home about

September 22, 2020

Faculty and Staff News

"In our continuing efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within our department, the Entomology and Nematology Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ENY DEI) committee held an open meeting where department employees and students were invited to participate. The Committee discussed the role of the DEI and stressed that it was not a replacement for University of Florida Human Resources and thus was not the appropriate authority to field questions and issues that are the purview of UF HR. The DEI committee agreed that having a document listing the UF HR recommended steps to report any incident that goes against UF policies on diversity, equity and inclusion should be made available on the ENY DEI home page http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/diversity-equity-and-inclusion/. This document would also include a link to the HR page describing steps to take to make an anonymous report. Regarding the Climate Survey that was held in July 2020, those who participated in the survey believe that diversity, equity and inclusion are important. However, not all demographic groups participated in the survey and thus the results may be missing their valuable input. The ENY DEI website became live as of September 14, which contains valuable resources about DEI related events thoughout UF, hyperlinks to UF HR webpages related to DEI policies, and a list of the ENY DEI committee members. Questions pertaining to the departmental DEI issues can be addressed to any committee member listed on the ENY DEI home page. A DEI committee member presented a training initiative that is available through the UF CWC Best Advocacy Movement (BAM) to expand multicultural understanding. Training for faculty was specifically made available and the faculty on the DEI committee and expressed their interest in participating. The ENY DEI committee has initiated several actions to improve the department:

1. Series of four virtual Best Advocacy Movement (BAM) workshops for faculty – 11:a.m. -1:00 p.m. on October 19, October 26, November 2, and November 9.

2. “Making a Minority” Podcast Club was discussed. A DEI committee member organized a collection of podcasts focused on the topic of Black People. The goal of the podcast club is to create an inviting space to discuss minoritized identities in the United States. The club is open to all UF ENY students, staff, and faculty. Discussion of the podcast content will be held every Thursday from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. for nine weeks beginning September 17. Visit the podcast club website to join!
The DEI committee continues to welcome feedback and input on how to improve the department’s climate and will provide a mechanism for doing so anonymously through a suggestion box that will be available on the DEI webpage, among other resources."

-Respectfully, Chelsea T. Smartt

Dr. Koehler photo with text. Congrats Phil Koehler on being honored as a 2020 Fellow of ESA

ABOVE: Ten Entomologists Honored as 2020 Fellows of the Entomological Society of America, including Dr. Philip Koehler, UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology emeritus professor!

Photo of Nick Place giving Dr. Ellis award. Both men are wearing face masks.

ABOVE: Dr. Jamie Ellis was awarded the Southern Region Excellence in Extension Award! He was presented the award on Tuesday, August 25th at McCarty hall.

Dr. Ginny Greenway, a postdoctoral researcher in the Miller Lab, recently joined the Animal Behavior Society social media team. One of the goals of the team is to provide exposure for early-career animal behavior researchers, and to show the broader scientific and non-scientific community the great research, teaching, and outreach they're doing. If you're an early career researcher interested in opportunities to promote your insect behavior research via ABS Twitter, feel free to get in touch! Email Ginny Greenway!

Dr. Christine Miller and postdoctoral researcher Dr. Ginny Greenway helped coordinate the Animal Behavior Society Weaving the Future of Animal Behavior 2020 virtual reunion on Monday, July 27th. The Weaving the Future of Animal Behavior initiative is a national NSF-funded program which provides both a community and resources for early career researchers in the field of animal behavior. This year's virtual reunion provided an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the 50+ program participants, as well as the chance to reflect on the past year's challenges and the role WFAB can continue to play moving forward.

ABOVE: The video “The little Yellow Ant”, created by Dr. Thomas Chouvenc during the early months of the pandemic, which documents the establishment and the biology of new invasive ant species, Plagiolepis alluaudi Emery, has been selected to be among the four finalists for the Entomological Video Award 2020, which will be announced at ESA conference in November. https://entomologytoday.org/2020/09/03/watch-the-four-finalist-videos-in-the-2020-youtube-your-entomology-contest/

ABOVE: The latest volume on the Dynastinae of the New World was recently published by Dr. Brett C. Ratcliffe (University of Nebraska), Ronald D. Cave (University of Florida), and Aura Paucar-Cabrera (University Nacional de Loja). The monograph comprehensively reviews the 267 species of Dynastinae in Ecuador, with descriptions, habitus images, distribution maps, keys, natural history notes, and habitat images. Two species are described as new. A hard-bound copy can be purchased by visiting http:unsm-ento.unl.edu/monographs.html.

Student and Alumni News

return to top

Welcome new fall 2020 Graduate Students!

M.S. students joining us in Gainesville are:
Sarah Birkmire
Joshua Botti-Anderson
Lucas Brendel
Katherine Carroll
Joseph Gonsiorek
Brynn Johnson
Christian Kammerer
Ashley Morris
Grace Ortgiesen
James Pinkney
Jamal Saqib
Rachel Shepherd
Kendall Stacey
and Jennifer Standley.

New REC M.S. students are:
Melody Bloch
and Michael Riles.

