With the announcement of the almost-but-not-quite confirmation of established populations of Africanized honey bees in Florida, the Department has another faculty position available. While still not "officially" released at this time, Dr. John Capinera was authorized to convene a search committee for an Apicultural/Youth position. By coincidence, we had this position high on our priority list as a result of discussions at past faculty meetings. The search committee consists of the following: Chair - Dr. Joy Jordan, Family, Youth and Community Sciences, IFAS; Jerry Hayes, FDACS-DPI; Ray Zerba, Clay County Cooperative Extension Service, IFAS; Carolee Howe, Florida Farm Bureau; and Drs. Glenn Hall, Phil Koehler, and Rebecca Baldwin (Ph.D. student representative) of our department. Other persons interested in attending the committee meetings should contact one of the above.
Dr. Mike Scharf is traveling to Malaysia and Singapore during 5-20 July. While in Kuala Lumpur, Dr. Scharf will attend the International Pesticide Conference, as he was invited to present a symposium paper on the history of insecticide resistance and gel bait resistance in the German cockroach. He will also attend the 5th International Conference on Urban Pests in Singapore, where he was invited to be a plenary speaker on the application of genomics in understanding termite sociobiology and control. Finally, at the end of his journey, Dr. Scharf will lecture and present a seminar on termite genomics research at the Science University of Malaysia in Penang.
Dr. Malcolm T. Sanford (retired extension specialist in apiculture) journeyed to Iraq as part of the Agricultural Reconstruction and Development for Iraq (ARDI) funded by U.S. AID. During 13 days in country, Dr. Sanford toured apiaries, talked with beekeepers and gave seminars (Salahaddin University). He only was only able to visit the northern part of the country (Kurdistan), the cities of Dahuk, Erbil and Suliamaniyha, which are not plagued with a great number of incidents involving insurgents. He reports few security incidents, but traveled with armed guard escorts. Beekeeping has been devastated by decades of conflict, but the Iraqi beekeeping industry appears to be making a comeback. Challenges will be how to re-populate the country with honey bees with a minimum of risk of introducing unanticipated consequences through exotic organisms. Dr. Sanford can be reached through his Web site at http://beeactor.vze.com/.
Dr. James P. Cuda served as a host for Jean Louis Sagliocco, a visiting scientist from the Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia, during the week of 4 July. Jean Louis is conducting an exploratory survey of natural enemies of aquatic plants in the genus Sagittaria that are becoming invasive weeds in Australia.
Dr. Oscar Liburd recently traveled to the Caribbean islands of St. Kitts and Nevis (May 4-13) to assist in the development of control measures for the West Indian fruit fly, a major pest of tropical fruits. Dr. Liburd met with Ministers of Agriculture, Permanent Secretaries and the Directors of Agriculture on both islands to discuss a two-year experimental project involving the deployment of attract-and-kill devices to control fruit flies. Two hundred specially made attract-and-kill traps were delivered to island representatives. These traps will be set up throughout the islands at sites that have a history of high fruit fly population. The project is cooperating with USDA-ARS scientists Drs. Nancy Epsky (an alumnus) and Robert Heath who supplied the baits for the attract-and-kill traps.
Dr. Liburd was also recently awarded tenure at the University of Florida.
The Departmental Retreat to discuss and plan for our upcoming review was held 28-29 June in the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity. Numerous faculty from campus and research centers from around the state attended. On Tuesday night, they and many of their spouses gathered for a social hour and dinner at the Reitz Union. The actual review is scheduled for February 2006. For more information on the retreat and its accomplishments, contact the co-chairs: Drs. Norm Leppla and Walter Tabachnick.
