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November 13th, 2017

The Crow lab at the Turfgrass field day

ABOVE: The Crow lab at the UF Turfgrass Field Day- Benjamin Waldo, Dr. Maria Mendes, Dr. Billy Crow, Mengyi Gu, Brandon Jones, and Tom Bean.


Faculty and Staff News

Dr. Andrea Lucky was awarded a 2017-2018 Faculty Fellowship in Israel. Dr. Lucky is one of 23 professors from universities and colleges across the U.S. selected to participate in the Faculty Fellowship Program in Israel, a competitive academic fellowship that invites full-time university and college faculty members to apply to participate in a two-week Fellowship in Israel. The program links scholars from diverse disciplines with their Israeli counterparts at major institutions for the purpose of initiating exchanges and collaborations. Fellows spend 11 rigorous days from December 27, 2017 to January 9, 2018, traveling throughout Israel, meeting Israeli professors from their respective disciplines and with the same, or similar, research interests, all with the goal of developing collaborations, research projects, co-authoring articles, and establishing exchange programs between faculty and students. 

This month Dr. Christine W. Miller travelled to Washington D.C. to receive the USDA Food and Agriculture Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award in the "New Teacher" category. Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy presented the award to Dr. Miller and Dr. Elaine Turner at a ceremony on November 12th. There were two award recipients in this category drawn from a national pool of nominations.

Dr. Roberto Pereira presented a talk on “Bed bugs in South America" in the MUVE section symposium on "Advances in the Biology and Management of Modern Bed Bugs" which is the title of an upcoming book to be released in March 2018.

Dr. Adam C.N. Wong is welcoming several new members to his team: Masroor Qadri joins us as the lead Scientist, with a PhD on fungal endophytes and metabolomics in insects and plants. Valentina Battistoni, Jessie Blair, Sean Boyles, Kubra Khan, Garett Miller, Matthew Pileggi and Jonathan Smith join as undergraduate research interns, conducting microbiome discovery and genomics research on different insects. 

Dr. Wong gave an invited talk on "Functional omics in Drosophila-gut microbes interactions" at the ESA meeting in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Andrea Lucky presented a talk entitled “Pavement ants to population genomics: How citizen science can benefit invasion science” at the EntSoc meeting in the Program Symposium: Grand Challenges: Tackling Invasive Species and Communication Strategies.

UF research booth

ABOVE: On Tuesday October 24th, 5-7pm, the Entomology and Nematology Department was well represented at the first ever University-wide Undergraduate Research Expo. Dr. Lucky, Dr. Dale, Dr. Cuda and Dr. Wong, along with graduate students Pablo Allen, Rachel Atchison and Jason Williams, as well as half a dozen undergraduates, discussed research opportunities in ENY with highly motivated students, many of whom showed up with resumes in hand. Over 500 people attended!

Dr. James P. Cuda and his undergraduate honor’s student Ms. Rachel Watson participated in the inaugural Annual Undergraduate Research EXPO held at the Reitz Union on October 24th. 

Dr. James P. Cuda’s  biography was selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of Marquis Who’s Who in the World.

In the news:
Dr. Nan-Yao Su was mentioned in the Miami Herald as one of the odd jobs in South Florida.

Dr. Su was among the awardees of the 2017 Crown Leadership Award at NPMA Pestworld 2017.

Dr. Thomas Chouvenc, had a 20 minute live interview segment by South Florida NPR station (WLRN) about the new invasive ant species in Florida, Plagiolepis Alluaudi, The little yellow ant.  The news was also reported in various media outlet, including Entomology Today.

A paper by Dr. Su and his previous student Dr. Garima Kakkar were also highlighted by Entomology Today.

Dr. Ginny Greenway has joined Dr. Christine Miller's laboratory as a postdoctoral researcher. Ginny received a Bachelors degree in Biological Sciences  from the University of Oxford in 2013, before undertaking a Ph.D. at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, during which she focused on the causes and evolutionary consequences of reproductive failure in lygaeid seed bugs. Over the course of her postdoc she will examine determinants of reproductive success in coreids.