New M.S. distance students:
Nicholas Acevedo,
Kendra Angel-Adkinson
Charles Blanton
Alyssa Fuller
Kat Halsey
David Monte
Julius Mueller
Elizabeth Shafer-Graham
Jana Stultz
Ismail Sukkar
Alexander Tasi
Elizabeth Vin Hatton
and Lisa Winnett.

New Ph.D. students joining us in Gainesville are:
James Boothroyd
and Joanna Jaramillo Silva.

Doctor of Plant Medicine student Matt Borden, working for Dr. Adam Dale in the Turf and Ornamental Entomology Laboratory, has been co-managing the Extension Master Gardener page on Facebook creating weekly content about plant science, pest management, and other garden-relevant information from the Extension networks. His posts have accumulated a reach of over 2 million, including a reach of 62,000 for the Dale Lab’s recent UF/IFAS factsheet about Managing Plant Pests with Soaps.

Derrick Conover, a Ph.D. student working with Dr. Xavier Martini, was awarded an $11,000 graduate student grant from Southern SARE titled “Management Strategies of laurel wilt vectoring exotic ambrosia beetles."
Way to go, Derrick!

Congratulations to our 2020-2021 CALS/UF Scholarship recipients!

Graduate Students
Alexander Orfinger: A. S. Herlong Scholarship
Rebeca Sandoval Ruiz: A. S. Herlong Scholarship
Sarah Maestas: William C. and Bertha M. Cornett Fellowship
Kristin Sloyer: A. S. Herlong Scholarship

Undergraduate Students
Kaylin Kleckner: Marion County Farm Bureau Scholarship
Elise Pounders: Florida Rural Rehabilitation Corporation Scholarship
Lauren Roberts: Farm Credit of Florida Scholarship
Lillie Rooney: Suwannee River Resource, Conservation and Development Council Scholarship
Brett LaBella: Alto and Patrecia Straughn Scholarship
Genhsy Monzon: Squitieri Scholarship

Lab News

return to top

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.

If you have been driving past the Entomology & Nematology Building over the past couple months, you may have noticed the yellowing willow trees around the pond in the Natural Area Teaching Lab. Lace bugs called Corythucha mollicula have been feeding on the leaves of these trees since this spring, causing the leaves to turn yellow earlier than usual.

(Left to Right) Lace Bugs on Salix caroliniana and damaged Willow caused by Corythucha mollicula. Photos by Lyle Buss.
ABOVE: (Left to Right) Lace Bugs on Salix caroliniana and damaged Willow caused by Corythucha mollicula. Photos by Lyle Buss.

If you need insect images for a publication or presentation for your UF/IFAS Extension or teaching work, 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.


return to top

Borden M, Dale A. 2020. Native and Edible Ornamental Plant Congeners Enhance Ecosystem Services Through Key Pest Avoidance and Multifunctionality in Residential Landscapes. Environmental Entomology XX: 1-8.

Chen C, Condon CH, Boardman L., Meagher RL, Jeffers LA, Beam A, Bailey WD, Hahn DA. 2020. Critical pO2 as a diagnostic biomarker for the effects of low-oxygen modified and controlled atmospheres on phytosanitary irradiation treatments in the cabbage looper Trichoplusia ni (Hübner). Pest Management Science 76: 2333-2341. 

Cinel SD, Hahn DA, Kawahara AY. 2020. Predator-induced stress responses in insects: a review. Journal of Insect Physiology 122: 104039.

Powell THQ, Nguyen A, Xia Q, Feder JL, Ragland GJ, Hahn DA. 2020. A rapidly evolved shift in life-history timing during ecological speciation is driven by the transition between developmental phases. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 00: 1-16.

Lucky A, Atchison RA, Ohyama L, Zhang YM, Williams JL, Pinkney JL, Clancy KL, Nielsen AN, Lippi CA. 2020. Myrmecology, Gender, and Geography: changing demographics of a research community over thirty years. Myrmecological News 30: 187-199.

Martini X, Funderburk J, Ben-Yakir D. (2020) Deterrence of pests. In: Optical Manipulation of Pest and Beneficial Arthropods. Editors: Ben-Yakir D. CABI book. pp.76-100.

Quaglia AI, Blosser EM, McGregor BL, Runkel AE, Sloyer KE, Erram D, Wisely SM, Burkett-Cadena ND. 2020. Tracking Community Timing: Pattern and Determinants of Seasonality in Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in Northern Florida. Viruses 12: 31.

Reeves LE & Gillett-Kaufman JL. 2020. Interactions between the imperiled West Indian manatee, Trichechus manatus, and mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in Everglades National Park, Florida, USA. Scientific Reports. 10, 12971.

Short CA, Hatle JD, Hahn DA. 2020. Protein stores regulate when reproductive displays begin in the male Caribbean fruit fly. Frontiers in Physiology 11: 9912.

New on Featured Creatures:

Chevroned water hyacinth weevil, Neochetina bruchi: written by Eutychus Kariuki and Carey Minteer.

African hive beetle, large, Oplostomus fuligineus: written by Worrel Diedrick and Cameron Jack.

