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February 11th, 2016

bee on flower

ABOVE: Bee sure to check out the camellias blooming on the north side of the building if you need cheering up from the cold weather. The bees love them!

Faculty and Staff News

A note from Dr. Siegfried

I am a little late in welcoming everyone to 2016 and providing updates on activities.  My first five months on the job have gone by quickly and a lot has happened! 

The first of our new hires has arrived and has hit the ground running. Our new Turf and Ornamental Entomologist, Dr. Adam Dale, started on January 22 and had his first meeting with clientele on January 23. Nothing like getting a quick start!  Dr. Dale may be the only person I know that has made more changes than me in the last year. He interviewed for our position, defended his dissertation, got engaged, moved to Florida and started a new position all in the last three months. When he catches his breath, please stop by and welcome him to the department!

We are in the midst of a very busy period of interviews. I appreciate your interest in these candidates and hope that we can continue to show them what makes our department a great place to work. We still have a long way to go, and it is critical that we maintain this commitment and enthusiasm. Whenever possible, please attend seminars and meetings to welcome the candidates to our department. 

As most of you are aware by now, our website has gone through a dramatic update.  A lot has happened behind the scenes to make this possible and to provide a fresh face for our department and its numerous programs. Thanks to Mr. Alex Catalano, Ms. Jane Medley, Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman, and Dr. Heather McAuslane for all their efforts! I encourage you all to review the site and offer suggestions for improvement.

I want to acknowledge the help I’ve been receiving from Dr. Heather McAuslane in transitioning to my new role. She has been a tremendous help and continues to assist in a number of capacities. To formalize her contributions, she will be serving a 2-year term as Associate Chair for the department. I know that she will continue to be a valuable resource for all of us and I am grateful for her commitment.

~Dr. Blair Siegfried

A new NOVA documentary "Creatures of the Light" focusing on bioluminescence was shown on Wednesday February 3rd. Dr. Marc Branham was interviewed about fireflies and the evolution of their communication systems.

Dr. Oscar Liburd was chosen to receive the 2015 Southern Region IPM Center Friends of IPM ­ Bright Idea award. This award is given to individuals or groups to recognize success in achieving effective use of integrated pest management (IPM) on the ground.

Our Ms. Virni Mattson was awarded a UF Superior Accomplishment Award for her work as our grants manager.

Dr. Christine W. Miller has accepted an offer to serve as an associate editor and Editorial Board Member for Functional Ecology, a journal of the British Ecological Society.

Dr. Kirsten Pelez-Stelinski has accepted an offer to serve as a co-editor for the Florida Entomologist. She will cover pathology, biocontrol, disease transmission, and molecular biology papers. She is taking over for Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman who stepped down as co-editor for these sections in early February.   

Dr. James P. Cuda's work on his Fulbright sabbatical to Brazil during September-October 2015 were highlighted in the Winter 2015-2016 issue of  Aquaphyte, an aquatic, wetland and invasive plant newsletter published by the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. 

Dr. Emma Weeks, Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman and Dr. James P. Cuda were featured in an article published in the same Aquaphyte newsletter about their  research funded by a USDA grant to evaluate novel and sustainable tactics for hydrilla IPM. 

In the News!

Dr. Ron Cherry: Researchers find shallow flooding reduces major rice pest.

Dr. Jorge Rey: Zika virus updates.

Dr. Christine Miller and Dr. Heather McAuslane: UF offers new research class next Spring.

Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman: Reeling from citrus greening, UF/IFAS researchers support new olive industry in Florida.

Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman: Gain insight into a bug's life with new study-abroad program.

Dr. Bill Kern: UF/IFAS encourages Floridians to take up beekeeping, hosting annual Bee College March 4-5.

And a special report by our Vice President Dr. Jack Payne: Viewpoint: Bugs and your billfold.

Student and Alumni News

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Mr. Luis Aristizabal was awarded the 2016 Southern Region IPM Center Friends of IPM Graduate Student Award, Master’s category. This award is given to a graduate student in a Master’s degree program who has exemplified extraordinary potential and promise of leadership in integrated pest management (IPM). Chair: Dr. Steven Arthurs.

