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February 13th, 2018

Dr. Lucky

ABOVE: Dr. Andrea Lucky recently returned from Israel, where she participated in a 10-day academic faculty fellowship. More info below!

Faculty and Staff News

Congratulations to our IFAS Superior Accomplishments Award Winners:

Dr. Pasco Avery, Scientific/Technical

Mr. Lyle Buss, Scientific/Technical

Dr. Jamie Ellis, Faculty Service

An awards ceremony and reception will be held in their honor on Tuesday, March 27th, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM in the Rion Ballroom East at the UF/J. Wayne Reitz Union.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Heather McAuslane has agreed to join the CALS Dean’s Office team as a part-time Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs. She will be working on initiatives for graduate student professional development, graduate student recruiting, and faculty mentoring; along with handling conditional admissions, graduate student petitions and graduate faculty status requests.

Join us in congratulating Dr. Christine Miller, the winner of a CALS Undergraduate Teacher of the Year award for 2017-2018. In addition to being an award winner at the college level, her name has been forwarded for consideration for university-level awards.

Dr. Andrea Lucky recently returned from Israel, where she participated in a 10-day academic faculty fellowship. She met with colleagues at six major universities across the country, visited agricultural production and training centers and got a sneak peek at the soon-to-open National Museum of Natural History, where the country's insect collections are housed. A highlight was a visit to the department of Science Teaching at the Weizmann Institute of Science, one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary basic research institutions in the natural and exact sciences (pictured above). Fellows in the program are selected from across the US, and are from all disciplines.

One of our postdocs from the Bloomquist lab at EPI, Dr. Jun-Hyung Tak, was hired as an assistant professor at Seoul National University (the flagship university of South Korea), in the Department of Applied Biology and Chemistry. He works on natural products and essential oils as insect control agents.

Dr. Johan Desaeger made an appearance on the news for his work on foliar nematodes.

Dr. Rachel Malllinger was on NPR’s Science Friday on February 2nd. You can read about the segment and listen to it online.

The Mallinger lab welcomes Jon Elmquist who is joining the lab as a research technician. Jon is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and has been around the department since August working on hive beetle research in the Ellis Lab. He will be working on various field and greenhouse projects examining plant-pollinator interactions and crop pollination.

Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman and Dr. Jaret Daniels hosted student and faculty visitors from Gyeongsang National University

ABOVE: Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman and Dr. Jaret Daniels hosted student and faculty visitors from Gyeongsang National University (GNU) in South Korea. The visitors were provided with a tour of Steinmetz Hall and the McGuire Center where they were introduced to several graduate students who had the opportunity to discuss their research. The group was in Gainesville as part of the UF Agroecology Program they were invited to UF by Dr. Diane Rowland.

Dr. Oscar Liburd is a member of a multi-regional research team studying the invasive spotted wing drosophila (SWD). Join the team for a free webinar on the organic management of SWD on February 27th at 3PM ET. Advance registration is required for this free webinar. The project was funded by USDA-NIFA through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI).

Student and Alumni News

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We are pleased to welcome six new graduate students to the department this spring semester!

New Ph.D. students are: Emelie Demard (Ft. Pierce), Octavio Menocal Sandoval (Homestead), Yuexun Tian (Gainesville), and Xiaodi Wang (Vero Beach, currently in Gainesville).

New M.S. students are: Anne Mills (Belle Glade), and David Moreira Calix (Balm).

Congratulations to Dr. Kylie Zirbel and Mr. Octavio Menocal, whose Ph.D. dissertation and M.S. thesis, respectively, were chosen as the best in the Entomology & Nematology Department in 2017! Each will be awarded a $1,000 Mulrennan Award to recognize their achievement and are in the running for best dissertation/thesis in IFAS, to be announced in early April.

Congratulations also to Dr. Barry Alto, who mentored Kylie on her research (Larval nutrient-mediated transgenerational effects in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes), and Dr. Daniel Carrillo, who mentored Octavio (Artificial rearing of Xyleborus volvulus and Xyleborus bispinatus and vertical distribution of ambrosia beetles in laurel wilt affected avocado orchards). We are looking forward to hearing of continued research success from these outstanding graduates!