Matt Tarver recently joined Dr. Mike Scharf's laboratory to pursue a Ph.D. in termite molecular biology and toxicology. Matt comes to Gainesville from Purdue University, where he recently completed his M.S. degree (spring 2005) under the direction of Dr. Barry Pittendrigh. Matt recently had a paper accepted for publication by Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata on part of his M.S. research, which used CT-scanning to investigate internal feeding on cowpea seeds by the cowpea bruchid. Matt recently successfully competed in the student paper contest at the ESA-North Central Branch meeting in West Lafayette, Indiana, March 2005, and served as a member of Purdue's Linnaean team. Welcome Matt! - Dr. Mike Scharf
At that North Central Branch meeting, Matt won First Place for Outstanding Presentation of Entomological Research in the Student Competition. B.S./M.S. Paper- Sections Ca, F, Fa, and Fb. His presentation was "A look into Seed Resistance to Cowpea Bruchids," by Tarver M, Shade RE, Tarver RD, Liang Y, Krishnamurthi G, Pittendrigh BR, Murdock LL.
Graduate students Jim Dunford and Ricky Vazquez took first place for low team total in the Spring 2005 DPI/USDA Golf League. Ricky also took first place for low net individual. They would like to report that mole cricket damage on the greens was not as bad as in previous years and would like to thank all of you hard working entomologists!
Ricky Vazquez received a $1,500 scholarship from Pi Chi Omega, the National Professional Pest Control Fraternity, due to his outstanding academic performance. Only four such scholarships are available for the 2005/2006 academic year. Receiving the scholarship entitles Ricky to an honorary membership in the fraternity.
Mary Price, an undergraduate student majoring in Pre-Med, is conducting a research project related to biological control of Brazilian peppertree in Dr. Cuda's laboratory as part of the department's new Undergraduate Research Program.
While not technically a member of our department, we would certainly notice her absence if she didn't come to work every day. Elaine Gainey is one of two custodial workers assigned by Physical Plant to our building. Elaine received that unit's Employee of the Month award for May 2005. Congratulations Elaine!
National Teaching Award
Ph.D. student James Dunford and Dr. Marc Branham attended the 2005 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (http://www.nactateachers.org/) conference in Wooster, Ohio, in June. James received the Graduate Student Teaching Award under Marc's nomination and both were recognized at the awards banquet as excerpts from student letters of support in the nomination packet were read. The purpose of the NACTA Graduate Student Teaching Award is to recognize and reward graduate students who excel as teachers in the agricultural disciplines. Criteria evaluated in the nomination packet include the graduate student's teaching philosophy; statement of support from supervising faculty; evaluations submitted by students, administrative officers, and peers; a self-evaluation; and involvement in teaching inside and outside the classroom. Congratulations Jim!
Dr. Elzie McCord, an alumnus, is visiting our department. He states, "I am on a grant supported sabbatical to retool my toxicology skills so that I can institute a toxicology program at New College of Florida, Florida's public honors college. I will be here until the end of January. Currently, I am re-learning organic chemistry in preparation for a mass-spectrometry course that I will take in the fall with Dr. Rick Yost at UF. When I return, I will purchase lab equipment to establish a state-of-the-art facility to complement the GC-FID, GC-TC, HPLC, and GC-MS with solid-phase microextraction kit that was recently purchased for this program."
"I employed Jeff Boissoneault, a New College advisee, to learn and to rear the fall armyworm, so that he can coordinate that aspect of the program when I return. Please see my Web site at http://www.ncf.edu/mccord/ for specific details of my New College career. If this is not enough or if you have additional questions, please contact me."
Dr. McCord is currently working out of the Toxicology Lab in our department. He can also be reached at EmcCord@mail.ifas.ufl.edu.
Dr. Elzie McCord also reports that Dr. Dini Miller, a graduate of our department and urban entomologist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, was recently the featured entomologist on the program "Buggin' with Ruud" on the Animal Planet network, part of the Discovery Channel umbrella.
David Almquist (B.S., December 2002) and his wife Justine announce the birth of their second son Lukas Dylan on June 28, 2005. They are living in Connecticut where Dave is site manager for the New Britain Youth Museum at Hungerford Park (see http://www.newbritainyouthmuseum.org/hungerford.html). Dave, who displayed an exceptional talent for using our auto-montage system - as evidenced by the framed prints of his images around the department, now has his own Auto-Montage imaging system and is developing a business at http://www.microimaginings.com/.
