October 2006

Faculty News

Dr. Rajinder Singh Mann joined Dr. Phil Kaufman's lab in Gainesville as a Postdoctoral Associate. Dr. Mann's will work to identify new insecticides for control of medically important Diptera. Before coming to Gainesville, Raj was a Postdoctoral Associate in Dr. David Schuster's program at the Gulf Coast REC.

Drs. Howard Frank and Ron Cave were interviewed by the Sun-Sentinel about the threat to Florida's bromeliads posed by the Mexican bromeliad weevil. See the article at http://www.sun-sentinel.com/features/home/sfl-hg29bromsep29,0,1477620.story?coll=sfla-features-homegarden.

The Board of Regents of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) recently sent a letter to Dr. John Capinera complimenting the department for Dr. Jaret Daniels' participation in the AZA Professional Training Program's Techniques for Butterfly Conservation and Management course, held at the UF McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity. The AZA noted that it was "delighted by the response" it received from participants in the course and acknowledged that it owed "a significant measure of our success to Jaret for his role." This was the first year AZA held such a course and the letter indicated that it looked forward to "many more years of fruitful collaboration."

Dr. James P. Cuda was featured in the 29 September edition of IFAS News. http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/story.aspx?id=1157. Cuda provided recommendations to Florida drivers on dealing with the recent lovebug outbreak.

Dr. James P. Cuda participated in a one-day workshop/demonstration project on biological control of tropical soda apple in Ft. Pierce, FL. The workshop, organized by Drs. William A Overholt and Julio C. Medal, consisted of a series of presentations during the morning session and tour of several field sites in the afternoon session where biological control of tropical soda has been very successful.

Staff News

Biological Scientist Jay Cee Turner, who previously worked for Dr. Oscar Liburd, made a lateral move and now works for Dr. Susan Webb. Jay Cee filled Mike Miller's old position. Unfortunately, Mike had to leave our department due to some circumstances beyond his control.

Dr. Elke Weibelzahl is the new Biological Scientist for Dr. Oscar Liburd's Small Fruit and Vegetable IPM Laboratory. Elke, as many of you may recall, is originally from Germany. She studied at UF under Dr. Don Dickson's supervision, where she specialized in biological control of root-knot nematodes using Pasteuria penetrans. Elke graduated from our department in 1998 with a Ph.D. in Nematology. Since then, she expanded her experience in organic fruit and vegetable farming by assisting at Charley Andrews' Hammock Hollow Herbs Organic and other local farms. This period was interrupted by an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development funded nematological survey that she conducted in Switzerland in 2002/3. To fill her schedule, she took part-time positions in molecular biology at the College of Medicine and at the FDACS-Division of Plant Industry. Elke's life focuses on the well-being of her two nature-loving children and her immediate environment. In her spare time, she fosters a great love for art and the outdoors. So, if you see her moving around, make sure to pass her by three feet (as she is probably on her bicycle). - Dr. Oscar Liburd

Student News

Graduate student Emily Saarinen was recently awarded the Canon National Parks Science Scholars Fellowship for 2006 in the area of biological sciences. The Canon National Parks Science Scholars Program is a collaboration between Canon U.S.A., the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the U.S. National Park Service (USNPS). Begun in 1997, the program annually awards doctoral dissertation scholarships to support graduate student research in national parks. The award is for $80,000 to cover research and related expenses for three years.

Awards are made in four categories, broadly defined as biological sciences, physical sciences, social/cultural sciences, and technology innovation in support of conservation science. Doctoral students submit research proposals related to one of the categories and proposals are evaluated by international scientific panels convened by the AAAS. The AAAS panels select the winning students, who become Canon National Parks Science Scholars. For details, see http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/csp_report/index.html.

Emily is co-advised by Drs. Jaret Daniels and Jaqueline Miller. She encourages other graduate students to take a grant writing class, and states, "I highly recommend Dr. Carl Barfield's grant writing class. I learned about the entire grant process, from searching for grants, to writing a successful application, to post-grant handling. I also learned the importance of re-submitting grants; by considering my reviewer's comments in 2005, I was able to strengthen my 2006 Canon grant, and this time I was successful."

Alumni News

Gino Nearns (M.S. 2006) received the 2006 Kirby Hays Outstanding Master's Student award for the Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America. Gino will receive the award at next year's ESA Southeastern Branch Meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee, 4-7 March 2007, as well as a check for $250. Gino is now traveling in Bolivia, but will begin work on his Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico in the spring. His advisor at UF was Dr. Marc Branham.

Angela Brammer (M.S. 2003) and her husband Chris have returned to Gainesville. Both are teaching at UF's P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School. Angela is teaching a course in high school journalism, and her classes will produce both the newspaper and the yearbook for the school. This fall she will also teach an undergraduate course, called "Newspapers for Non-majors," for the UF Honors Department. Angela received a B.S. in Journalism from UF, and entered our department to fine tune her skills in science writing. While here she wrote articles for the various media in cooperation with a number of our faculty, contributed numerous informational files on insects to the School IPM Web site that were downloaded by the thousands by school districts across the nation, and edited the National Public Health Pesticide Applicators Training Manual produced by Dr. David Dame and Thomas Fasulo. The latter manual averages approximately 4,000 copies of its nine chapters downloaded every month.


