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July 13th, 2016

research overview

ABOVE: The 2016 UF/IFAS Research Overview showcases several of our faculty's recent research accomplishments. Look inside for information on work by Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman (page 4), Dr. Nan-Yao Su (page 6), Dr. Chelsea Smartt (pages 7 and 17), Dr. Dan Hahn (page 8), Dr. Bill Kern and Dr. Jaret Daniels (both on page 11).

Faculty and Staff News

Dr. Rana Akyazi is a visiting scientist in Dr. Oscar Liburd’s laboratory. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture in Ordu University, Turkey. Dr. Akayazi will spend the next four months researching mites in small fruit systems.

Dr. Payne

ABOVE: More great support from our VP Dr. Jack Payne: We ignore bugs at our peril, especially in Florida. They are six-legged farmers whose pollination contributes to a $148-billion-a-year agriculture and natural resources industry. They’re also potential assassins of those crops, a public health threat, and a tremendous public expense for mosquito control. Read more in this IFAS Matters newsletter.

He also composed this timely piece on Zika: Here's how to protect yourself from Zika right now: Wear long sleeves, use EPA-approved repellent and get rid of containers that can become mosquito breeding grounds. Here's how to protect ourselves from Zika in the long-term: scientific research and a coordinated effort to share the results with Floridians. Read more in this Miami Herald article.

Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman and Dr. Phil Kaufman co-taught a six week long study abroad course in Florence, Italy over Summer A titled Insects in Italy. The course was taught in conjunction with the Florence University of the Arts and utilized their classroom space. Students learned how insects and insect-vectored pathogens have shaped the food we eat and human history by exploring art, science, and food production in Italy. Students visited multiple museums, historical locations, and toured agricultural operations to explore these intertwined disciplines.

Insects in italy course

ABOVE: If you would like to learn more about the course the instructors will deliver a Departmental Seminar on October 7th that will include a tasting of honey and olive oil from some of the farms they visited.

Dr. Billy Crow was elected Vice President of the Society of Nematologists.

Now hiring: Assistant Professor in Insect Pathology/Symbiosis, Gainesville, Florida. For full consideration, candidates should apply and submit additional materials by July 18, 2016. The position will remain open until available applicant pool is determined. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT # 00013269 Requisition # 497420

Student and Alumni News

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The Society for Viral Studies (Virology Club advised by Dr. Jim Maruniak) went on a medical mission trip to Brazil June 18 to 26. They visited hospitals to see patients, procedures, and learn about Zika in Porto Seguro, Prado, and Teixeira. They made the Brazilian news by meeting the mayor of Teixeira. None of them got sick and none were infected with viruses. They were even interviewed and on television.

Lindsy Iglesias a Ph.D. student in Dr. Oscar Liburd’s Lab, was awarded the CALS James Davidson Graduate Travel Scholarship for her travel to the 2016 ICE meeting in Orlando, Florida. She will present a paper titled- Survey of Zaprionus indianus in Florida and oviposition behavior in berries. Paper coauthor: Dr. Oscar Liburd.

Haleigh Ray a Ph.D. student and Morgan Byron a DPM student both in Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman’s Lab, were both awarded the CALS James Davidson Graduate Travel Scholarship for their travel to the 2016 ICE meeting in Orlando, Florida. They will both present papers on their research.

On June 15 Graduate Student Tina Gu and Biological Scientist Maria Mendes represented Dr. Crow's lab at the Gulf Coast Turfgrass Expo and Field Day at the West Florida REC.

Alumni in the news!

ESA announced winners of its 2016 awards. Dr. David G. Riley (Ph.D. 1990), a professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Georgia, is the 2016 recipient of the ESA Recognition Award in Entomology.  

Dr. Paolo Zanotto (M.S. 1990 in Entomology & Nematology advised by Dr. Jim Maruniak) published a timely paper “Vaccine protection against Zika virus from Brazil.” He is an author with colleagues from Harvard, MIT, and Walter Reed Army Institute.