Scharf ME, Zhou X, Bennett GW. 2005. The application of molecular genomics in addressing long-standing questions on termite biology. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Urban Pests. Singapore, 10-13 July 2005.
Walker TJ. 2005. The uhleri group of the genus Amblycorypha (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae): extraordinarily complex songs and new species. Journal of Orthoptera Research 13: 169-183.
Capinera JL, Scott RD, Walker TJ. 2004. Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States. Cornell University Press: Ithaca, NY. 249 pp, 48 color plates.
Walker TJ. 2004. Open access by the article: an idea whose time has come?, an invited contribution to Nature's Web Forum on "Access to the literature: the debate continues." http://www.nature.com/nature/focus/accessdebate/13.html
Walker TJ, Forrest TG, Spooner JD. 2003. The rotundifolia complex of the genus Amblycorypha (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae): songs reveal new species. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 96: 433-447.
Cuda JP, Medal JC, Habeck DH, Pedrosa-Macedo JH, Vitorino M. (2005). Classical biological control of Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolius) in Florida. EDIS. ENY-820. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN114
Dunford JC. 2005. Chasing greater fritillaries: the rise of Atlantis. American Butterflies 13: 14-25.
Dunford JC, Ekin RJ. 2005. Greater fritillaries at three localities in Humboldt National Forest, Nevada. American Butterflies 13: 26-32.
Gyeltshen J, Hodges AC. (June 2005). Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica Newman. UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-350. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/beetles/japanese_beetle.htm
Ever seen the abbreviation of a scientific journal and wondered what the full title was? One of our Department's Web sites has a very large listing of journal titles and abbreviations at http://csssrvr.entnem.ufl.edu/~pmc/journals/all_journals.htm.
Graduate student Emily Saarinen received a $250 Graduate Student Council Travel Grant, a $200 IFAS Travel Grant, and a matching $200 Travel Grant from the Entomology and Nematology Department to attend the 2005 Lepidopterists' Society Meeting in Sierra Vista, AZ. She will be presenting present a paper on her current research involving the Miami blue butterfly.
Drs. James P. Cuda and William A. Overholt received $25,349 from the Southern Region IPM Center Enhancement Grants Program to develop and test an integrated management plan for Brazilian peppertree.
Drs. Overholt and Cuda received a $21,000 a grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Invasive Plant Management (FLDEP, BIPM) to conduct exploratory surveys for natural enemies of the submersed aquatic weed Hydrilla verticillata in East Africa.
Drs. Overholt and Cuda are Co-PIs on a $23,577 research grant funded by FLDEP, BIPM titled, "Hyperspectral Signature Baseline for Monitoring the Biocontrol of Schinus terebinthifollius Raddi in Florida." The grant was awarded to Dr. Jack Jordan, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.
Meeting and Presentations
Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for the June meeting of Tampa Bay Association of Environmental Professionals. Cuda gave a presentation entitled "Ecologically Based Management of Brazilian Peppertree: A Conceptual Model." The meeting was held in Tampa at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 15 June.
Dr. Cuda was invited to give a presentation on biological control of Brazilian peppertree at the Loxahatchee Impoundment Landscape Assessment (LILA) Science and Outreach Workshop held at the South Florida Water Management District Office, West Palm Beach, 20 June.
Dr. Marc Branham and graduate student James Dunford presented a poster entitled "Collections Based Teaching for Life Sciences Courses" at the 2005 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture conference in Wooster, Ohio.
There will be a special seminar on Wednesday, July 20th, 3-5pm, Room 1031. Dr. Hilali will speak on "Desert Locust: A serious threat to agricultural production in Africa"
The following were presentations at the Florida State Horticultural Society 118th Annual Meeting, June 5-7, Tampa:
Childers CC, Rogers ME. "The Evaluation of Chemical Control of the Asian Citrus Psylla, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Homoptera: Psyllidae) and Management Approaches on Florida Citrus."