The call for undergraduate travel grants is out and applications are due by February 17th. Please see Dr. Rebecca Baldwin for an application. Travel grants are available for our majors and minors who will be traveling to a scientific meeting or participating in a study abroad related to entomology. Many students will be traveling to the International Congress of Entomology (ICE) this fall, so please apply now for funding to help with registration. Early bird registration is due by March 25.

The Undergraduate Scholarship Reception will be held from 4:00-6:00 on Wednesday, February 17th in room 1031. All faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend for cake, punch, and a chance to network with scholarship recipients and the scholarship donors.

Undergraduate Advising Night will be held March 17 from 4:00-9:00. Be sure to put this on your schedule. We will be updating degree audits and registering for summer and fall.  

The next Undergraduate Entomology Club meeting will be held at 6:00 PM on February 16th in room 2218.

crafts for sale

ABOVE: After a successful ornament sale in December, the Undergraduate Entomology Club is selling floating locket necklaces with butterfly wings and other insects as a fundraiser. The goal of the fundraiser is to fully fund any interested undergraduate student to go to ICE in September, especially if they are presenting research. They will be available for sale at the front office from Ms. Nancy Sanders, and the club will ship them upon request.

Mr. Benjamin Waldo joined Dr. Billy Crow's lab.  He will be working on his M.S. degree in Nematology and a Doctor of Plant Medicine degree.

Ms. Lyndall Brezina joined the lab of Dr. James P. Cuda on 1 February. Ms. Brezina has a Master’s degree in Agricultural  Education and Communication from UF and will be TA for Dr. Cuda’s Spring semester course “Consequences of Biological Invasions (ALS4162/6935).”

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.

this months caterpilliar

ABOVE: Several folks in the southern half of Florida have asked Lyle lately about some hairy caterpillars they have seen on or around their homes. They are larvae of the Edwards’ wasp moth, Lymire edwardsii. They have the annoying habit of spinning their cocoons on the sides of houses and sometimes leaving stains behind. The caterpillars feed on the leaves of Ficus trees.

Along a more Valentine's Day-related theme, Lyle has had reports of lovebugs already! Rick in central Florida saw lovebug pairs right before Christmas. Lyle saw some right here on campus the following week on nice warm days. Lovebug adults can actually be found during any month of the year, although we are most accustomed to their mass emergences in April and September.

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.

door decorations

ABOVE: The Nematology Lab wins the most festive door of the month award (or they would if we had a contest...). We adore the spiral nematodes working together to spread the love.

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


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Aristizábal LF, Bustillo AE, Arthurs SP. 2016. Integrated Pest Management of Coffee berry borer: Strategies from Latin America that could be useful for coffee farmers in Hawaii. Insects 2016, 7, 6; doi:10.3390/insects7010006.

Cuda JP, JF Shearer, ENI Weeks, E Kariuki, J Baniszewski, M Giurcanu. 2016.  Compatibility of an insect, a fungus and a herbicide for IPM of dioecious hydrilla. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management 54: 20-25.

Tian J, Diao H, Liang L, Arthurs S, Mascarin G, Ma R. 2016. Host plants influence susceptibility of whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) to the entomopathogenic fungus Isaria fumosorosea (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae). Biocontrol Science and Technology 26: 528-538.

Vitone T, Stofer KM, Steininger MS, Hulcr J, Dunn RR, Lucky A. 2016. School of Ants goes to college: Integrating citizen science into the general education classroom increases engagement with science. Journal of Science Communication 15(01): A03.

New on Featured Creatures:

Olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Rossi). Authors: Morgan A. Byron and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

Giant honey bee, Apis dorsata Fabricius. Authors: Cameron J. Jack, Andrea Lucky, and James D. Ellis, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

Strawberry leafroller, Ancylis comptana (Frölich). Author: Justin Renkema, Entomology and Nematology Department, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, University of Florida.

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

Meetings and Presentations

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Dr. Billy Crow presented "New nematicide options for 2016" at Florida Turfgrass Association seminars in Hialeah, Lake Worth, Port St. Lucie, Ocala, Orlando,  and Cocoa FL on January 12, 13, 14, 26, 27 and 28, respectively.

