November 2008

Faculty News

Dr. Russell F. Mizell was featured in the Autumn 2008 issue of the Southern SARE newsletter for his work on trap crops of stink bugs. His trap cropping system can be customized for any planting season from spring to fall. It is also farm-scale neutral and will work for organic or conventional farms. See Mizell's Insect Traps and Sampling Web site at for more details. Mother Earth News also ran an article on Dr. Mizell and the trap crops in the Hot Topics section of its Web site.

Drs. Marjorie Hoy and Ayyamperumal Jeyaprakash were featured in a UF/IFAS news release regarding a paper they authored in Experimental and Applied Acarology, reporting on the first large-scale attempt to use genetic analysis to make projections suggesting when various arachnids evolved. See for details.

On 13 October, Dr. Marc Branham gave an invited talk on "The evolution of fireflies and their sexual signals," at the Department of Entomology, University of California - Riverside. His presentation was part of that department's fall seminar series.

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker on 14 October for the University's Science for Life Seminar Series (IDH 3931) sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Cuda provided an overview of biological control projects on Brazilian peppertree and hydrilla.

Dr. James Cuda was a guest lecturer in several graduate and undergraduate courses in entomology and agronomy. Cuda lectured on aquatic insect communities for Insect Community Ecology (ENY 6203), biological control of aquatic weeds for Aquatic Weed Control (PLS 4613), and biological weed control for Biological Invasions (PCB 2441).

Dr. James Cuda presented "Synopsis of biocontrol of Brazilian peppertree" at our department's Fall Seminar Series on 6 November.

Staff News

Dr. Rebecca Baldwin ('05) was one of three former students who were selected as West Monroe High School (WMHS) Distinguished Alumni for 2008. The three honorees were recognized at Rebel Stadium in West Monroe, Louisiana on October 17th and will have their photographs displayed in the WMHS Distinguished Alumni Hall. Dr. Baldwin graduated from West Monroe in 1993. Dr. Baldwin now spends her time teaching prospective teachers and working with schools on IPM.

Student News

Several of our graduate students were featured in the cover story of the Summer 2008 issue of Wing Beats, a publication of the American Mosquito Control Association. The article covered their research as well as highlighted the fact that they are active duty U.S. Navy personnel studying at our department under several different Navy programs. The article discussed:

Ph.D. student Daniel Carillo was selected by the Graduate Committee as the Department’s nominee for one of the University of Florida’s three Alex Courtelis International Student Awards. The awards are based on academic excellence and service to the University and the community. Selection of the final three awardees will be made by a committee from the International Center. Daniel’s advisor is Dr. Jorge E. Peña.

Ph.D. student Frank Wessels was selected by the Graduate Committee as the recipient of the 2008/2009 Pauline Lawrence Physiology Scholarship ($1,000 for one year). Frank’s advisor is Dr. Dan Hahn.

Ph.D. student Ricky Vazquez was named the 2008-2009 Young Scientist of the Year by Bayer Environmental Science and the National Pest Management Association. Ricky will receive a $2,500 scholarship and a $10,000 grant for his research. In addition, $1,000 will be donated to the department's general scholarship fund. This award is only given every other year. Vazquez's advisor is Dr. Phil Koehler.

Ph.D. student Alexandra Chaskopoulou, of Greece, is helping her country control its massive mosquito problem by using a high-tech, environmentally friendly system that uses a helicopter to spray tiny amounts of insecticide into precision-targeted areas. She and Dr. Phil Koehler were both featured in a UF/IFAS news release on their contributions. In September, Koehler and Chaskopoulou attended a banquet hosted in their honor in Chalastra, Greece. See for details.


Chen W-H, Kaufman PE. (2008). American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis Say. Featured Creatures. EENY-443.

Rouseff RL, Onagbola EO, Smoot JM, Stelinski LL. 2008. Sulfur volatiles in guava (Psidium guajava L.) leaves: possible defense mechanism. Agricultural and Food Chemistry 56: 8905-8910.

Stelinski LL, McGhee P, Grieshop M, Brunner J, Gut LJ. 2008. Efficacy and mode of action of female-equivalent dispensers of pheromone for mating disruption of codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.). Agricultural and Forest Entomology 10: 389-397.

Baldwin RW, Koehler PG, Pereira RM. 2008. Toxicity of fatty acid salts to German and American cockroaches. Journal of Economic Entomology 101: 1384-1388.