Student and Alumni News

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The Lucky lab was well represented at the EntSoc meeting, with oral presentations from graduate student Rachel Atchison “Effects of prescribed fire firequency on ground-dwelling ant communities in longleaf pine flatwoods” and undergraduate Sara Alvarez “Effects of cogongrass and climate change on ant communities”, as well as a poster by Jason Williams “Integrating micro-CT into revisionary taxonomy to characterize invasive crazy ants of the genus Nylanderia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).”

Ms. Patricia Prade, a Ph.D. student of Dr. James P. Cuda and Dr. Carey R. Minteer attended the ESA Entomology 2017 Annual Conference held in Denver, CO, 5-8 November. Ms. Prade gave a an oral presentation titled “ Impact of local insect herbivores on Brazilian peppertree prior to deployment of biological control agents in Florida.” The presentation was co-authored by Dr. Cuda, Dr. Minteer and Dr. William A. Overholt.

Jayshree Patel (Ph.D. student) won the 1st place of poster session at the ESA meeting in Denver! Sang-Bin Lee (Ph.D. student at FLREC) won the 1st place oral presentation from Korean Young Entomologist student competition (to be announced in ESA newsletter).

Alumi Jeremiah Foley (MS here) won the 2nd place oral presentation (Urban pests) at ESA in Denver.

enso table

ABOVE: Despite not having a student table this year due to reservation issues, the Entomology and Nematology Student Organization (ENSO) was still able to sell shirts at EntSoc 2017. ENSO thanks the graduate student club from UC Davis for lending half of their table so that our shirts could be sold, including our new design, “Trap Jaws.” Special thanks also go to students Rachel Atchison, Sara Alvarez, Pritika Pandey, Kristen Bowers, Clancy Short, and Jason Williams for taking some time during the meeting to sell shirts. Student volunteerism is absolutely necessary if we want to keep ENSO running, have social events, and provide travel grants for graduate student professional development and research. Efforts from the above student volunteers resulted in ENSO selling about $800.00 worth of shirts. The more volunteers we get the more money ENSO makes!

The “Trap Jaws” design is now available for purchase in the front office and is the first ENSO shirt to have the department name on the back! All future shirt orders of older designs will also have this feature.”

visiting scientist

ABOVE: Since May, the University of Florida Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab has hosted Mr. Hafiz Khurram Shurjeel as a visiting researcher from the University of Sargodha, Pakistan. During his time in the lab, Mr. Shurjeel has been studying higher trophic effects of insecticides on honey bees. This research is a part of the work that he is doing for his doctoral dissertation which he will complete at the end of this year.

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.

scale insects

ABOVE: Last week the Insect Diagnostics class learned about field identification of scale insects. Scales are important plant pests, especially of many ornamental and fruit plants. Since they are usually small and hidden on plants, they often are overlooked and accidentally spread to new areas through movement of plants. Two species in the lac scale family Kerriidae are found in Florida, the lobate lac scale and the Mexican lac scale. Both are introduced species.

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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Baidoo R, Mengistu TM, Brito JA, McSorley R, Stamps RH, Crow WT.  2017.  Vertical distribution of Pasteuria penetrans parasitizing Meloidogyne incognita on Pittosporum tobira in Florida.  Journal of Nematology 49: 311-315.

Chouvenc T, Basille M, Su NY. 2017. Role of accelerated developmental pathway and limited nurturing capacity on soldier developmental instability in subterranean termite incipient colonies. Insectes Sociaux 64: 477-483.

Chouvenc T, Su NY. 2017. Irreversible transfer of brood care duties and insights into the burden of caregiving in incipient subterranean termite colonies. Ecological Entomology 42: 777-784.

Cirino LA, Emberts Z, Joseph PN, Allen PE, Lopatto D, Miller CW.  2017. Broadening the voice of science: promoting scientific communication in the undergraduate classroom. Ecology and Evolution. 00:1-7. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3501.
Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.3501/epdf

New on Featured Creatures:

Grizzled mantid, Gonatista grisea (Fabricius). Authors: Haleigh A. Ray, and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman, 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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The Billy Crow lab and Adam Dale lab presented their research projects at the annual Turfgrass Field Day at the PSREU in Citra on October 11th.

