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May 8th, 2017


ABOVE: DPM student Matt Borden (Dale Landscape Entomology lab) had success with his photography this semester. He won the Leadership in Agriculture and Natural Resources category for the UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education photo contest, had a photo published in the UF Gallery 1835 photo book, and brought home four awards from the Southeastern Branch ESA meeting including Best in Show.

Faculty and Staff News


The University has created a “Term Professorship Award.”  These awards recognize faculty excellence in recent contributions along with potential for future accomplishment. The term of this professorship is 2017-2020.  During each of the three years, the awardees will receive a salary supplement of $5,000. Seven of the 45 awards came to our faculty! Congratulations to Dr. Jamie Ellis, Dr. Dan Hahn, Dr. Phil Kaufman, Dr. Oscar Liburd, Dr. Christine Miller, Dr. Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski, and Dr. Rudi Scheffrahn.

Dr. Daniel Carrillo was the 2017 recipient of UF's Excellence Award for Assistant Professors.   Daniel was the CALS nominee and was chosen by Dr. Glover, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, as a recipient  the this award that recognizes quality and innovativeness of research.

Dr. Daniel Carrillo also received the  President’s Volunteer Service Award in recognition of his volunteer service on an international assignment for Winrock’s U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Farmer-to-Farmer Program in Myanmar. This national honor is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to recognize valuable contributions of volunteers in USIAD funded programs. Dr. Carrillo contributed two weeks of volunteer service in Myanmar helping tropical food growers improve their pest management practices. 

Connolly with award

ABOVE: Dr. Roxanne Connelly was recently honored with the Superior Accomplishment Award at the division level (IFAS) and the University level. She was recognized last month with the division level award and went on to be selected for one of eight university level awards. The University of Florida Superior Accomplishment Awards recognize staff and faculty members that contribute outstanding and meritorious service, efficiency, and/ or economy, or to the quality of life provided to students and employees. Letters of support for Dr. Connelly praised her response and efforts during the Zika crisis and praised the training she has provided to public health, mosquito control, and UF personnel.

Dr. Faith Oi was invited to give three presentations at PestWorld East in Dubai, April 10-11, to >200 PMPs from Bahrain, Canada, China, France, Greece, Hungary, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Dr. Marc Branham presented a Key Note talk titled “The Function and Evolution and Bioluminescence in Beetles” at the 2017 International Firefly Symposium in Taipei, Taiwan (April 24-28). Undergraduate student Able Chow (Branham Lab) attended the same conference and contributed the presentation “Developing a Data Pipeline to Digitally Record and Analyze Firefly Flash Patterns."

lab picture

ABOVE: Personnel in the Insect Pathology and Biotechnology lab, including new arrivals. L to R: Dr. Pavan Kumar, Dr. Biviana Flores-Escobar, Dr. Ruchir Mishra, Ms. Mariah Kemmerer, Dr. Bryony Bonning, Dr. Suyog Kuwar, Dr. Emiliano Canton.

Dr. Lisa Taylor’s lab is welcoming two new international post docs! Dr. Malika Ihle and Dr. Calum Ninnes will be working on the evolution of coloration in jumping spiders. They will both be in office 2209, please stop by and say hello!

Dr. James P. Cuda’s research on biological control of cogongrass, an invasive weed of pastures, roadsides and natural areas, was featured in the online North Escambia Daily News onApril 13th. 

Student and Alumni News

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Oliver Keller, doctoral student in the Branham Lab, received a Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Fund grant from the American Museum of Natural History for his proposal “Systematic revision of the firefly genus Robopus Motschulsky 1853 (Coleoptera: Lampyridae)”. Oliver will use this funding to conduct field research in the Dominican Republic during the month of June.

SEB Team award

ABOVE: The UF Linnean Team won the Linnean games at SEB-ESA. In the picture is Lindsy Iglesias, David Plotkin, Dr. Blair Siegfried, Cory Penca, Evan Waite, and Dr. Amanda Hodges.

Spring graduates

ABOVE: We congratulate our spring, 2017 graduates! We are proud of them all!

Students who earned a Ph.D. degree this semester are: Dr. Alex Arp, Dr. Xulin Chen, Dr. Heather Koppenhofer, Dr. Dara Stockton, and Dr. Weimin (Sherry) Yuan.

