April 2007

Faculty News

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) selected Dr. Malcolm (Tom) Sanford, long-time UF/IFAS apiculturist before his retirement, to receive its Plant Protection Award of Eminence. This is FDACS' highest award for individuals who have provided significant contributions to Florida's plant protection program and is the first time this award has been given to an apiary protection contributor. Dr Sanford will receive an award certificate and his name will join other recipients on the Honor Roll of Eminence Plaque in the FDACS Division of Plant Industry building lobby in Gainesville. Since his retirement, Dr. Sanford has remained active in beekeeping both in the U.S. and abroad. A pioneer in the use of the World Wide Web for education, his beekeeping newsletter was included in the book 51 Reasons: How We Use the Internet and What it Says About the Information Superhighway, he still maintains a site highlighting all of his activities at http://beeactor.vze.com/.

Dr. Jim Maruniak received the Advisor of the Year Award from the University of Florida Center for Student Involvement and IDEAL on 5 April. This award is given annually to one of the advisors of the 650 student organizations at the University of Florida. Dr. Maruniak advises the Society for Viral Studies formed by UF undergraduate and graduate students interested in learning more about viral diseases. Monthly seminars with invited speakers are open to anyone interested. The members of the Society and Dr. Maruniak have traveled to Washington D.C., Atlanta, Puerto Rico, Guatemala and Cuba to meet professionals involved in virus research and eradication. Some previous members of the Society are currently working at CDC and NIH laboratories. For more information on the Society for Viral Studies, please contact Dr. Maruniak at 392-1901 ext 148.

The Commonwealth of Dominica's Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment invited Dr. Marjorie Hoy to consult on pests of citrus (especially the brown citrus aphid) and a new invasive pest, the red palm mite, Raoiella indica. She will travel to Dominica 18-29 April to collect specimens and to provide information and training. You can see her publication on the red palm mite at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/palms/red_palm_mite.htm.

Student News

Graduate student Jennifer Johnson Armistead received the Best Student Paper Award, and $1,000, at the annual American Mosquito Control Association meeting, in Orlando, on 28 March. She spoke on "Interactions of invasive species in mosquito container communities in Virginia."

On 29 March, Aissa Doumbouya defended her Ph. D. dissertation "Microsatellite DNA analysis of four Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus (Say) (Diptera: Culicidae) mosquito populations in Florida and their vector competence for West Nile virus."

Aissa Doumbouya also received a $1000 travel grant from the Southeastern Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (SEAGEP) to visit Istanbul, Turkey. There, she met with faculty from the Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, in the Institute of Medicine at Marmara University Hospital. She was offered and accepted a post-doctoral associate position, where she will be working on techniques to detect nosocomial bacterial infection of Acinetobacter sp., and providing molecular biology support to their virology laboratory. While in Turkey, Aissa visited Dr. Hanife Genc, (Ph.D. 2002), an assistant professor at Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University

Dr. Marjorie Hoy will offer "Biology and Control of Mites in Agriculture" (or Agricultural Acarology) during Summer B. All students interested in integrated management of pest mites in agriculture (including bee mites, ticks, mite pests of farm animals, etc.) are welcome. The only prerequisite is a course in general entomology.


Hertz JC. (March 2007). Velvet ants. Featured Creatures. EENY-378. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/wasps/Mutillidae.htm

Webb SE, Akad F, Nyoike T, Liburd OE, Polston JE. (2007). Whitefly-transmitted cucurbit leaf crumple virus in Florida. EDIS. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN716

Persad AB, Hoy MA, Nguyen R. 2007. Establishment of Lipolexis oregmae (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae) in a classical biological control program directed against the brown citrus aphid (Homoptera: Aphididae) in Florida. Florida Entomologist 90: 204-213.

Singh R, Hoy MA. 2007. Tools for evaluating Lipolexis oregmae (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae) in the field: Effects of host aphid and host plant on mummy location and color plus improved methods for obtaining adults. Florida Entomologist 90: 214-222.

Hoy MA, Jeyaprakash A, Clarke-Harris D. 2007. Fortuitous establishment of Ageniaspis citricola (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) in Jamaica on the citrus leafminer (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae). Florida Entomol. 90: 271-273.

Hoy MA. 2007. Book Review: Bourtzis KA, Miller TA. (Eds.) 2006. Insect Symbiosis, Vol. 2, CRC Press. Florida Entomologist 90: 287-289.

Treadwell LW, Cuda JP. 2007. Effects of defoliation on growth and reproduction of Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolius). Weed Science 55: 137-142.

Williams DA, Muchugu E, Overholt WA, Cuda JP. (2007). Colonization patterns of the invasive Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius, in Florida. Heredity. http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/6800936a.html

Meetings and Presentations

Dr. Oscar Liburd gave an invited research seminar in the Department of Entomology, Michigan State University on 12 March 2007. His subject was "Integrated Pest Management in small fruits with emphasis on blueberries."

