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November 20th, 2012

Crow lab

ABOVE: The North-Central Florida Turfgrass Field Day was held on October 11th at the PSREU in Citra, and the Crow lab was out in full force for the event. Left to right, Sudarshan Aryal (Ph.D. student), Tina Gu (M.S. student), Tom Bean (Biological Scientist), Dr. Crow, and Jay Cee Turner (Biological Scientist).

Faculty and Staff News

Dr. Nan-Yao Su recieved a Medal of Honor on November 12th because he is recognized internationally as an authority on termites and is known for his innovative approach for their population management. A Medal of Honor from the Entomological Foundation is given to recognize distinguished service in the field of entomology. This award is the highest award presented by the Foundation and is given only to those who have attained preeminence in the field through outstanding contributions. The award consists of a gold medal and was presented to Dr. Su during the Entomological Foundation's Awards Event at the Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting.

Dr. James P. Cuda was a co-recipient of the USDA Department of the Interior’s Partners in Conservation Award.  This award recognized  team members for their contributions to the highly successful Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area.  

Dr. Jim Maruniak and members of the teaching faculty in the Department of Microbiology and Cell Science received the 150th Anniversary of the Morrill Act Award at the Education Celebration on October 28th. The award recognized the faculty for increasing access to affordable higher education through distance education. The awards were presented by Provost Glover and the Florida Virtual School. Special thanks goes to Dr. Triplett for nominating the faculty members.

Dr. Jim Maruniak has been selected to be a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Virology, the number one cited journal in the field of virology.

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited by UF-IFAS Global to host Dr. Henry Fadamiro from Auburn University on Tuesday, 23rd of October.  Dr. Fadamiro is affiliated with the University President’s office  and is the state IPM Coordinator. The focus of his visit was to learn more about UF’s internationalization process, especially establishing successful international research collaborations.

Dr. Howard Frank was invited to The Ohio State University to give a seminar on the 18th of October. His seminar was titled "The problem with mole crickets in Florida: A story of grass, taxonomy, acoustics, and biological control."

Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory Technician Jeanette Klopchin received the Florida State Beekeeper’s Association (FSBA) 2012 “Woman of the Year Award” for her dedication to work in the Florida Beekeeping Community, in programs such as the Master Beekeeper Program and Bee College, under the direction of Dr. Jamie Ellis.  

Dr. Durdane Yanar returned to Turkey after a productive research visit in the laboratory of Dr. Marjorie Hoy.

We just heard that Dr. Zdenek Landa passed away.  He visited UF multiple times over the years to conduct research on biological control.

Student News

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Do you know how many students are in our programs?

We have 15 M.S. non-thesis graduate students in our distance program. We have 115 graduate students in campus programs and at research centers.  These students are from 13 states and 20 countries. Students in the Plant Medicine Program represent 13 states and 6 countries. We currently have 31 students in the Plant Medicine Program.

Entomology and Nematology Student Organization (ENSO)

Thank you to everyone who took the time to help with the butterfly garden beautification project. ENSO is happy to help out with other projects in the future, just let us know the next time you'll be needing our assistance.

garden news

ENSO Officers took charge of the project, thanks to the following for lending a helping hand: Ashley Poplin, Chris Holderman, Dale Halbritter, Dehlia Albrecht, and Elena Rhodes. Thank you to Paul Ruppert for organizing everything for this project.

Winners at ESA

The University of Florida team made it to the semi-finals of the National Linnaean Games after defeating Oklahoma State University at the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America held in Knoxville, TN. In the semi-finals UF lost to UGA. Teammates: Garima Kakkar (Advisor: Dr. Nan-Yao Su), Ashley Poplin and Sarahlynne Guerrero (Advisor: Dr. Amanda Hodges), and Navneet Kaur (Advisor: Dr. Eileen Buss). The team coach is Dr. Amanda Hodges.

The team is thankful to Dr. Stephen Mclean for helping the team practice and prepare for the game.