MS students who received their M.S. degrees are:  Jeremiah Foley, Isaiah Hoyer, Octavio Menocal Sandoval, Sai Qiu, Charles Robertson, Kristen Stevens, and Iris Strzyewski.

Those who earned their BS degrees are: Jeff Coco, Don Foster, Nicholas Goltz, Andrew Nisip, Kaitlynn Peters, Mason Russo, Sage Thompson, and Evan Waite.


ABOVE: Congratulations to Dr. Dara Stockton and Dr. Alex Arp, who graduated April 28, 2017. Dr. Lukasz Stelinski was advisor to Dr. Dara Stockton and Dr. Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski was advisor to Dr. Alex Arp. Dr. Stockton is off to pursue a post-doc in the department of entomology at Cornell University. Dr. Arp. is off to pursue a post-doc with the USDA in Panama. 

Hodges lab award winners

ABOVE: Mason Russo (left), won the Undergraduate Student Oral Presentation competition at the SEB ESA meeting for his presentation titled "Life history and description of Arvelius albopunctatus in laboratory conditions." Morgan Pinkerton (right) won the Extension, Outreach and Teaching Student Oral Presentation competition for her presentation titled "Plant biosecurity outreach in Florida's youth." Both students work with Dr. Amanda Hodges.

This summer, we are welcoming six new M.S. students. In Gainesville, Erick Rodriguez, Sage Thompson and Jessica Awad will begin their studies. In Belle Glade, Erik Roldan will enter the program. In Quincy, Edward Traczyk will be joining us. Grace McMackin and Mary Nordgulen will be studying via distance education.  

Morgan with award

ABOVE: Valent U.S.A. LLC announced that University of Florida Doctor of Plant Medicine student Morgan Byron has received a $1,500 research scholarship for the development of organic training materials for growers, Pest Control Advisors (PCAs), consultants and retailers. Valent is committed to supporting the next generation of growers and researchers, and this scholarship is the latest the company has awarded to students studying agricultural and horticultural sciences. Morgan was presented the scholarship as a part of Graduate Student Appreciation Week at the University of Florida by her academic advisor Dr. Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman, her organic project supervisor Dr. Danielle Treadwell, Valent sales representative Sarah Markle, and Dr. Blair Siegfried.

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.

wheel bug nymph

ABOVE: It’s spring, so people have been spending more time in their yards and gardens. A bug that many people encounter is the wheel bug, Arilus cristatus.  Several people have sent Lyle pictures of wheel bug nymphs over the past month. Adults are easily recognized by their large size and the toothed structure on the thorax, but nymphs are often mistaken for leaf-footed bugs and other insects. Like other assassin bugs, wheel bugs prey on a variety of insects.

Need insect images? You can go to this direct link, pictures are copyrighted material and intended for official UF use only, log onto the website using your Gatorlink credentials.

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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Chen XD, Gill TA, Pelz-Stelinski KS, Stelinski LL. 2017. Risk assessment of various insecticides used for management of Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri in Florida citrus, against honey bee, Apis mellifera. Ecotoxicology. 26: 351-359.

Chen XD, Stelinski LL. 2017. Rapid detection of insecticide resistance in Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, populations using a bottle bioassay. Florida Entomologist. 100: 124-133. 

Martini X, Stelinski LL. 2017. Influence of abiotic factors on flight initiation by the Asian citrus psyllid (Hemiptera: Liviidae). Environmental Entomology. 46: 369-375. 

Ploetz RC, Hughes MA, Kendra PE, Fraedrich SW, Carrillo D, Stelinski LL, Hulcr J, Mayfield III AE, Dreaden TL, Crane JH, Evans EA, Schaffer BA, Rollins J. 2017. Recovery plan for laurel wilt of avocado, caused by Raffaelea lauricola. Plant Health Progress. 18: 51-77. doi:10.1094/PHP-12-16-0070-RP. 

Scharf ME, Cai Y, Ruchira Sen YS, Raychoudhury R, Boucias DG. 2017. A meta-analysis testing eusocial co-option theories in termite gut physiology and symbiosis. Communicative & Integrative Biology. 10: 2, e1295187.

