September 2009


Faculty News

UDSA-ARS chemists Drs. Robert Vander Meer and Ulrich Bernier, at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, are working with an American Samoan company to identify the active ingredients in the plant essential oil that has shown interesting repellency against mosquitoes and ants. Since the active components are not yet known, the rate of repellency may be very high. See the USDA news release for more details.

Dr. Andrei Sourakov (Ph.D. '97), Lepidoptera collections manager at the Florida Museum of Natural History, was recently appointed to graduate faculty status in our department. Dr. Sourakov and his work in genetic techniques for identifying butterfly species are featured in an article on the Museum's Web site.

The bees are busily buzzing! Dr. Jamie Ellis welcomed two new Post-Docs to his lab this Fall. They are Dr. Akers Pence (Ph.D. '05) and Dr. Ales Gregorc from Slovenia. In addition, Dr. Kamran Fakhimzadeh from Finland, working as a Post-Doc with the Division of Plant Industry, will be collaborating with Ellis' laboratory.

Dr. James P. Cuda was selected as a continuing member of the University’s Lakes, Vegetation and Landscaping Committee.


Staff News

On August 27th, several members of the department received sustained service awards and pins.

Dr. Rebecca Baldwin received the 2009 Achievement Award for Teaching in Higher Education from the Florida Entomological Society. Dr. Baldwin's current teaching responsibilities include teaching the online ENY 3005/5006 Principles of Entomology/Graduate Survey of Entomology lecture with 275+ students annually, teaching the ENY 3007 Life Science course with approximately 150+ students annually, and teaching the ENY 3005L/5006L online lab with approximately 90+ students annually. Each of these classes is offered Fall, Spring, and Summer. In addition, Dr. Baldwin is very active in our Outreach and School IPM programs, and has participated in the Pest Management University (PMU) program. However, she is curtailing her PMU effort as she prepares to take over Dr. Don Hall's ENY 2040 course in the Spring.

Catherine Zettel Nalen joined Dr. Jamie Ellis's lab as a full-time extension coordinator after graduating with an M.S. in August, from our department.


Student News

Ph.D. student Christian Salcedo spent two months this summer gathering field data for his dissertation at the La Selva Biological Station associated with the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica. He is currently gathering more data in Panama, where he is hosted by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Ph.D. student Harsimran Rosie Gill received a $100 Travel grant, a $250 Research grant and a $500 Student Scholarship from the Florida Entomological Society (FES) to attend its meeting at Fort Myers in July and to support her work. She also received a $200 IFAS Travel Grant and a $250 Graduate Student Council travel grant to attend the Entomological Society of America (ESA) Meeting in Indianapolis, 13-16 December, 2009.

Ph.D. student Gaurav Goyal received a $200 IFAS Travel Grant to attend the ESA meeting. He also received a $100 Travel grant from FES to attend its recent meeting.

Dr. Carl Barfield, Undergraduate Student Coordinator, recently announced scholarship awards for the Fall Semester. The list below includes the student names and source of the scholarship funds. A number of these students are members of the Entomology Club.

Benjamin David Anderson (Murphy)
Matthew Anderson (Knapp)
George Ansoanuur (Mitchell)
Chantel Carter (Hetrick)
Michael Fowler (Mulrennan)
Marissa Gonzalez (Davis)
Wendy Gonzalez-Canal (Hetrick)
Sarahlynne Guerrero (Dixon)
Katrina Lane (Mitchell)
Fae Nageon de Lestang (Mulrennan)
Craig Littauer (Murphy)
Hannah McKenrick (Williams)
Heather Olsen (Richardson)
Margaret Paxson (Davis)
Alyssa Porter (Mulrennan)
Casey Reed (Dixon)
Andrew Taylor (Sapp)
Carolina Walter (Knapp)
Larry Wise (Sapp)

Alumni News

Mrs. Emily Torlak (M.S. '09), a recent graduate of our distance education program and a teacher at Eau Gallie High School in Brevard County, Florida, received the 2009 Achievement Award for Teaching in K-12 from the Florida Entomological Society. Mrs. Torlak developed 10 teacher lesson plans for teaching IPM in the science classroom. Dr. Rebecca Baldwin says these lesson plans will soon be available for downloading, and we will announce it in this newsletter.

