May 2008

Faculty News

Dr. James Nation, Professor Emeritus, released the second edition of his book, Insect Physiology and Biochemistry. The new edition has an additional four chapters, for a total of 19. Two entirely new chapters, Diapause and Immunity, were not in the first edition, and Flight and Vision were each expanded to a chapter. Sections of other chapters were updated with more recent references, so that now there are between 1800 to 1900 references in the new edition. In addition, there are seven pages of color illustrations in the middle of the book.

Dr. James P. Cuda and his research program on biological control of the aquatic weed Hygrophila polysperma were featured on Osceola County's Hydrilla & Hygrophila Demonstration Project's webpage at Ph.D. student Abhishek Mukherjee, of Cuda's lab, co-authored the web document.

Dr. James Cuda and his former Ph.D. student Dr. Scotty Long ('04) were recognized for their contribution to a U.S. Patent for "Effective Biorational Control of Pests" at the inaugural FAES Research Awards Ceremony held at the Harn Museum, 4 April.

Dr. James Cuda was elected by the Faculty Senate to serve on the University's Lakes, Vegetation and Landscaping Committee. The Committee is responsible for actions that affect the use of University lakes, including guidelines for use of such lakes in order to preserve their ecological integrity and research capabilities, and the management and well being of natural areas containing non-domesticated plants and animals.

Dr. James Cuda was recently selected for inclusion in the 2009 edition of Who's Who in America.

Dr. James Cuda was featured in an article on invasive plant research in the 18 March issue of the Alligator, a UF student-owned newspaper.

Staff News

Dr. Xuguo (Joe) Zhou, a senior biological scientist in Dr. Mike Scharf's insect toxicology laboratory, accepted a position as Assistant Professor in Insect Genomics at the University of Kentucky. Joe joined the department in 2004 and was a very productive researcher. During his time at UF, Joe published ten high-impact papers on termite biochemistry, molecular biology and genomics, and contributed to new levels of understanding in the areas of termite cellulose digestion and caste differentiation. Not only was he a great colleague in the toxicology laboratory, but his knowledge and outgoing personality was welcome throughout the department. Joe will be missed very much and we wish him all the best.

Student News

Megan Magee, an undergraduate major in entomology, was selected for the 2008-2009 College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Ambassador Team. Students appointed to the Team must first demonstrate outstanding achievement in academics and student leadership. These students create awareness of academic programs and career opportunities in food, agriculture and natural resources among students, teachers, advisors and the general public by speaking to high schools, community colleges and civic organizations within Florida, and at national events.

Michael Bentley, of Dr. Phil Kaufman's lab, graduated with a M.S. this month. Mike leaves behind him a highly successful tour of duty as the Coordinator of the department's Outreach Program, under Dr. Jamie Ellis. Mike accepted a position with FloridaCare Pest Management in St. Petersburg, FL, owned by Joe Jonovich (05).

Ph.D. student Christian Salcedo received a $3,650 Smithsonian Short-term Fellowship. The award will partially cover his research and travel expenses during his three month stay (July-September 2008) at one of the field stations of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in the Panamanian rain forest.


Gomez C, Mizell III RF. (2008). Cypress twig gall midge, Taxodiomyia cupressiananassa (Osten Sacken). Featured Creatures. EENY-430.

Gomez C, Mizell III RF. (2008). Green stink bug, Acrosternum hilare (Say). Featured Creatures. EENY-431.

Gomez C, Mizell III RF. (2008). Black stink bug, Proxys punctulatus (Palisot). Featured Creatures. EENY-432.

Brito JA, Stanley JD, Kaur R, Cetintas R, Di Vito M, Thies JA, Dickson DW. 2008. Effects of the Mi-1, N and Tabasco genes on infection and reproduction of Meloidogyne mayaguensis on tomato and pepper genotypes. Journal of Nematology 39: 327-332.

Nation JL. 2008. Insect Physiology and Biochemistry. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 560 pp.

Iponga DM, Cuda JP, Milton SJ, Richardson DM. 2008. Megastigmus wasp damage to Schinus molle (Peruvian pepper tree) seeds across a rainfall gradient in South Africa: Implications for invasiveness. African Entomology 16: 127-131.

Mukherjee A, Cuda JP, Overholt WA, Ellison C. 2008. Biological control of Hygrophila polysperma: Searching for natural enemies in India — first trip report. Aquatics 30: 20-22.

Cuda JP, Buss LJ. 2008. A new candidate for biological control of Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius (Anacardiaeceae). FANREP Newsletter 4(1): 8.

Boyd BM, Daniels JC, Austin GT. 2008. Predaceous behavior by Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae: Heliothinae). Journal of Insect Behavior 21:143-146.

Meetings and Presentations

Dr. Marjorie Hoy traveled to Riverside, California to present an invited seminar on 5 May, "Genome analyses of the predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis: mitey small and mitey large."

Drs. Marjorie Hoy and A. Jeyaprakash traveled to Kansas City, 11-13 April, to attend the Second Annual Arthropod Genomics Symposium. They presented a poster at the session and attended workshops on genome analysis methods.

Dr. James Cuda gave an invited talk at the inaugural Native Plant Community Restoration and Management Workshop, in Lakeland, FL, 2-3 April. Cuda's presentation was "Biological control of invasive plants in Florida's upland and freshwater ecosystems." The workshop was co-sponsored by the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research and UF/IFAS Extension.

Dr. James Cuda attended the 23rd Annual Symposium of the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council in Jacksonville, FL, 21-24 April. Cuda gave the invited oral presentation "Apocnemidophorus pipitzi (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a new candidate for biological control of Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius (Anacardiaceae): preliminary results on it biology and host range." The paper was co-authored by Judy Gillmore and Dr. Julio Medal. Cuda also co-authored a presentation by Ph.D. student Veronica Manrique on "Effect of host plant genotypes on the performance of Pseudophilothrips ichini, an approved biological control agent of Brazilian peppertree in Florida."

Dr. Jaret Daniels and Ph.D. student Emily Saarinen presented the poster "Comparing wild and captive populations: Genetic implications for maximizing potential reintroduction success," at the First International Wildlife Reintroduction Conference, 14-16 April, 2008, in Chicago, IL.


Ph.D. student Delano Lewis received the following grants to attend Forum Herbulot 2008 in Munich, Germany: Graduate Student Council ($250), IFAS Travel Grant ($200), Office of Research Travel Grant ($300).

Drs. James Cuda and William Overholt received a $30,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to continue their research on classical biological control of the aquatic weed Hyrophila polysperma in India.

Dr. Jaret Daniels received a $13,500 award from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for "Conservation and Field Surveys of the Endangered Miami Blue Butterfly, Cyclargus thomasi bethunebakeri (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)."

FES Meeting

The 91st Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society is scheduled for 13-16 July, 2008, at the Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa in Jupiter Beach, Florida. Information on registration, and submitting papers, presentations and posters is available on its Web site at

Newsletter Minutiae

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May 2008.