New on Featured Creatures:

Whitefly predatory lady beetle (suggested common name), Delphastus catalinae (Horn). Authors: Janine RazzeOscar E. Liburd, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida.

Fiery searcher, Calosoma scrutator (Fabricius 1775). Authors: Ann Marie Carias, Cell and Molecular Biology Department, Northwestern University Medical School; Andrea Lucky, Entomology and Nematology Department, 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 "Diagnosis and Management of Nematodes in Florida Lawns and Landscapes" at the Duval County Extension office on April 12th.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. James P. Cuda was an invited Keynote Speaker for the 1st Annual Hawaii Invasive Pest Symposium held in Lihue, Kauai, HI,  April 20th-21st. Cuda’s presentation, which was titled “Invasive Species and Their Management in the Continental USA: Progress and Challenges” was co-authored by Dr. Amanda Hodges. The symposium was sponsored by the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker at the 2017 Annual Conference of the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council held in Melbourne, FL, April 12th-14th. Cuda gave a presentation titled, “The Gall Midge Orseolia javanica (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), a Candidate Biological Control Agent of Cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica.  The presentation was co-authored by Dr. William Overholt.  

Dr. James P. Cuda attended the 2017 Extension Symposium held at the UF Hilton Conference and Straughn Centers, April 17th-18th. 

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgCongratulations to our April 26th-28th GHP Masters graduates from Bug Out Service, Inc, Dean's Services, JRS Consulting (from Chicago!), Hometeam Pest Defense, McCall Service, O'Hara Pest Control, Nisus Lawn & Pest Control (from OH!), and Pro Care Lawn & Pest. We are so proud of all of you who took the state exam! Everyone passed!

Congratulations to our April 12th-14th Termite Foundations graduates from Armor Protects, Beebe's Pest & Termite Control (all the way from Alabama!), Bug Out Services, Dean's Services, DW Pest Control, Geiger's Pest Services, Hugh Turner Pest Control, Kerin Solutions, McCall Service, NaturZone, and Perschel & Meyer Pest Management.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDPM student Matt Borden (Landscape Entomology, Dr. Adam Dale) was a guest speaker at the second annual GoGreen Soilshop event in Jacksonville on April 29th, hosted by the Eastside Environmental Council. Matt spoke to local residents about urban IPM and shared EDIS resources.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgOliver Keller, doctoral student in the Branham Lab, presented a paper at the International Firefly Symposium held at the Taipei Zoo in Taipei, Taiwan April 24th to the 28th. The presentation was titled “Firefly (Coleoptera: Lampyridae) Diversity of Hispaniola” and was co-authored by Dr. Marc Branham and Dr. Mike Ivie (Montana State University).

Oliver Keller, doctoral student in the Branham Lab, was invited as the Georgia Power Endowment speaker for the Georgia College B.E.S.T. Seminar Series at Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville, GA, April 19th. The presentation was titled “Illuminating the Fireflies of the West Indies: One Flash at a Time”.


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From the Outreach Coordinator

A big thank you to the students and faculty who volunteered for April’s outreach events!

  • April 7th – Bug Zoo at Gator Encounter
  • April 13th – Family First High School Biology – Lettie Cronin and Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • April 18th  - Jordan Glen School – Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • April 27th – Science Night with Mrs. Bugg – Michael Gonzalez
  • April 27th – Queen of Peace Catholic Academy – Michael Gonzalez
  • April 28th – Archer Elementary PTA Carvinal – Rachel Atchison and Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • April 29th – Migratory Bird Day – Lettie Cronin and Laurel Lietzenmayer

Upcoming Events

  • May 11th – Joseph Williams Elementary – 5:30pm-7pm
  • May 12th – Destiny Leadership Academy – 10:30am-12:30pm
  • May 12th – Star Christian Academy – 1pm-3pm
  • May 20th – Bug Week Bug Zoo
  • June 7th – Cub Scout Day Camp – 2pm-3:30pm
  • June 26th – Kimball Wiles Elementary – 1:30pm-3:30pm
  • June 30th - Flagler County Public Library – 9am-12pm

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 — Laurel Lietzenmayer, 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!


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The Florida Agricultural Experiment Station and Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources, in partnership with the University of Florida’s Office of the Vice President for Research, offer the Equipment and Infrastructure Awards Program with the goal of enhancing infrastructural capacity for research within UF/IFAS, to increase the impacts of our research efforts, and to increase our competitiveness for extramural funding.  