Lindsy Iglesias, a Ph.D. student in Oscar Liburd’s Lab, has been selected to receive the Friends of Southern IPM Graduate Student Award (Ph.D.). The award recognizes extraordinary achievement in research, Extension and implementation of IPM in the southern region of the US. Lindsy will receive her award at the Southeastern Branch of the ESA Meeting in Orlando, FL in March. Lindsy was invited to give a seminar at Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) on January 10th. Her seminar was titled “From Discovery to Management: The Case of an Invasive Pest of Florida Berry Crops.”

Simon Yeboah, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Oscar Liburd’s Lab and co-chaired by Dr. Norman C. Leppla, travelled to Ghana to conduct research on a devastating pest of mangoes and other tropical fruits, the Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae). Simon is evaluating the use of several baits and lures to develop an effective monitoring and trapping system for use in a mass trapping program for the Oriental fruit fly. These efforts are part of a comprehensive IPM program to manage the pest, which causes over 40% loss in yield and quality in mangoes in Somanya, in eastern Ghana.

Our faculty and students participated in the Cervidae Health Research Initiative Integrated Pest Management field day in Oxford, Florida

ABOVE: Our faculty and students participated in the Cervidae Health Research Initiative Integrated Pest Management field day in Oxford, Florida that was organized by UF Wildlife Ecology and Conservation (27 participants). Masters student Laura Harmon presented on her research and conducted a pesticide use and perception survey on deer farmers. Jordan Vann (Entomology undergraduate minor) and Dr. Emma Weeks talked to deer farmers about no-see-um (biting midge) management and pesticide use and application. Dr. Nathan Burkett-Cadena, students, and post-docs from his lab (UF FMEL) provided farmers with information about biting midge biology, behavior and distribution across the landscape.

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.

The Insect ID Lab recently received a couple samples of banana moth larvae (family Tineidae) from palm growers

ABOVE: The Insect ID Lab recently received a couple samples of banana moth larvae (family Tineidae) from palm growers. This invasive species has been established in south Florida for about 30 years. It is often found on corn plant, Dracena spp., and Chamaedorea palms. The larvae typically feed on damaged plant tissue, but may also damage nearby living tissue.

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. Billy Crow.


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Aristizabal L, Avery PB, Kumar V, Caldwell J, McKenzie CL, Osborne LS. 2018. Mitigating trans-boundary movement of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) on Mentha sp. by pre-shipping treatments of biopesticides. Crop Protection 107: 71-78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2018.01.015

Crow WT.  2018.  Nematode management on athletic fields.  Florida Turf Digest 35(1):  8-16.

Crow WT. 2017. Attack of the killer Belonolaimus longicaudatus (AKA sting nematodes). On The Turf 3(4): 23-28.

Guo Y, Fudali S, Gimeno J, DiGennaro P, Chang S, Williamson VM, Bird DM, Nielsen DM. 2017. Networks Underpinning Symbiosis Revealed Through Cross-Species eQTL Mapping. Genetics, genetics-117. doi: 10.1534/genetics.117.202531

The article above was selected by the editorial board of GENETICS as the Editors’ Choice Award for an outstanding quantitative genetics article published in GENETICS in 2017. This is one of only three articles selected for this honor each year.

Holderman, CJ, Gezan SA, Stone AES, Connelly CR, Kaufman PE. 2018. Mosquitoes collected from residential yards and dog kennels in Florida using two aspirators, a sweep net, or a CDC trap.  Journal of Medical Entomology 55: 230-236. DOI: 10.1093/jme/tjx171.

Jones WB, Crow WT. 2018. Nematodes, turfgrass, and organic amendments.  Clippings Winter 2018: 6.

Mallinger RE, Gaines-Day HR, Gratton C. 2017. Do managed bees have negative effects on wild bees? A systematic review of the literature. PLOS ONE12(12): e0189268. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0189268

Reeves LE , Krysko K, Avery M, Connelly CR, Gillett-Kaufman JL, Kowahara AY, Kaufman PE. 2018. Interactions between the invasive Burmese python, Python bivittatus Kuhl, and the local mosquito community in Florida, USA. PLOS ONE https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0190633.

Radio broadcast about the article above.

Waldo BD, Crow WT. 2018. Nematicides and soil health. Clippings Winter 2018: 6-8.

