recorded a podcast on the topic.
Parker C, Connelly R, Dubberly D, Pereira P, Koehler P. 2016. Zika vector control for the urban pest management industry. EDIS Publication # ENY891. IFAS Extension, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1131Razze JM, Liburd OE, McSorley R. 2016. Preference of the silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia tabaci B biotype, on zucchini squash and buckwheat and the effect of Delphastus catalinae on whitefly populations. Pest Management Science 72: 1335-1339.
New on Featured Creatures:
Olive psyllid, Euphyllura olivina (Costa 1839). Authors: Shari Linn and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman.
A parasitoid, Muscidifurax raptor Girault & Sanders. Authors: Nicholas S. G. Tucker and Phillip E. Kaufman.
Black and yellow mud dauber, Sceliphron caementarium (Drury, 1773). Authors: Erin Powell and Lisa Taylor.
Do you have a favorite creature? Learn how to make it into a Featured Creatures!
Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for the 2016 Central Florida Invasive Species Workshop held at the Polk County Nature Discovery Center, Lakeland, FL, 24 May. Dr. Cuda gave a presentation titled “Biocontrol of Brazilian Peppertree- Thrips and Psyllids on the Horizon.” The presentation was co-authored by Dr. W.A. Overholt and Ph.D. student Patricia Prade.
Dr. Oscar Liburd gave an invited presentation about insect pest management in blueberries at the blueberry field day at Florida A&M University on May 16th in Tallahassee.
From the Outreach Coordinator
A big thank you to the students and faculty who volunteered for last month’s outreach events.
ABOVE: Dr. Joe Cicero interacts with participants during the EAGO Earth Day event in Ocala.
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.
Virni Mattson, our grants specialist, reports that she is so busy with grant deadlines we will need to wait until next month for our grant update!
No announcements this month! Want to stay up to date? Check out our website home page for a link to our Google calendar.
Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman is the newsletter editor and does the HTML coding. Issues usually are published by mid-month. Submit items for an issue by the seventh of that month.
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Special thanks to Haleigh Ray and Nancy Sanders, who reviewed the newsletter for errors, and to Jane Medley and Don Wasik, who built the web page design, and to Kay Weigel for loading and linking the web page this month.