Dr. Billy Crow presented "Diagnosis and management of nematodes in lawns and landscapes" at Florida Turfgrass Association seminars in Hialeah, Lake Worth, Port St. Lucie, Ocala, and Cocoa FL on January 12, 13, 14, 26 and 28, respectively.

UF & the International Congress of Entomology (ICE) 2016

Here are a few of the ICE symposiums organized by our faculty and students:

Avocados, Blueberries, and Olives: Pests of Small Fruit in Florida
Organizers: Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman and Sandra A. Allan

Biology, Ecology and Management of the Asian Citrus Psyllid Diaphorina citri, Vector of Huanglongbing
Organizers: Philip A. Stansly and Jawwad A. Qureshi

Biogeographical Lessons Learned from the West Indies
Organizers: Jacqueline Miller and Michael A. Ivie

Hitchhikers in Florida: History and Control
Organizers: Vivek Kumar and Garima Kakkar

Invasive Termite Species: Where Are They from, Where Are They Now, and Where Will They Be?
Organizers: Nan-Yao Su, Thomas Chouvenc and Hou-Feng Li

Photoperiodic Induction of Diapause and Seasonal Morphs
Organizers: Shin Goto and Daniel Hahn

Progress in Insect Phylogenomics: The Scale and Complexity of Next-Gen Datasets and Analyses
Organizers: Akito Y. Kawahara, Jessica Ware, Michelle Trautwein and David K. Yeates

Rhipicephalus sanguineus: Tick Without Borders
Organizers: Emma N. I. Weeks and Phillip E. Kaufman

Wood Borer-Fungus Alliances and Conflicts: The Frontier of Forest Entomology
Organizer: Jiri Hulcr

Dr. James P. Cuda  attended the annual Florida Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) workshop held the FDACS-DPI Doyle Conner Building on February 3rd.  


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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.

  • 12 January- Keystone Heights science fair- Dale Halbritter, Casey Parker, Erin Powell
  • 30 January- Great Invader Raider Rally at Morningside - Stefani Harrison, Michael Gonzalez, Juliana Carrillo (see below)
  • 1 February- CPET tour- Lauren Cirino, Katherine Arguez, Erin Powell
  • 3 February- Marion Environmental science class tour- Erin Powell

Upcoming Events

  • 24 February- Easter Seals
  • 26 February- Orange Park Elementary Bug Club tour
  • 12-13 March- Marion Master Gardener Spring festival

roach costume
Michael Gonzalez shows off the roach costume again at the Great Invader Raider Rally at Morningside Nature Center on January 30th. Also pictured at UF Entomology’s table are Stefani Harrison and Juliana Carrillo.

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 from December 1st to January 31st, we have had 22 new grants or contracts awarded for a total of $1,766,827.88 in external funding for all Entomology & Nematology faculty (in Gainesville and at RECs).

Dr. James P. Cuda was awarded a $1,000 faculty travel grant by the Center for Latin America Studies to visit the Universidade Regional de Blumenau (FURB) during his sabbical in Brazil later this year (August and September).  


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As your librarian liaison, Ms. Michelle Leonard is pleased to provide the following workshops here in the department or in the Marston Science Library:

Conducting research  http://guides.uflib.ufl.edu/entomology (research searching process). I am also happy to create research guides on specific courses where a library or research component is required.

Responsible Conduct of Research http://guides.uflib.ufl.edu/stemrcr (or a specific component).

Data Management Planning (for grants), and using the Data Management Tool.

Endnote/RefWorks citation tools (great resource for graduate students, post docs and faculty).

Altmetrics and social impact for publishing.

In case you have not visited Marston, check out our new features:
1)    we renovated,
2)    now have 3D printing and 3D scanning available,
3)    for students, there is the MADE@UF (mobile development environment).

Feel free to contact Ms. Leonard if you have questions, would like a workshop or need guidance on research.

Michelle Leonard
Associate University Librarian
Liaison to Entomology & Nematology, Geological Sciences, School of Natural Resources & Environment, and Wildlife Ecology & Conservation
Marston Science Library
(352) 273-2866

What is Brasscon

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.