Dr. Oscar Liburd gave a research presentation on "Management of key blueberry insect pests in southeastern plantings," on 6 March 2007 at the annual Florida Blueberry Growers Association's Spring blueberry meeting in Balm, Florida.

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited to participate in the iannual Florida DEP and UF/IFAS Research Review for Invasive Plants in Florida held in Ocala, FL, 22-23 March. Cuda provided an update of his current research on Brazilian peppertree through two presentations: "Classical biological control of Brazilian peppertree in Florida," and "Screening of a new candidate biological control agent of Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolius) in Florida. Dr. Cuda also was a co-author on a presentation by Dr. William A. Overholt on "Foreign exploration for new natural enemies of Hydrilla verticillata in East Africa, and a presentation by Dr. Julio C. Medal on "Screening of potential biological control agents for wetland nightshade, Solanum tampicense, in Florida."

Dr. James Cuda coordinated and participated in the 2007 Aquatic and Terrestrial Weed Control Workshop via the Polycom system. The workshop, which was transmitted to eight south Florida Counties, was hosted by our department through the efforts of Steve Lasley and the Pinellas County Extension Office in Largo, FL, on 27 March. Cuda delivered a presentation on "Integration of biological controls for management of weeds in aquatic, wetland and upland natural areas" and provided the workshop participants with several biological control factsheets.

Dr. James Cuda attended the 81st Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America in Knoxville, TN, 4-7 March. Cuda participated in the SDC-319 Biological Control of Arthropod Pests and Weeds Regional Project meeting, and presented the paper "Suitability of Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius (Anacardiaceae, as a host plant for the root weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). The paper was co-authored by Mary Price, a former undergraduate student majoring in UF's Integrative Biology/Interdisciplinary Studies Program.

Veronica Manrique, a Ph.D. student in Dr. James Cuda's program, participated in the 7th Annual CALS Graduate Research symposium held in Emerson Hall, 21 March. Veronica presented a poster on her dissertation research project "Performance of two candidate biological control agents (Episimus utilis and Pseudophilothrips ichini) on four Brazilian peppertree genotypes found in Florida." The poster was co-authored by Drs. James Cuda, William A Overholt and Dean Williams. Veronica later presented the same poster at the Graduate Student Council's 2007 Spring Forum, held at the Reitz Union, 4 April.

Rodrigo Diaz, a Ph.D. Student in Dr. Willam A Overholt's program, participated in the 7th Annual CALS Graduate Research symposium held in Emerson Hall, 21 March. Rodrigo presented a poster on his dissertation research project "Temperature-dependent development, survival and potential distribution of Ischnodemus variegatus (Hemiptera: Blissidae), an herbivore of West Indian marsh grass (Hymenachne amplexicaulis). The poster was co-authored by Overholt and Dr. James Cuda.

Graduate student Leslie Rios presented a paper at the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) meeting in Orlando, 1-5 April. Her presentation was "Extrinsic risk factors for West Nile virus in Florida horses." Co-authors are Drs. M. Long, J.-J. Shen, J. Maruniak and J. Day.


Graduate student Christian Salcedo received a Graduate Student Council grant ($250), and an IFAS travel grant ($200) to present his Master's research on Heliconius roosting behavior at the II Meeting on Neotropical Lepidoptera hosted by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, in Panama, 29 April-3 May.

The Office of the Dean for Research awarded Dr. James P. Cuda a $2,640 mini-grant from to support and mentor Tanya Stevens, an undergraduate student majoring in plant pathology. Tanya will screen a fungal pathogen of the genus Septoria as a candidate for biological control of Brazilian peppertree.

Spring 2007 Seminars

This semester's seminar committee members are graduate students Seth Bybee, Amit Sethi, Murugesan Rangasamy, Craig Roubos, Andrew Derksen and Jen Zaspel. 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 available online in the January 2007 issue.


Dr. Carl Barfield, Undergraduate Coordinator, reports that our undergraduates have formed an Entomology Club. Karol Krey is President and Megan Magee is the Event Coordinator and Treasurer. A Web site, at http://entomologyclub.ifas.ufl.edu/, supports and highlights their activities.

Bernadette Lee, a 20-year-old sophomore and linguistics major, is studying entomology as part of an undergraduate honors thesis project. She is investigating how proteins in a parasitoid wasp's venom affect the Caribbean fruit fly, a crop pest the wasp preys upon. More details and an image are at http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/story.aspx?id=1209.

Bug Quote

A queen bee from Hymettus flew up to Olympus with some fresh honey as a present to Jupiter, who was so pleased with the gift that he promised to give her anything she liked to ask for. She said she would be very grateful if he would give stings to the bees, to kill people who robbed them of their honey. Jupiter was greatly displeased with this request, for he loved mankind; but he had given his word, so he said that stings they should have. The stings he gave them, however, were of such a kind that whenever a bee stings a man the sting is left in the wound and the bee dies. - from Aesop's Fables

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.

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April 2007.