Alligatorweed stem borer, Arcola malloi Pastrana: written by Bonnie C. Wells and Carey Minteer.

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

Meetings and Presentations

return to top

Dr. Thomas Chouvenc gave a webinar to the Landscape Inspector Association of Florida on August 21st about the current status of invasive termites in South Florida.

Doctor of Plant Medicine student Matt Borden, working for Dr. Adam Dale in the Turf and Ornamental Entomology Laboratory, delivered a virtual presentation about ornamental plant selection and challenges facing the nursery industry to a botany class at Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL University) in Ecuador.

Parr J. McQueen delivered a presentation titled “The assembly of microbial communities in nematode and tardigrade gut microbiomes” co-authored with Gattoni K., Gendron E., Sommers P., Darling J., Schmidt S. and Dr. Dorota Porazinska during McMurdo LTER Summer All Science Meeting in July!


return to top

From the Outreach Coordinator

ABOVE: UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology new Outreach coordinator Jennifer Standley!

Hey everyone! Let me first introduce myself; my name is Jennifer Standley and I am the new Outreach Coordinator under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Baldwin. Clayton Bania, the previous outreach coordinator, is still here continuing as the outreach coordinator of the Doctor of Plant Medicine Program under the direction of Dr. Amanda Hodges. I know I have some big shoes to fill as he did an excellent job! I’m also a master’s student at the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab under Dr. Jamie Ellis. It’s been an exciting first few weeks for me getting to know the department and the animals of the Arthropod Petting Zoo. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you at some point and hope you will volunteer for future events.
-Jennifer, Outreach Coordinator

For the past six months, all outreach events, including Bug Camp, have been delivered virtually. Outreach will continue to be virtual or outdoors for the foreseeable future. The Entomology and Nematology Education and Outreach Program is available and can accommodate with virtual presentations. If you want to schedule an event, are interested in volunteering with the outreach team, of if you want to check out our educational kits or live arthropods, please contact the Outreach Program at ufbugs@ifas.ufl.edu. Photos of previous events are on display outside of the Bug Club: Education and Outreach Lab, Room 2219 Steinmetz Hall.

ABOVE: The Entomology Club is back! They had their first meeting on September 2nd, under the leadership of Brett LaBella, Jordyn Ranfone, Genhsy Monzon, Cameryn Lein, and Dr. Rebecca Baldwin. Wearing face masks and practicing social distancing, there were 22 attendees at the NATL pavilion and 14 watching virtually. The club meets every 2 weeks. Students are encouraged to bring insect collecting equipment to the next meeting!

Recent Outreach events:
August 31st – First day of the fall semester; Jennifer Standley provided a show and tell of the Arthropod Petting Zoo via Zoom to Dr. Lisa Taylor’s Spider Biology Class.
September 2nd – Students visiting NATL were able to see some of the live Arthropods on display at the pavilion. Volunteers included Jennifer Standley, Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, Sarah Tafel, and Genhsy Monzon.

Upcoming Outreach events:
September 21st to the 24th: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Virtual KICKOFF

The Outreach Program has a live Arthropod Petting Zoo! The zoo features tarantulas, scorpions, vinegaroons, bess beetles, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and seasonal insects that are native north central Florida. If you plan to lead an outreach event (in-person or virtually) and would like to check-out the Arthropod Zoo please contact the outreach coordinator to schedule a short training program. The critters are always popular with both youth and adults. Our arthropods are invaluable as a tool to expose the public to STEM disciplines. The arthropods travel in large wood and Plexiglas cages which can also be used viewing. If you are interested in our native orb weaver spiders you can use one of our travel cages or view it in the larger static cage. We also have activity kits and lesson plans available. Please be sure to contact us and review the protocol on transportation and handling of the animals. If you lead an outreach event, fill out a documentation form to log your event with the outreach program and we will include it in the newsletter. Graduate students that volunteer and attend outreach events have access to ENSO travel grants.

Getting social!

Use #UFBugs so our department can find and share your social posts easily!

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.


return to top

Derrick Conover, a Ph.D. student working with Dr. Xavier Martini, was awarded an $11,000 graduate student grant from Southern SARE titled “Management Strategies of laurel wilt vectoring exotic ambrosia beetles."

Want grant writing tips? Check out the UF Libraries Grants Management Program


return to top

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Virtual KICKOFF event from September 21st to the 24th

Entomology 2020 - ESA’s Virtual Annual Meeting is November 11th to the 25th! The conference will host live-stream content November 16th to the 19th. Registration opens September 1st. For more information, visit https://www.entsoc.org/events/annual-meeting

The Annual UF BugFest Open House (date to be determined). The undergraduate Entomology Club sponsors this event that brings in 300 to 500 people to learn about the UF Entomology and Nematology Department each year.

Want to stay up to date? Check out our website home page for a link to our Google calendar.

About this Newsletter

return to top

Suzy Rodriguez is the newsletter editor and does the HTML coding. Newsletters usually are published around mid-month. Submit items for an issue by the seventh of the 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 James Brown and Nancy Sanders for reviewing the newsletter for errors, and to Jane Medley and Don Wasik for webpage build and 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.