04/31/99 Entomology and Nematology News
A University of Florida Publication

Sparkle, shimmer, dip and glow;
Males above, females below.
Engaged in timeless flashing dance,
They meet together, not by chance.
For tiny eyes
 soon recognize
  each other's glowing golden prize.
-Chris Tipping


Juan Manuel Alvarez brought home three different awards this month.  He received the Second Prize for a poster presentation in biological sciences during the Graduate Student Forum of the University of Florida.  The College of Agriculture selected him to receive an award as "Outstanding International Student" for 1998-99.  President Lombardi also gave him a Presidential Recognition on April 15, in recognition of outstanding achievement and contributions to the University of Florida.

Clay Scherer was presented with the Alpha Zeta Graduate Student of the Year Award at this year's Convocation (March 26).  His contributions to the department and university are well deserving of this honor. 


Marjorie Hoy presented an invited talk, "Current Status of Biological Control of Insects" at the International IPM Conference, which took place in Raleigh, NC in March 1999.


The Virology Society of the University of Florida, with the help of their advisor James E. Maruniak, who unfortunately due to a conference could not make it, went to the CDC in February.  Tom Merritt, who supervised the trip along with his trusty navigator Aissa Doumbouya, got to explore part of the main "campus" of the CDC including Building 15, which is where they work with Ebola and others hemorragic viruses and where the Small Pox virus is kept.  Tom was also able to take the Virology Society to the entomology lab at the CDC where former UF Graduate student Jennifer Anderson and recent speaker and former Graduate student Mark Benedict work.  Fun was had by all.  Ask Tom or Aissa to see their cool CDC Level 4 suit pictures!


American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) says visit our website. This will take you to our new Government Affairs section.  Included here is a link to our new Legislative Information Center, which is an important new web resource that AIBS is making available to all web visitors. Here you will find interactive screens that give you a searchable directory of members of Congress (by name, state, zip code, committee, etc.), a bill-tracking mechanism linked to the LOC's Thomas, committee schedules, and templates for writing to your Congressional rep (under your name, not AIBS's).

Founded in 1947, the American Institute of Biological Sciences is a non-profit member association of more than 6,000 individuals and 55 professional scientific societies and organizations, the latter with a collective membership of more than 125,000 individuals. AIBS activities and services include publishing the journal, BioScience, convening meetings and other coalition events, facilitating education, research, and public outreach programs, providing society support services, and conducting scientific peer review and advisory services for government agencies and other clients. 


Dr. Ken Prestwich, Assoc. Professor at Holy Cross College, Worcester, MA, is once more using Tom Walker's laboratory and locally caught crickets for his studies of the mechanics and energetics of cricket calls.  He arrived about a week ago and will be with us through early June.  Ken has taken an active interest in NATL from its start and has contributed many hours toward restoring the upland pine ecosystem--mostly by girdling and felling laurel oaks (which satisfies his pioneering instincts).  When not torturing crickets or trees, he is an avid bike rider and SCUBA diver.  At Holy Cross he teaches physiology and animal behavior.  Of special note is his explanation of game theory as it applies to the evolution of behavior.  Using interactive simulations, students can explore the theory as it applies to scenarios they propose. 



There is now a practice site for the new computer adaptive test (CAT) which will replace the paper version of the GRE. Students wishing to try the test should go to our academic programs web page and select the link to the GRE site:


Medley, J.C. and T. R. Fasulo. Florida Butterflies #1 - Computer Tutorial. UF/IFAS Publication SW-132. April, 1999.

Featured Creatures

Scheffrahn, R.H., and N. Su. (April, 1999). West Indian powderpost drywood termite, Cryptotermes brevis, (Walker) UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-79.

Computer viruses more common - protect yourself.

The advent of macro viruses coupled with the e-mailing of attachments has made virus proliferation a real problem. Everyone should take steps to protect themselves. You can download and install the latest version (4.02) of McAfee's VirusScan from the UF Software site  If you already have McAfee software you can check your version by running the program and going to the Help, About menu. In addition, there is a service pack that is recommended for those few that are using Outlook 98.

Once the software is installed it is a simple but important matter to update the virus definition files on a regular basis so that your protection remains as strong as possible. See Steve Lasley with any questions. 


On Saturday, May 1, volunteers led by Jody Rosier of the Paynes Prairie Native Plant Chapter will plant a native plant hedge (mostly wax myrtle) along the east DPI fence.  The planting will begin at 8:30am and YOU are invited to help.  DPI is cooperating by supplying the water for transplanting and by letting coral honeysuckle be planted to grow on its fence.  The hedge will visually separate DPI and NATL as requested by Florida Museum of Natural History docents, who lead groups of K-12 students through NATL.  Oh yes, if you come to help plant, please bring a shovel.

On April 17 the Wetlands Club dedicated its Stormwater Ecological Enhancement Project (SEEP) and held a community planting of native wetland species in NATL's re-contoured retention pond.  The count of native wetland species in SEEP is now more than 200, up from the pre-SEEP count of 32 species.  Keeping the transplants alive until the summer rains begin has required frequent watering.  One of three sources of water is our greenhouse area, so during dry spells don't be surprised at seeing a hose stretched across Natural Area Drive in the late afternoons.

In mid May, a six-foot-high earthen berm will be constructed along 34th Street south of the DPI compound.  It will protect persons in the restored longleaf pine in NATL's low-use area from the sights and sounds of six lanes of continuously heavy traffic.  The dirt will come from the pile made on one of the successional plots during SEEP's re-contouring a year ago.  The low bidder for the berm is the contractor who did the SEEP re-contouring.  Thus he'll be paid twice for moving the same dirt: too bad there was too little money for SEEP to allow the berm to be done at the same time. 


Chris Tipping's  team won the softball class tournament this semester.  They finished 5-0.

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Editor: Michael Patnaude

This version of the newsletter is prepared for the Web by Kathryn Jones.

April 1999. Updated May 2003.