Dr. Raul Villanueva was recently appointed as an assistant professor and Extension Specialist for the Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension and Research Center in Weslaco, Texas.


Publications

Nageon de Lestang F, Miller CW. 2009. Effects of diet on the development and survivorship of Narnia femorata nymphs (Hemiptera: Coreidae). Florida Entomologist 92: 511-512.

Cocco A, Jeyaprakash A, Hoy MA. 2009. Parasitism of the brown citrus aphid in Dominica by Lysiphlebus testaceipes and Lipolexis oregmae (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae). Florida Entomologist 92: 497-499.

Hoy MA. 2009. Book review of: Krantz G, Walter DE. (Editors) A Manual of Acarology, Third Edition, Texas Tech University Press. Florida Entomologist 92: 526.

Denton JSS, Lietze V-U, Boucias DG. 2009. Host age and pathogen dosage impact cyst morphogenesis in the invertebrate pathogenic alga Helicosporidium sp. (Chlorophyta: Trebouxiophyceae). Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 102: 36-39.

Center TD, Cuda JP, Grodowitz MJ. (August 2009). Alligatorweed flea beetle, Agasicles hygrophila Selman and Vogt. Featured Creatures. EENY-462. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/beetles/alligatorweed_flea_beetle.htm

Lukhtanov VA, Sourakov A, Zakharov EV, Hebert DPN. 2009. DNA barcoding Central Asian butterflies: Increasing geographical dimension does not reduce the success of species identification. Molecular Ecology Resources 9: 1302-1310. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2009.02577.x

Li H-F, Kanzaki N, Su N-Y. 2009. Redescription of the drywood termite Incisitermes inamurae (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae) from southern Taiwan. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 102: 759-765.

Medal J, Bustmante N, Barrera J, Avila O, Monzon J, Cuda J. 2009. Host specificity of Anthonomus elutus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a potential biological control agent of wetland nightshade (Solanaceae) in Florida. Florida Entomologist 92: 458-469.


Meetings and Presentations

PhD student Christian Salcedo was an invited lecturer for a Tropical Biology field course organized by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) for students from Butler University, Indiana. He also presented a workshop on Animal Behavior within the "Gigante" Tropical Ecology course organized by STRI in Gamboa, Panama. The course is offered to exceptional Central American undergraduates every summer. He also spoke on the nocturnal behavior of Heliconius butterflies at the Smithsonian's "Galeta" field station, near Colon, Panama.

The following presentations were delivered at the annual Florida Entomological Society meeting, 26-29 July, Ft. Myers, Florida.

Dr. James P. Cuda participated in the annual CALS Teaching Enhancement Symposium held at the UF and Hilton Conference Center on 11 August; and the 2009 Extensions Professional Associations of Florida Conference, in Orlando, 31 August-3 September.


Fall Entomology Seminars

The following graduate students are members of this semester's committee: Roxanne Burrus, Rosie Gill, Ameya Gondhalekar, Gaurav Goyal, Heidi HansPetersen, Vivek Kumar, Corraine McNeill, and Teresia Nyoike. Seminars are held on Thursday afternoons in room 1031. Refreshments are served at 3:45 pm, and the seminar begins at 4:00 pm.

September 3: Dr. Nan Yao Su, University of Florida - "Mark-recapture for subterranean termites: a tool for population estimate or evaluation of population management?"

September 10: Dr. Kristine Braman, University of Georgia - "Understanding arthropod diversity and dynamics to inform landscape pest management."

September 17: Dr. Sanford Eingenbrode, University of Idaho - "Chemical ecology of insect-vectored viruses."

September 24: Dr. Jesusa Legaspi, USDA-ARS - "Life-history trade-offs and biochemical assessment of reproductive fitness of the spined soldier bug predator, Podisus maculiventris."

October 1: Dr. Russell Mizell, University of Florida - "A synthesis of stink bug and leafhopper behavior and ecology leads to habitat manipulation strategies and tactics."

October 8: Dr. Doug Landis, Michigan State University - "Harvesting arthropod-mediated ecosystem services from agricultural landscapes."

October 15: OPEN

October 22: Dr. Ludek Zurek, Kansas State University - "Microbial ecology of muscoid flies in two perspectives: public health and paratransgenesis."

October 29: Michelle Foss, University of Florida - "Essentials for graduate students: Literature reviews, database searching, and avoiding plagarism"

November 5: Dr. Lee Cohnstaedt, USDA-ARS - "Landscape genetics: defining Peruvian leishmaniasis vector habitat using population genetics, remote sensing, and geographic information systems."

November 12: Dr. Catherine Mannion, University of Florida - "Harmful Homoptera - pest problems in the south Florida landscape."

November 19: Dr. Tamer Salem, University of Florida - "Molecular studies of the Musca domestica salivary gland hypertrophy virus."

November 26: Thanksgiving

December 3: Dr. Marina Ascunce, USDA-ARS - "Population genetics of invasive species."


Grants

Drs. Jamie Ellis and Jaret Daniels received a $159,887 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to study native pollinators in Florida.


Bugge Faire

If you think that eating insects and spiders is gross... How wrong you are. Obviously, you have never been to a Bugge Faire. To find out more about this delightful gastonomic event, read Wendy Gonzalez-Canal's article on the final project of Bugs and People (ENY 100) by clicking here.


Reading Room

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 obtain a PIN from Nick Hostettler.


Departmental Vans

The department has several vans available for general use. Personnel are reminded 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. Keeping the keys in your pocket, lab or office until you remember to turn them in is also discourteous to others as it might affect their work schedule.


Segments

Insect kills skateboarder! At least 40 people in the United States die each year as the result of insect stings. In August, after a prominent skateboarder died from an insect sting in New York, CNN.com carried an article on allergic reactions to insect stings. Click here to see the story.

We usually do not think of grasshoppers as vectors of diseases, but recent USDA research shows that grasshoppers can pass vesicular stomatitis virus on to cattle, horses and other hoofed mammals. Click here for details.

While entomologists may offer advice on avoiding bee stings, medical scientists may one day be prescribing bee venom as a cure for cancer. Click here for details.

Entomologists at the University of California discovered a novel class of compounds while working with fruit flies that could help develop inexpensive and safe mosquito repellents and reduce the incidence of deadly tropical diseases. Click here for details.

Technology is not always progress or at least not the kind of progress we would like to see. Dr. Rebecca Baldwin suggests that those of you who teach larger classes should read the article "Top 5 ways students use technology to cheat" on the HigherEdMorning.com site.

Salivating for a tasty army ant snack? Just whip out your tool kit. Bet you can't eat just one. Click here for details.


Bug Quote

"A scientist will never show any kindness for a theory which he did not start himself." - Mark Twain, from A Tramp Abroad


Cartoons

Many comic Web sites limit the length of time a panel appears to just 30 days. Others may require you to register to view previous panels, which you may not wish to do. In either case, the sooner you visit the site, the greater chance you have to view the following:

We now have a new phone system and are sure that everyone has read the 100-page manual that came with it. By all accounts, the most popular option on the system is the selection of ringing tones that users can select from. So we all agree it was money well spent. The problem now is who is supposed to answer it?

Due to the H1N1 virus, the University of Florida has cautioned teaching faculty to prepare for the fact that, at any one time, 25-40% of their students might be missing classes during the Fall Semester. In fact, UF has requested that faculty, staff and students who have this virus not return to classes or work until one day after the fever has gone.

Due to the requirement that a written thesis proposal must be submitted to the supervisory committee and Graduate Coordinator at least 10 days prior to oral presentation of that proposal to the faculty, new students will find it much easier to select the area of research they really want.

Click here to access and print the Seminar Series Bingo Sheet. Ask any seminar committee member about prizes to be awarded at each seminar.


Newsletter Minutiae

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

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September 2009.