This year’s competition was highly competitive, with 62 proposals submitted, only 22 were selected for funding and two came to our faculty!

2017 UF/IFAS Equipment & Infrastructure Award Recipients:

Faculty: Dr. Johan Desaeger
Unit: Entomology & Nematology/Gulf Coast REC
Funding: $8,023

Faculty: Dr. Tesfamariam Mengistu
Unit: Entomology & Nematology
Funding: $19,761

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgMs. Patricia Prade, a Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Dr. James P. Cuda, was awarded a $2,000 research grant from the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. The funds will be used to study cold tolerance and potential distribution of three psyllids of the genus Calophya (Hemiptera: Calophyidae), potential biological control agents of Brazilian peppertree.


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To all graduate students - If you are interested in presenting a paper at the annual Florida Entomological Society meeting, this year in San Juan, Puerto Rico (July 16-19), there is still time to submit a presentation in the student paper competition (May 15 deadline) and apply for travel funds (June 23 deadline).  You can apply for the travel grants by going to the FES Annual Meeting page and clicking on the Student Awards Announcement link. The paper submission form is on the main FES annual meeting page.

This year the meeting is combined with the Caribbean Food Crops Society annual meeting so is a great opportunity to network with potential future colleagues from the Caribbean. There will also be an optional field trip to the Guanica Biosphere Reserve and State Forest, a unique subtropical dry forest ecosystem.

This is a meeting you won't want to miss so please plan to join us - 

Dr. Heather J. McAuslane, FES Student Activities Committee Chair

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgFES Honors and Awards 2017

The Honors and Awards Committee are requesting nominations for 2017 in the following categories:

Entomologist of the year.
Annual Achievement Award for Research.
Annual Achievement Award for Extension.
Annual Achievement Award for Industry.
Annual Achievement Award for Teaching.
Annual Achievement Award for Regulatory Entomology.
Achievement Award for a Collaborative Research Team.

Winners will be announced at the 2017 Annual Meeting. Each nomination should be accompanied with a justification narrative that will be read at the awards luncheon.

Nomination deadline is June 20, 2017.

You can see previous winners at http://www.flaentsoc.org/honors-awards-tributes.html

Nominations should be sent to:

Dr. Jawwad Qureshi
University of Florida, IFAS
Indian River Research and Education Center
Fort Pierce, FL 34945
Ph: 772-577-7339
Fax: 772-468-5668
E-mail: jawwadq@ufl.edu

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgThe Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Food Crops Society will be held on July 16-22, 2017 in Isla Verde (San Juan Puerto Rico). This is the second call for submission of presentations (oral, poster, and short movie). The deadline is extended to March 31, 2017. This will be a joint meeting with the Florida Entomological Society. Registrants for either meeting will be entitled to attend any technical sessions or joint events. Optional field trips are being arranged for July 20 (Guánica Dry Forest through FES) and 21 July (CFCS to be announced). The venue is the Verdanza Hotel ($105/night).

Don’t miss the 100th Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society July 16-20, Isla Verde (San Juan) Puerto Rico

·        Joint Meeting with the Caribbean Food Crops Society: http://cfcs.eea.uprm.edu/

Registration with either society entitles you to: Joint opening session, joint socials and poster sessions, access to all technical sessions (See program at http://www.flaentsoc.org/annual.shtml)

Venue:  Verdanza Hotel: Verdanza Hotel, Isla Verde, Puerto Rico 
Two blocks from the best beach in San Juan.  Lots of nearby restaurants and places to shop.  Deadline for reservations: Thursday, June 15, 2017

Pioneer lecture honoring Dr. Bill Buren of (Solenopis invicta Buren fame) to be given by Dr. Robert Vander Meer at Joint Opening Session of Annual FES and CFCS Meeting in San Juan Puerto Rico.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpg LepCamp for middle school kids (organized and run by the McGuire Center’s staff) will be offered again this summer, July 24-28. To register, visit their website.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgInsects and Plants course (1 credit, ENY 4905) is offered again in the fall of 2017. To register, please contact Ms. Ruth Brumbaugh.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgGetting 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.

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.