Childers CC, Stansly PA. "Thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) Species That are Pests on Florida Grapefruit Varieties: Their Biologies, Seasonal and Relative Abundance, Damage to Fruit and Control."
Rogers ME, Childers CC. "Scarring Damage on ‘Murcott' Tangors Caused by the Flower Thrips Frankliniella bispinosa (Morgan)."
Florida Museum News
The McGuire Center for Lepidoptera Gift Shop has or will be closed. However, you may still find some of the butterfly-related items for sale at the Florida Museum of Natural History Gift Shop located at the entrance.
Late last month, Natural Curiosity, a new exhibit, opened at the Florida Museum. This exhibit by Florida artists has water colors and other paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and two exhibit cases of dozens of "insects" made from materials found in nature. My favorites were the walking sticks and the "big-footed fly." It is worth a visit. - T.R. Fasulo
CREC Insect Display
The UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center is currently presenting a display on insects at the Winter Haven Public Library. The display highlights insect specimens from CREC entomologists, including Drs. Harold Browning and Michael Rogers. Pictures and additional information were contributed by Drs. Carl Childers, Robin Stuart and Herb Nigg. The insect display was created in conjunction with the children's library bug-themed summer reading program, "What's Buzzin' at Your Library?" Meredith J. Morton, Monica Lewandowski and Gretchen Baut were also involved in the display design. Dr. Rogers presented a children's program, "The Wonderful World of Bugs," on 9 June at the library. - Meredith J. Morton
On 23-24 June, the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) hosted an intensive workshop in Gainesville, FL, at the Department of Entomology and Nematology on the pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus. Workshop topics included field identification, control strategies, pheromone trapping, and taxonomic identification. Speakers at the workshop included: Dr. Lance Osborne, of the University of Florida/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center; Dr. Amy Roda with the USDA-APHIS, Center for Plant Health Science and Technology; and Dr. Greg Hodges with the Florida Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry.
The workshop was funded by a critical needs USDA-CSREES grant that was a collaborative effort between the NPDN, the National IPM Centers, APHIS, and the National Plant Board. Twenty participants from multiple federal, state, and land grant universities in the following countries or U.S. states attended: Alabama, Arizona, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Mexico, Michigan, New Mexico, Panama, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
Dr. Amanda Hodges, Assistant Coordinator in Entomology for the Southern Plant Diagnostic Network, coordinated the event. Departmental staff and faculty who provided local assistance for the meeting in order to ensure its success included: Lyle Buss, Dr. Jennifer Gillett, Pam Howell, Steve Lasley, Myrna Litchfield, and Nancy Sanders.
The computer section of the June 13th edition of the Gainesville Sun had several insect Web sites recommended. These included Dr. John Foltz's Web site on insect families at http://eny3005.ifas.ufl.edu/lab1/, and Amazing Insects, a project of the 1st through 5th grade at Ivy Hall School in Buffalo Grove, IL. The latter was a long-time-ago pick for our UF/IFAS Best of the Bugs site at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/fasulo/pests/bestbugs/. Dr. Foltz's site is very useful for answering those "What does a — insect look like and what family is it in?" questions we all receive.
Termite Biodiversity Survey
During 28 May - 5 June 2005, a team of Fort Lauderdale REC-based scientists conducted a biodiversity survey in Panama for termites and their nematode associates. It is believed that this is the first deliberate survey of nematodes in termites. Faculty members Rudi Scheffrahn and Robin Giblin-Davis were joined by FLREC post-docs Natsumi Kanzaki and Jan Krecek, and biologist Vinda Maharajh. John Mangold and Jim Chase, technical specialists with Terminix, also participated in the extensive field survey of coastal and montane habitats throughout the rainforests of central Panama and the former Canal Zone. Over 800 termite colony samples and 200 nematode isolates yielded numerous undescribed taxa. Only two of some twelve soldierless termites collected have been described. Preliminary findings suggest that the majority of nematode species isolated from some 20 species of termites are also new to science.
"The first time you buy a house you see how pretty the paint is and buy it. The second time you look to see if the basement has termites. It's the same with men." - Anonymous
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