Daniels JC. (September 2006). Miami blue, Cyclargus thomasi bethunbakeri (Comstock & Huntington). Featured Creatures. EENY-386. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/miami_blue.htm

(Note: A recent Gainesville Sun article covered the release of hundreds of Miami blues back into their environment. See http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060915/ EVENTS/60915013/1034/community.)

Kaur R, Brito JA, Dickson DW, Stanley JD. 2006. First report of Meloidogyne mayaguensis on Angelonia angustifolia. Plant Disease Vol. 90, Num. 8. DOI: 10.1094/PD-90-1113A.

Daniels JC. (September 2006). Schaus swallowtail, Papilio aristodemus ponceanus Schaus. Featured Creatures. EENY-387. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/schaus_swallowtail.htm

Hahn DA. 2006. Two closely related species of desert carpenter ant differ in individual-level allocation to fat storage. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 79:847-856.

(Note: You might think that only ants concerned with their personal appearance on the "dating scene" would worry about body fat. However, the above article attracted attention from the popular press and was featured on the Discovery Channel, Yahoo, Fox News, Science Daily, and more than a dozen other popular science Web sites. See the Science Daily article at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060727100749.htm.)

Denmark HA. (October 2006). Phalaenopsis mite, Tenuipalpus pacificus Baker. Featured Creatures. EENY-377. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/flowers/Tenuipalpus_pacificus.htm

Gillett JL, Leppla NC, Sonke DJ. (September 2006). IFAS's IPM, BMPs, FYN and more: an alphabet soup of good environmental programs for Florida. EDIS. ENY-704. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN502

Mead FW. (September 2006). Persimmon psylla, Trioza diospyri (Ashmead). Featured Creatures. EENY-390. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/fruit/persimmon_psylla.htm

Eickwort JM, Mayfield AE, Foltz JL. (September 2006). Ips engraver beetles. Featured Creatures. EENY-388. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/trees/beetles/ips_beetles.htm

Rhodes EM., Liburd OE, Kelts C, Rondon AI, Francis RR. 2006. Comparison of single and combination treatments of Phytoseiulus persimilis, Neoseiulus californicus, and Acramite (bifenazate) for control of twospotted spider mites in strawberries. Experimental & Applied Acarology 39: 213-225.

Rodrigues SCG, Maruniak JE. 2006. Blood meal identification from mosquitoes collected at a commercial alligator farm. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 22: 557-560.

Fall 2006 Seminars

This semester's seminar committee members are graduate students Murugesan Rangasamy, Craig Roubos, Seth Bybee, Emily Saarinen and Amit Sethi. Seminars are held on Thursday afternoons in room 1031. Refreshments are served at 3:45 pm, and the seminar begins at 4:00 pm. A listing of the seminars is in the September issue, which is available at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2006-2007/Sep06.htm.

Florida Butterfly Festival

Plan to attend the Florida Butterfly Festival at the Florida Museum of Natural History and the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera Study on 14-15 October. Actually, events begin on Thursday and continue all weekend: movies, presentations, tours, field trips, dances, contests and more for butterfly lovers of all ages. See http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/butterflyfest/ for a complete listing.

Meetings and Presentations

The UF Libraries hosts the seminar "Seed to Shelf: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Organic Farming as Sustainable Practices" on 19 October from 2-4 pm in Marston L107. Assistant IPM director, Dr. Jennifer Gillett will speak about IPM as a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health and environmental risks. In addition, Dr. Danielle Treadwell will discuss the new UF Organic Farming major offered by the Horticultural Sciences department.

This event is held in conjunction with the "Campus and Community Sustainability: Sharing Best Practices and Visions for Florida's Future" conference, 25-26 October at UF. For more information see: http://sustainability.ufl.edu/conference/. The UF Libraries thanks UF/IFAS for co-sponsoring this program. Refreshments and snacks will be provided.

Dr. Jennifer Gillett gave the presentation "IPM in Florida, Small Steps to Success" to the Alachua County Master Gardeners, New Volunteer Training, 28 September 2006.

Dr. Jennifer Gillett attended the 2006 Extension Professionals Association of Florida - Professional Improvement Meeting and Administrative Conference, 11-14 September 2006, in Marco Island, Florida. She had an information booth where she distributed IPM material to county extension agents. This material included 20,000 copies of the brochure "How to Use Beneficial Nematodes Against Pest Mole Crickets In Home Lawns," a brochure available online in English and Spanish at http://ipm.ifas.ufl.edu/success-stories/molecrickets.htm. The brochure was written by Drs. Norm Leppla and Howard Frank, and designed by Jane Medley.