Dr. Hazel Levy (M.S. 1998 in Entomology & Nematology advised by Dr. Jim Maruniak) became the first African-American woman to have her own research lab at UF College of Medicine. She is in the Department of Pediatrics.

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.

grasshoppers on house

ABOVE: There has been an outbreak of American grasshoppers in the Ocala and Belleview area lately. Homeowners have reported seeing hundreds, even thousands, of grasshoppers on their house at a time. They have also seen heavy defoliation on palms, roses, citrus, and many other ornamental and fruit plants.

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.

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


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Braz GBP, Oliviera Jr. RS, Crow WT, Chase CA.  2016.  Susceptibility of different accessions of Crotelaria juncea to Belonolaimus longicaudatus. Nematropica. 46: 31-37.

Burkett-Cadena ND, Gibson J, Lauth M, Stenn T, Acevedo C, McNelly J, Northey E, Hassan HK, Fulcher A, Bingham AM, van Olphen J. 2016. Evaluation of the honey-card technique for detection of transmission of arboviruses in Florida and comparison with sentinel chicken seroconversion. Journal of Medical Entomology. Jun 20:tjw106.

Razze JM, Liburd OE, Webb SE. 2016. Intercropping buckwheat with squash to reduce insect pests and disease incidence and increase yield. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. DOI: 10.1080/21683565.2016.1205541

New on Featured Creatures:

Melaleuca gall midge, Lophodiplosis trifida Gagné Authors: Matthew R. Moore, James P. Cuda, University of Florida; Paul D. Pratt, Min B. Rayamajhi, USDA.

Hercules beetle, Dynastes hercules (Linnaeus, 1758) Authors: Oliver Keller and Ronald D. Cave, University of Florida

Emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire Authors: Haleigh Ray and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman, 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. Oscar Liburd was one of several invited researchers to visit the Dominican Republic to survey thrips populations in vegetable and fruit systems, and to recommend management tactics for combating the recently invaded Mediterranean fruit fly on the island. This work was done in collaboration with the USAID Farmer to Farmer program and it took place from June 8th-22nd.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgOn June 30th Dr. Billy Crow and Dr. Adam Dale hosted a group of 15 Extension Agents participating in a Turfgrass In-Service Training.


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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.

  • June 10th- Master Naturalist tour- Pablo Allen and Ana Paula Carvalho
  • June 14th- Alachua County 4-H Camp tour- Chris Holderman
  • June 20-24th- Bug Camp: Around the World in 80 Bugs- Staff: Erin Powell, Evan Waite, Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, Dr. Jen Weeks, Jasmeet Kalsi, Johanna Schwartz, WinDi Sanchez Speakers: Christopher Crockett, Ruhiyyih Dyrdahl-Young,  Paige Carlson, Lary Reeves, Dale Halbritter, Michael Gonzalez, The Bee Lab
  • June 24th- Baker County 4-H Camp tour- Dr. Rebecca Baldwin

Upcoming events

  • July 18th- Departmental tour
  • August 5th- Girl Scout troop tour

campers at river

Campers enjoyed aquatic collecting at the Santa Fe River, visiting the Honey Bee lab, hiking at Paynes Prairie, extracting nematodes, trapping bark beetles, and more at our annual Bug Camp.

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!


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Dr. Jamie Ellis and the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab (HBREL) are hosting the latest installment of Bee College, an educational event covering all things bees and beekeeping. This fall’s event is a joint meeting of the 4th annual South Florida and the 4th annual Caribbean Bee Colleges (SFCBC) and will be held August 12th and 13th in Davie, FL at the UF/IFAS Florida Research and Education Center. Beekeepers of all experience levels (including those just thinking about starting their own bee hives) as well as gardeners, naturalists, and any other bee enthusiasts are invited to attend! Courses are offered all day Friday and Saturday with topics ranging from Beginner’s Overview and Honey Bee Biology to Queen Care and Molecular Techniques in Bee Research. View the full schedule here.

HBREL is also hosting two full-day beekeeping workshops on August 11th, the Thursday before SFCBC (Queen Rearing and Honey Bee Pests & Diseases). For more information or to register for any of these events visit our eventbrite.com page.

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.