Ph.D. student Jason Graham hosts the Citizen Science Project interactive website www.ufnativebuzz.com where people of all ages can learn about native pollinators in their community. Members create foraging and nesting habitat, register their sites, monitor their bees, and provide valuable information about the unique diversity of bees in their community.

Ms. Rachael Keels is an undergraduate entomology student specializing in ecotourism. She has been selected for the Agricultural Sciences - Entomology Internship position as part of the Disney Theme Parks & Resorts Professional Internship program. Starting in January, she will be working in the Land Pavilion at Disney's Epcot rearing biocontrol agents and educating the public about Integrated Pest Management.

Awards and Scholarships

ESA 2012 Student Award Winners

Paul Bardunias- Jeffery P. LaFage Graduate Student Award

Dawn Calibeo- Shripat Kamble Urban Entomology Award for Innovative Research

President’s Prize Student Competition Winners
Dawn Calibeo- Selecting ant baits for an IPM strategy for Caribbean crazy ants, Nylanderia pubens (Forel), based on macronutrient
preferences and nest demographics (with Faith Oi)

Tim Davis- An attractive self-marking ovitrap (ASMO) to measure dispersal and determine skip oviposition in Aedes albopictus field populations (with Dan Kline, Phillip E. Kaufman, Jerome A. Hogsette, and Andrew Tatem)

Chloe Hawkings- RNAi-based strategy for Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) control: A method to reduce the spread of citrus greening disease (with J. Kent Morgan, Lindsay Shaffer, Charles A. Powell, Dov Borovsky, Ronald D. Cave, William Dawson, Siddarame Gowda, andRobert G. Shatters)

Lindsay Iglesias- Monitoring, trapping, and behavioral studies of the spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura), a new
pest threatening Florida blueberries (with Oscar Liburd)

Garima Kakkar- Time lapse between two molts of workers of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and its implication for ingestion of lethal dose of a chitin synthesis inhibitor (with Nan-Yao Su)

Two of our alumni, Dr. Harsimran "Rosie" Gill and Dr. Gaurav Goyal, have a new family member, an adorable baby girl was born on October 8th at 5:58 pm. She was 7 lbs 14 oz and 20.25 inches at birth. Her name is Ajooni Bisam Goyal.

Baby Ajoon

We are delighted to have Ajooni in our Entomology and Nematology family.

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 manager is Lyle Buss.

Think it might be a nematode problem? The Nematode Assay Laboratory serves Florida and other states by providing nematode assay 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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Hulcr J, Latimer AM, Henley JB, Rountree NR, Fierer N, Lucky A, Lowman MD, Dunn RR. (2012). A jungle in there: bacteria in belly buttons are highly diverse, but predictable. PLoS ONE 7(11):e47712.

Juan-Blasco M, Qureshi JA, Urbaneja A, Stansly PA. 2012. Predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii (Acari: Phytoseiidae), for biological control of Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae). Florida Entomologist 95: 543-551.

Qureshi JA, Rohrig EA, Stansly PA. 2012. Introduction and augmentation of natural enemies for management of Asian citrus psyllid and HLB. Citrus Industry 14-16.

New on Featured Creatures:

A mosquito, Psorophora ciliata (Fabricius). Authors: Ephraim V. Ragasa and Phillip E. Kaufman, University of Florida.

Tropical sod webworm, Herpetogramma phaeopteralis Guenée. Authors: Nastaran Tofangsazi, Steven P. Arthurs, and Ronald H. Cherry, University of Florida.

Burrowing nematode, Radopholus similis (Cobb, 1893) Thorne, 1949. Authors: Nicholas S. Sekora and William Crow, University of Florida.

Green lacewings of Florida (Chrysopidae). Author: Lionel A. Stange, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry.

A colonial tentweb orbweaver, Cyrtophora citricola. Author: G.B. Edwards, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry.

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

Meetings and Presentations

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The annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America was held in Knoxville, TN in mid November. A few presentations and awards are listed in this issue of the newsletter. A more complete review of ESA awards and presentations will be included in the December newsletter. Use the online searchable program to learn about all the presentations at ESA and to see virtual posters.

Dr. