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August 15th, 2016

summer graduates

ABOVE: We are proud to announce the summer graduation of several of our students. Ph.D. graduates above are  Dr. Jeff Hertz and Dr. Chris Holderman.

Faculty and Staff News

A note from Dr. Siegfried

On Friday July 29th, we were visited by Dean Burns, Dean Turner, Dean Place and Vice President Payne for the administrative review of our department.  The only downside to the review was not enough time, but overall, I think we had open and honest discussions and we look forward to seeing their final report soon. Thanks to all our faculty, staff, and students and especially to our stakeholders, who made a special trip to Gainesville, for their efforts to make the administrative review a success. 

There are a few new faces in the department these days. In addition to the new students that will start this fall, Dr. Zane Grabau joined the department in June with a research/Extension appointment as our new field crops nematologist. Also, Dr. Peter Digennaro arrived in late July with a research/teaching appointment in molecular nematology. Please welcome both Zane and Peter to campus.

At the RECs we have had, several new hires for the department! Dr. Johan Desaeger, will join the GCREC where he will develop a nematology program that will support Florida growers and provide them with better tools to manage nematodes. Our own Dr. Jawwad A. Qureshi was selected for a new position as an assistant professor of citrus entomology at the IRREC, near Fort Pierce. Dr. Brian Bahder is joining us at the FLREC to work on insect vectors of plant pathogens. More faculty will be joining us soon!

Although she has not yet arrived, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Bryony Bonning will join the department as an Eminent Scholar with responsibilities to develop novel approaches to citrus pest management. Dr. Bonning is a recognized authority in the development of new technologies for insect control. She brings an outstanding record of accomplishment and cooperation and we are confident she will work tirelessly to develop solutions for citrus pest management and be a strong citizen of the Entomology and Nematology Department, IFAS and the University of Florida.  

The International Congress of Entomology (ICE) will be held in Orlando from September 25th-30th. Because this meeting will be held jointly with the ESA and the Florida Entomological Society (FES), we will hold our annual alumni reception jointly with FES on Monday, September 21st from 6:00 to 7:30 in the Rosen Center Hotel.  Watch for further details in the September Newsletter.

Lastly, but most importantly, we are proud to announce the summer graduation of several of our students. Ph.D. graduates are: Dr. Jeff Hertz and Dr. Chris Holderman.  M.S. graduates are: Abdulhamid Al-Riyami, Lauren Cirino, Jeff Eickwort, Nick Homziak, Shiyao Jiang, Casey Parker, Erin Powell, and Nate Sperry. Our B.S. graduate is Natalie Grand’Bois. Congratulations to all!

~Dr. Blair Siegfried

insect art

ABOVE: This spring Dr. Andrea Lucky worked to establish the Insect and Art Trail across campus. She was amazed to add up the numbers and see that a conservative estimate of the number of people who saw these exhibits was over 300,000 between March 15 and July 17, 2016! This included a diverse assortment of people, from students at the libraries, public visitors at the Harn Museum of Art, FLMNH and NATL, to the many K-12 visitors to our department.

The Florida Channel released a report “Bad Bugs”, bringing some of the most destructive pests up close to the eyes of Floridians. The best part of the report – science is up front and center, as the reporters interviewed a number or entomologists, including our own Dr. Jiri Hulcr, Dr. Nan Yao Su, Dr. Daniel Carrillo, and others.

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited by Dr. Valrie Minson, Chair, Marston Science Library, to participate in a  study on research support for agriculture scholars at UF on 21 June. The 60 minute in depth interview explored and identified ongoing research support service needs for his research program.

Dr. Adam Dale wrote an article for the July-August issue of Commercial Clippings, the green industry extension newsletter for Duval, Nassau, and Clay Counties, titled "A framework for sustainable urban plant selection and landscape design."

Student and Alumni News

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Congratulations to the Entomology and Nematology majors who made the CALS Dean’s list in Spring 2016. CALS Dean’s List students make a minimum of a 3.7 GPA and are registered for at least 12 credits. We are proud of your academic success!

Kathy Arguez
Paige Carlson
Andrew Nisip**
Sam Pass
Johanna Schwartz
Tyler Shaw
Gabby Steele

In addition Andrew Nisip made the UF President’s List for the Spring 2016 semester! UF President’s List students make a 4.0 GPA and are registered for at least 15 credits.

New molecular lab

ABOVE: Craig Bateman, a Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Jiri Hulcr, completed development on one of the first molecular biology labs in Papua New Guinea. The new lab will be used to identify cryptic pests like the coffee berry borer (CBB), and launch research programs on insects and microbes. More importantly, the lab will help prevent CBB, the most damaging insect pest of coffee, from ever becoming established in the country.

Dr. Phil Kaufman and members of his laboratory recognize and congratulate three recent graduates from his program. We wish the best to these three gentlemen and thank their committee members accordingly.

Mr. Robert (Bob) Aldridge completed his MS degree in May 2016 with his thesis entitled "Application Site and Age Parameter Impacts on the Efficacy of Two Topically-Applied Insecticides to Culex quinquefasciatus."  Bob’s other committee members were Dr. Jeff Bloomquist, Dr. Salvador Gezan, and Dr. Ken Linthicum. Bob will continue his education working toward his Ph.D. with Dr. Roxanne Connelly and Dr. Barry Alto.  

Dr. Christopher Holderman graduated in August 2016 with his dissertation entitled "Biology and Ecology of Dog Heartworm Vectors in North Central Florida." Dr. Roxanne Connelly, Dr. Salvador Gezan, Dr. Uli Bernier and Dr. Amy Stone served as committee members. Chris is soon to depart to a post-doctoral opportunity at Kansas State University.  

Dr. Jeff Hertz graduated in August 2016 with his dissertation entitled "Ehrlichia and Rickettsia Tick-Borne Infections Associated with Lone Star Ticks and Under-Sampled Wildlife Hosts in Florida."  Jeff’s other committee members were Dr. Cynthia Lord, Dr. Sandra Allan and Dr. Michael Dark. Jeff is awaiting final orders from the U.S. Navy for his deployment, likely to be overseas.  

Ms. Lauren Cirino, Mr. Paul Joseph, and Mr. Ummat Somjee all from the Miller Lab delivered oral presentations on their research at the Animal Behavior Society meeting in early August in Columbia, MO. The results of Paul's study were covered by NewScientist.com.

Alumni in the news!

Aaron Pomerantz is a finalist in the ESA YouTube your entomology contest! Watch his amazing video!

Lab News

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Need to name that bug? A host of experts are available to help Floridians identify any insect or related arthropod. If a mystery creature has six or more legs, the UF Insect ID Lab is the place to call.

roach parasitoid

ABOVE: Several folks have reported seeing ensign wasps in their homes lately.  Their relatively large size and long legs get homeowners wondering if it’s a dangerous wasp.  And they aren’t always completely relieved when I tell them that these wasps attack cockroach egg cases. This is Evania appendigaster, a species found around the world.  It is commonly found in urban areas and in buildings where it parasitizes ootheca of the large Periplaneta roaches.

Lyle Buss is the UF/IFAS Insect ID Lab manager.

Think it might be a nematode problem? The Nematode Assay Laboratory serves Florida and other states by providing nematode assays and expert advice regarding nematode management.

New nematology videos!

For more information on the Nematode Assay Laboratory, please contact the lab manager Dr. Tesfa Mengistu.


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Aryal SK, Crow WT, McSorley R, Giblin-Davis RM, Kenworthy KE. 2016. Integrated pest management of nematodes on bermudagrass turf. Crop, Forage and Turfgrass Management doi:10.2134/cftm2015.0144.

Cicero JM, Fisher TW, Qureshi JA, Stansly PA, Brown JK. 2016. Colonization and intrusive invasion of potato psyllid by ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’. Phytopathology, FirstLook.

Davis TJ, Kline DL, Kaufman PE. 2016. Assessment of Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae) clutch size in wild and laboratory populations. Journal of Vector Ecology. 41: 11-17. DOI: 10.1111/jvec.12188.

Eiden AE, Kaufman PE, Allan SA, Oi FM. 2016. Discriminating concentration establishment for permethrin and fipronil resistance in Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille) (Acari: Ixodidae), the brown dog tick. Pest Management Science. 72: 1390-1395. DOI: 10.1002/ps.4165.

Joseph PN, Sasson DA, Allen PE, Somjee U, Miller CW. 2016. Adult nutrition, but not inbreeding, affects male primary sexual traits in the leaf-footed cactus bug Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae). Ecology & Evolution 6: 4792–4799. DOI:10.1002/ece3.2246.

Machtinger ET, Weeks ENI, Geden CJ, Kaufman PE. 2016. House fly (Musca domestica) (Diptera: Muscidae) mortality after exposure to commercial fungal formulations in a sugar bait. Biocontrol Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1080/09583157.2016.1210085.

Shrestha D, McAuslane HJ, Adkins ST, Smith HA, Dufault N, Webb SE. 2016. Transmission of Squash vein yellowing virus to and from cucurbit weeds and effects on sweetpotato whitefly (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) behavior. Environmental Entomology. DOI: 10.1093/ee/nvw086 nvw086.

New on Featured Creatures:

Solanum whitefly, Aleurotrachelus trachoides Back. Authors: Vivek Kumar, University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology Department (UF), Antonio Francis, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry (FDACS, DPI), Muhammad Z. Ahmed, UF, Catharine Mannion, UF, Ian Stocks, FDACS, DPI, Eric Rohrig, FDACS, DPI, Cindy L. McKenzie, USDA-ARS, and Lance S. Osborne, UF.

Cucumeris mite, Neoseiulus cucumeris (Oudemans). Authors: Garima KakkarVivek Kumar, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida (UF), Cindy McKenzie, USDA-ARS, and Lance S. Osborne, UF. 

Do you have a favorite creature? Learn how to make it into a Featured Creatures!

Meetings and Presentations

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Society of Nematologists/Organization of Nematologists of Tropical America meeting Montreal Canada, July 17th to the 22nd

UF Attendees:  Dr. Billy Crow, Dr. Don Dickson, Dr. Tesfa Mengistu, Dr. Zane Grabau, Dr. Johan Desaeger, Dr. Joe Noling, Dr. Larry Duncan, Dr. Robin Giblin-Davis, Dr. Maria Mendes, Mengyi Gu, Weimin Yuan, Ruhiyyih Dyrdahl-Young, and Lisbeth Espinoza.

Papers and Posters Presented:

  • Gideon A, Perry RN, Davies K, Wesemael WML. The influence of root diffusates and age on spore attachment of Pasteuria penetrans to the culticle of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.).

  • Brito JA, Subbotin SA, Dickson DW, Inserra RN, Smith T, Vau JS, Qiu S, Duncan LW, Stanley JD. Species of Meloidogyne and other phytoparasitic nematodes identified in Florida peach orchards.

  • Crow WT. New nematicides for golf course turfgrasses.

  • Dyrdahl-Young R, Giblin-Davis RM, Nicholson WL, Duncan LW, Joseph S, Mengistu TM. Molecular characterization of heterogeneous Pasteuria spp. spores within a single Heterodera glycines cyst.

  • Espinoza-Lozano L, Joseph S, Crow W, Duncan L, Noling J, Mekete T. The emergence of Meloidogyne haplanaria in Florida, and the effect of initial population densities on tomato.

  • Filgueiras Cramer C, Willet DS, Duncan LW. Habitats and food webs: Soil water potential differentiates the responses of two allopatric entomopathogenic nematodes to an herbivore induced plant volatile.

  • Grabau ZJ, Maung ZTZ, Noyes DC, Baas DG, Werling BP, Brainard DC, Melakeberhan H. Short-term effects of cover cropping on root-lesion nematode, stunt nematode and soil ecology in Michigan corrot production.

  • Grabau ZJ, Werling BP, Melakeberhan H. Plant-parasitic nematodes and nematode community composition in selected Michigan vegetable fields.

  • Gu M, Crow WT. Bermudagrass root rot disease complex associated with Belonolaimus longicaudatus and Pythium spp.

  • Kanzaki, N, Giblin-Davis RM, Gonzalez R, Trujillo Y, Hajek AE. Tylenchid entomoparasites isolated from two longhorn beetle species belonging to the subfamily spondylinae. 

  • Mendes ML, Dickson DW. An overview on fortuniana rose resistance to root-knot nematodes.

  • Mendes ML, Dickson DW. Host suitability of coffeeweed to root-knot nematodes.

  • Mendes ML, Crow WT, Dickson DW. Yellow and purple nutsedge as hosts of common root-knot nematodes in Florida.

  • Monteiro TSA, Brito JA, Vau SJS, Yuan W, LaMondia JA, Dickson DW. First report of Endotokia matricida in Meloidogyne hapla: A case study.

  • Noling J, Vallad GE, Boyd N. Demonstrating the importance of vertical management zones for sting nematode control and crop response in Florida strawberry.

  • Noling J. Use of Majestene as a crop rescue treatment in Florida strawberry for control of the sting nematode Belonolaimus longicaudatus.

  • Vau SJ, Dickson DW.  Evaluation of temperature on root-knot nematode infection of resistant tomato cultivars.

  • Yuan W, Holbrook CC, Chu Y, Ozias-Akins P, Dickson DW.  Evaluation of soil temperature on susceptibility of cv. Tifguard peanut to Meloidogyne arenaria.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Jamie Ellis and the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab (HBREL) hosted a joint meeting of the 4th annual South Florida and the 4th annual Caribbean Bee Colleges (SFCBC) held August 12th and 13th in Davie, FL at the UF/IFAS Florida Research and Education Center. View the full schedule here. The lab also hosted two full-day beekeeping workshops on August 11th, that focused on Queen Rearing and Honey Bee Pests & Diseases.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Adam Dale gave a presentation on July 27 entitled, "Pesticides, Pollinators, and Politics in Turf and Ornamentals" for the 2016 UF/IFAS FTGA Great CEU Roundup, which was viewed in 27 counties by nearly 500 county Extension agents and industry professionals.

Dr. Adam Dale gave a presentation on August 1st entitled, "Scale insect identification and control" at the Marion County Master Gardener Summer Institute, which brought in approximately 80 county Extension agents and Master Gardeners from ​8 counties.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for the 2016 Everglades Invasive Species Summit held in Davie, FL, 12-13 July. Cuda gave a presentation titled "Brazilian Peppertree Biological Control: Update." The presentation was co-authored by Dr. William.A. Overholt and Ph.D. student Patricia Prade.

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for the 2016 Statewide Polycom CEU training event on Weed Management that originated from McCarty D G001. Cuda gave a 50 minute presentation titled "Integrating Biological Controls with Herbicides."  Over 420 extension agents and public/private land managers participated in the training event. 


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From the Outreach Coordinator

A big thank you to the students and faculty who volunteered for last month’s outreach events.

  • July 12th- Alachua County 4-H Camp tour- Erin Powell and Paul Joseph
  • July 18th- Departmental tour- Erin Powell and Matt Moore
  • July 27th Girls Technology Camp at Marston Science Library- Dr. Andrea Lucky

Upcoming events

  • August 19th- Girl Scouts tour

4H student collections

Savannah Banner, 16, Kaity Eubanks, 11, Taylor Dykes, 14, Jonathon Vonesh, 14, and Will Eubanks, 13, submitted insect collections to Florida’s annual 4-H State Insect Collection Competition. We are very proud of what these young entomologists have accomplished!

The live critters are always a hit with children and adults alike. The critters are available for you to check out should you be leading an outreach event. We have doubles of our most popular critters, as well as various native insect species depending on the time of year. We have large wood and Plexiglas cages for viewing our native orb weaving spiders. There is one travel cage and one larger static cage. Please be sure to contact us and review the protocol on transporting and handling the critters if you are not already familiar with it. If you lead an outreach, be sure to fill out a documentation form so your event can be included in the newsletter and we can log all outreach events.

If you have any questions, please email me.

Thank you — Erin Powell, Outreach Coordinator.

If you would like to schedule an event or have any outreach questions, go to the Outreach pages on our Bug Club website and contact us.

Getting social!

We have several social media sites for the Entomology & Nematology Department. To make them easily searchable, all three (YouTube, Facebook and Twitter) have the same page name: UFEntomology. Please share these links with past students or colleagues who may have an interest in departmental activities.


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Virni Mattson, our grants specialist, reports that she is so busy with grant deadlines we will need to wait until next month for our grant update!

Dr. Adam Dale (PI), Dr. Christine Miller (co-PI), and Dr. Anne Donnelly (co-PI) received $90,111 through the USDA NIFA Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program (WAMS). Their project will combine classroom research experiences and extension activities to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in the agricultural sciences.

The American Olive Oil Producers Association (AOOPA) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $50,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) planning grant. AOOPA Project Director Kimberly Houlding, Co-PDs include Dr. Selina Wang, Research Director, UC Davis Olive Center; our Dr. Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman; Mr. Monte L. Nesbitt, Extension Program Specialist II, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension; and Dr. Erick D. Smith, Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia.

Dr. James P. Cuda was awarded $1,500 from the FAES to cover his travel expenses  to attend the 2017 annual meeting of the S1058  Multistate Project, Biological Control of Arthropod Pests and Weeds.

Dr. Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman was awarded a $2,500 UF/IFAS Extension Professional Development Mini Grant. Funds will be used so she can participate in a Food Systems in Southern Italy Workshop in October.



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The Taylor Lab is seeking a postdoc!
We were just awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to study sensory exploitation and the evolution of male courtship colors in jumping spiders and we are looking for a postdoc to help us out. Please help spread the word to interested candidates.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgFES 2017 Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico

The next FES Annual meeting will be held jointly in Puerto Rico with the Caribbean Food Crops Society (CFCS). The meeting is set to commence on July 16th 2017 with a tentative venue in Isla Verde, close to the airport and with the best beaches in San Juan. Attendees can register through either society and have free access to all technical sessions. The CFCS meeting will run through Friday, July 22nd whereas FES will have our customary three day meeting with arrival on Sunday July 16th and meetings through Wednesday, July 19th. Various interesting field trips will be offered by both CFCS and FES on Thursday, and CFCS will wrap up their meeting next day including their banquet that evening. 


ABOVE: Save the date! Plan to join the FES meeting next year in Puerto Rico and do your best to motivate your friends and colleagues in all branches of Agriculture and Natural Resources to attend.  You won’t want to miss this FES meeting! Photo from the PR Department of Tourism. Announcement submitted by FES President Dr. Phil Stansly.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgWant to stay up to date? Check out our website home page for a link to our Google calendar.

About this Newsletter

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Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman is the newsletter editor and does the HTML coding. Issues usually are published by mid-month. Submit items for an issue by the seventh of that month.

We like to share news when it happens using our social media outlets: Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Follow us on these sites for daily updates! When you send news, we will post it on one or more of these sites and again in the monthly newsletter. Please be sure you have permission from people in photographs you submit for publication.

UF-Bugnews-L listserv subscribers receive notices when issues are posted. Our home page has instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing.

Special thanks to Haleigh Ray and Nancy Sanders, who reviewed the newsletter for errors, and to Jane Medley and Don Wasik, who built the web page design.

Give Back
Want to support the UF Entomology & Nematology Department? Consider making an online gift today! Questions can be directed to Christy Chiarelli at (352) 392-1975 or ccw@ufl.edu.