Diaz R, Overholt WA, Cuda JP, Pratt PD, Fox AM. 2008. Temperature-dependent development, survival and potential distribution of Ishnodemus variegatus (Hemiptera: Blissidae), an herbivore of West Indian marsh grass. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 101: 604-612.

Manrique V, Cuda JP, Overholt WA, Williams DA, Wheeler GS. 2008. Effect of host-plant genotypes on the performance of three candidate biological control agents of Brazilian peppertree in Florida. Biological Control 47: 167-171.

Meetings and Presentations

Dr. Eileen Buss hosted the 2008 National Turfgrass Entomology Workshop on 27-28 October in Gainesville, FL. Forty-two people attended from universities, USDA, and private industry. Topics included updates on state turfgrass entomology programs and industry innovations, and discussions on where the science is headed.

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society held in Daytona Beach, FL, 13-16 October. Cuda gave the presentation, "Can insect defoliators be effective biocontrol agents of Hygrophila?" The presentation was co-authored by Abhishek Mukherjee, one of Cuda's doctoral students, and Dr. William A. Overholt.

Dr. James Cuda was a co-organizer and a moderator for the Natural Resource Summit 2008 held in Ocala, FL, 29-30 October. The purpose of the Summit was to develop a strategic plan for natural resource programming within Extension

Seminar Series – Fall 2008

This semester, graduate students Craig Roubos, Heidi Hanspetersen, Tricia Toth, Corraine Scott and Rosie Gill serve on the Seminar Committee. 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 seminars is available online in the September 2008 issue.


After years supporting outreach efforts in the department, including an Outreach Coordinator Assistantship for a graduate student, the department now has an organized committee to coordinate our outreach activities. The committee is composed of Dr. Jamie Ellis (chair), Dr. Jaret Daniels, Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, Thomas Fasulo, graduate student Sharon Clemmensen (Outreach Coordinator), and Mike O'Malley. The committee has met twice and will meet on a monthly basis until the organization and development of objectives, areas of responsibilities, etc., is complete. Then it will meet on a less regular basis, but maintain contact via e-mail. The next meeting is 13 November at 10:30 am.

Currently, the committee is ad hoc, but the members hope to become a fully recognized committee in the future as outreach is an important function of the department. Students are encouraged to participate in outreach activities, not only as a break from their course work and research responsibilities, but also as a means to develop interpersonal teaching skills in an informal environment.

On October 30, Olga Kostromytska, Jessica Platt, and Dr. Rebecca Baldwin presented three insect learning sessions to the 4-5 year old class at UF's Baby Gator day care center. The 30 students were divided into groups and rotated through lessons on 1) insect morphology: where they sorted toy arthropods to identify which were insects, read a story to identify insects and non-insects, and had a snack to demonstrate four ways insects eat, 2) insect metamorphosis: where they saw examples of insects in different developmental stages then arranged the life cycle on a graphic organizer, and 3) insect communication: where they watched termites trail and listened to hissing cockroaches. Insects truly are fun for all ages. For more information on the Entomology and Nematology Outreach program, please visit


Drs. James P. Cuda and William A. Overholt received a $37,500 grant from Osceola County and the EPA to continue research on exploratory surveys in India for potential biological control agents of the aquatic weed Hygrophila polysperma.

Departmental Vans

The department has several vans available for general use, usually for field trips. Personnel are reminded, or are told here for the first time, that when returning vans after the administrative office has closed, the vans should be locked and the keys deposited in the "mail slot" on the office door. This ensures that people who reserved the vans for the next day have immediate access to the keys. Placing the keys under the driver's seat in an unlocked van is not an acceptable substitute. The worst case scenario in this case is a stolen van to which no one has access.

Bug Quote

"If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito." - Betty Reese

Newsletter Minutiae

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Departmental faculty, staff, students and alumni can submit news anytime to Issues usually are published by early mid-month. Submit items for an issue by the 7th of that month.

UF-Bugnews-L listserv subscribers receive notices when issues are posted on the newsletter Web site at , which has instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing. Pam Howell and Nancy Sanders review the newsletter for errors. Thomas Fasulo does the HTML coding.

In the last 12 months, the newsletter Web site recorded 50,565 visitor sessions, 92,344 HTML page views and 9,295 PDF downloads.

November 2008.