The Taylor lab has released another spider-themed coloring book

ABOVE: The Taylor lab has released another spider-themed coloring book – this time we’ve highlighted the spectacular spiders found in our Florida backyards and gardens: www.coloringwithspiders.org. This project is part of the broader impacts mission of our NSF grant – to help share the beauty of spiders, with the expectation that if people can appreciate something like spiders, they will be more likely to respect and appreciate the rest of the world’s biodiversity. Please help us share this widely!

New on Featured Creatures:

Palamedes swallowtail, Papilio palamedes (Drury). Major revision by Dr. Don Hall.

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

Meetings and Presentations

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Dr. Rachel Mallinger was invited to give a public lecture at the Whitney Lab in St. Augustine on January 11th as part of the Evenings at Whitney Public Lecture Series. The full video of the lecture is available online at: http://www.whitney.ufl.edu/next-evenings-whitney-jan-11-native-bees-north-america-can-conserve/.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Billy Crow presented “Turfgrass Nematicides” at the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation meeting in Lansing Michigan on January 4th.

Dr. Billy Crow presented “Interactions among nematodes, turf roots, water, and fertilizer” at Florida Turfgrass Association regional seminars in Plantation, Port St. Lucie, and Cocoa Beach on January 9th, 11th and 25th, respectively.

Benjamin Waldo and Brandon Jones (MS students with Dr. Crow) presented “Turfgrass nematology research 2017”

ABOVE: Brandon Jones and Benjamin Waldo (MS students with Dr. Crow) presented “Turfgrass nematology research 2017” at Florida Turfgrass Association regional seminars in Lake Worth, Ocala, and Orlando on January 10th, 23rd, and 24th, respectively.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman and Dr. Phil Kaufman delivered a presentation to 60 guests at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, FL on  January 27th.  Delicious Italy: From Bees to Cheese to Wine introduced the crowd to the UF in Florence study abroad program that the Kaufman’s lead, their Insects in Italy course, and the role that insects play in the Tuscan and Italian food culture. The event featured a honey, wine, and cheese tasting afterward.  A second presentation will be offered at Bok Tower Gardens on March 24th detailing the olive experience in Italy and Florida.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. James P. Cuda presented a poster at the 2nd Annual Plant Science Symposium, Advancing Frontiers in Plant Sciences, held at the UF Cancer & Genetics Research Complex, January 25th to the 26th. The poster was titled “The gall midge Orseolia javanica (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), a candidate biological control agent of cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica).”


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From the Outreach Coordinator

Here are our events from January:

  • January 11th – Career Day at Santa Fe High – Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • January 18th – Science Night at Littlewood Elementary – Laurel Lietzenmayer and Eleanor Phillips
  • January 20th – 4-H Insectathon at Steinmetz Hall – Maceo Abreu, Melody Blach, Dr. Marc Branham, James Brown, Constance Darrisaw, Jessica Diez, Trudi Durgee, Oliver Keller, Gabrielle LaTora, Kylie Lennon, Laurel Lietzenmayer, Hunter Martin, Andrew Mellies, Genhsy Monzon, Matt Moore, Vy Nguyen, Remy Powell, George Roman, Johanna Schwartz, Hannah Talton, Ashley Wojnowicz
  • January 23rd – Alachua County eSchool – Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • January 26th – Putnam County 4-H – Sara Alvarez and Gabrielle LaTora
  • January 29th – CPET Science Symposium – Lettie Cronin and Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • January 30th – UF Exotic Animal Club – Laurel Lietzenmayer

Upcoming Events

  • February 8th-19th – Florida State Fair
  • February 15th – Gator Day in Tallahassee
  • February 27th – East Marion Elementary
  • March 15th – Belleview Public Library

4-H students participate in the insect ID competition in the first annual Insectathon. Students participated in insect collection, art, and skill contests. 

4-H students participate in the insect ID competition in the first annual Insectathon. Students participated in insect collection, art, and skill contests.   

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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Ms. Rachel Watson, an undergraduate Honors Student in the laboratories of Dr. James P. Cuda and Dr. Carey R. Minteer, was the recipient of the John Jachetta Undergraduate Research Grant sponsored by the  Weed Science Society of America.  Rachel will receive $2,000 to support her research on improving mass rearing of  the psyllids Calophya spp.  for biological control  of Brazilian peppertree. 


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Want 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.