Dr. Susan Webb presented a paper, "Whitefly transmission of a new virus infecting cucurbits in Florida," during Cucurbitaceae 2006, an international conference held 17-21 September in Asheville, NC. The paper, which was also published in the proceedings of the meeting, was co-authored by two plant virologists, Dr. Scott Adkins, USDA-ARS, Fort Pierce, and Dr. Carlye Baker, DPI, Gainesville. Dr. Webb also served on the scientific committee for the conference and attended the National Cucurbit Crop Germplasm Committee meeting held in conjunction with Cucurbitaceae. She has served as the entomologist on this 14-member committee since 1997.

Dr. James P. Cuda participated in the annual CALS teaching symposium held at the UF Hilton Conference Center in Gainesville.

Dr. James P. Cuda attended the Annual Meeting of the Extension Professionals Associations of Florida held in Marco Island, FL, 11-15 September. As Dr. John Capinera was absent, Cuda introduced Dr. Jamie Ellis, our new apiculturist, to the UF/IFAS extension community.

Drs. James P. Cuda, W. A. Overholt and Oscar Liburd participated in one of the Extension Service's Statewide Goals and Focus Areas workshop held at the Reitz Union, 25 September. The purpose of the workshop was to provide input into pest management plans for Goal 1- To Enhance and Maintain Agricultural and Food Systems.


A little bit here and a little bit there it all adds up. Graduate student Jennifer M. Zaspel recently received the following travel grants: Graduate Student Council - $250, IFAS CALS - $200, and Entomology and Nematology - $200. She also received a grant from the Office of the Vice President for Research for $300. The latter grant is matched by Entomology and Nematology for a total of $600. Jennifer plans to use the grants to present an invited paper at the 3rd Annual Meeting of the World Noctuid Workers in Budapest, Hungary, this November.

Graduate Student Onour Moeri received a $200 IFAS travel grant and a $250 Graduate Student Council Travel Grant to attend the Joint Meeting of the Entomological Society of Canada and the Societe d' entomologie du Quebec. The meeting will be held 18-22 November, in Montreal, Canada.

Undergraduate Curriculum Updates

Associate Provost Sheila Dickinson reports that our undergraduate students are welcome to present Power-point based presentations on their research at either the University Scholars Symposium or the McNair Research Symposium. We can now offer our undergraduate research participants several options in which to present their research to a wide audience, and thus fulfill recommendations of the departmental review team: 1) a FES Meeting, 2) an ESA Meeting, 3) the University Scholars Symposium, and 4) the McNair Research Symposium.

You do not have to be a university scholar nor a McNair Research Fellow to present at either symposium. Options 1 and 2 above mean faculty must be able to support the travel expenses of their undergraduates.

New students in our basic sciences track are now required to take the Undergraduate Research Mentoring course. That means faculty must provide this opportunity whether or not the student has an outstanding academic track record. To date, we have selected only the best and brightest for this venture.

Beginning with the Fall 2006 semester, any new students in our department must now be apprised of our Academic Learning Compacts and the exam they must pass in their penultimate semester with us. We need to build into our four core courses exercises that alert the students to the skills they will be expected to display. This involves, particularly, Drs. Drion Boucias, Carl Barfield, Skip Choate, Mark Branham, Phil Koehler and Phil Kaufman.

You can review our department's Academic Learning Compacts requirements on the Provost's Web page at http://www.aa.ufl.edu/aa/alc/. - Dr. Carl Barfield

Homeland Security

Security of lives and property is not just a national issue. With over 100 graduate students and almost that number of faculty and staff, plus a large number of undergraduates taking classes in our building, there are a lot of people walking the halls. Years ago we went through a period of almost daily thefts and individuals were very aware of the need to take security measures. During the 90s, the campus police used to walk our halls occasionally and leave notices in empty offices they entered without anyone questioning them. While we are fortunate in that theft in our building is now an unusual occurrence, we should not become complacent.

A graduate student recently suffered the loss of most of a bicycle on our bike racks. (Why couldn't the thief have taken parts from the vine-covered bikes?) Your office and lab space are potential targets also. However, while a thief needs to enter a lab by opening a door, no such extra step is required to enter an open office whose occupant left to check his or her mailbox or to visit a colleague. Plus while students and staff are often working in the labs, someone walking down the hall can quickly enter an empty office and be back out again within seconds without being noticed. Please remember that the doors are locked at 5:00 pm for a reason. Leaving them open as a convenience poses a threat to people and equipment.

Reading Room

Speaking of security... The Reading Room Committee once again reminds us that no one is allowed to take materials out of the reading room, and no one is allowed to take food or drink in. You are also reminded that Reading Room users are monitored on closed-circuit TV, so wave and say hi. In addition, the committee asks that you tidy up after yourself before leaving the room. Those who wish to use the in-room copier should visit the stock room and get a PIN from
Nick Hostettler.

Newsletter Minutia

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. You can submit news anytime 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. Andrew Puckett and Thomas Fasulo code the HTML version.

During the last 12 months, the newsletter Web site recorded 50,352 distinct visitors and 86,322 page views. In addition, visitors downloaded 4,939 PDF files during January-September 2006.

October 2006.