Dr. Billy Crow and Dr. Don Dickson traveled to Newport RI to attend the NE1640 Nematology Working Group meeting on October 19th and 20th.

Dr. Billy Crow Presented “Interactions among nematodes, turf roots, water and fertilizer" at the Parrot Heads CEU Day in Volusia County on October 31st.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgCongratulations to our last (November 1st to the 3rd) L&O Masters course for 2017! Companies present: A.R.T. Pest Control Services, UF IFAS Extension Bay CountyBlue Ocean Pest ControlBug-A-Way Pest Control, LLCBugOut ServiceDeans ServicesHoffer Pest SolutionsHoskins Pest ControlLarue Pest ManagementO'Hara Pest ControlUF IFAS Extension Okaloosa CountyEd Reese's Premium Pest ControlSouthern Care LawnsSunshine Greenery, and Termite Lawn And Pest, Inc. congratulations to all who passed the state exam!

Thank you to the Edge Pest Control’s team for making a second trip to Florida from several West Coast states to attend and complete our November 1st to the 3rd GHP Masters course. Edge filled the entire class!


halloween outreach

ABOVE: On Halloween, eighty five 3rd grader students from Bagdad Elementary School visited the Entomology Lab, at WFREC, in Jay. Dr. Paula-Moraes’s technician, Latisa Ledbetter-Kish did a presentation about the diversity of insects. They also had a chance to see different  techniques to collect insects. 

Twenty seven students from Pace High School had a field trip to the WFREC, on November 2nd. During the visit, the Dr. Paula-Moraes’s master student, Jessica Baldwin did a presentation about the ecological role played by insects in different systems. She also discussed the importance of the insect collection curation. In the end of the of her presentation, the students had the opportunity to pin insects.   


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From the Outreach Coordinator

Here are our events from October:

  • October 4th – Educator Open House – Clancy Short and Ashley Wojnowicz
  • October 8th – ButterflyFest – Ethan Doherty, Trudi Durgee, Gabrielle LaTora, Kylie Lennon, Laurel Lietzenmayer, Jessica Martin, Rebecca Perry, George Roman, Johanna Schwartz, Simon Yeboah
  • October 13th – Millhopper Montessori School – Clancy Short
  • October 15th – Alachua County Library – Ethan Doherty, Pritika Pandey, Remy Powell, and George Roman
  • October 21st – Brooker Creek Preserve – Laurel Lietzenmayer, George Roman, and Mark Wilhelm
  • October 24th – Chiles Elementary – Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • October 26th – Hidden Oak Elementary -  Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • October 26th – Science and Robotics Night at Howard Bishop Middle School – Chanakya Bhosale, Genhsy Monzon, and Johanna Schwartz
  • October 28th- Tallahassee Science Festival – Rachel Atchison, Kristen Bowers, Laurel Lietzenmayer, and Pritika Pandey

Upcoming Events

  • November 16th – Meadowbrook Elementary
  • December 4th – STEM Night at Stephen Foster Elementary
  • December 12th – Healthy Learning Academy
  • December 14th – Fort White Elementary

outreach event

ABOVE: Kristen Bowers speaking to a young visitor to the Entomology and Nematology booth with others checking out ants under microscopes at the Tallahassee Science Festival.

FMEL students
On Saturday, October 14, FMEL students once again presented the ever-popular Mosquito Discovery Zone booth at the 2017  Annual Indian River Lagoon Science Festival in Ft. Pierce. As always the FMEL booth was well attended and received. 

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!

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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Nothing to report his month!


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Workshop on Mosquito Ecology and Evolution

Date: December 8-9, 2017

Location: University of Florida Indian River Research and Education Center, Fort Pierce, Florida

About: The Workshop on Mosquito Ecology and Evolution commemorates the career of the newly retired L. Philip Lounibos. See the preliminary schedule of 16 presentations planned related to Lounibos' research. Registration link to come.
For more info, email Steve Juliano.

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.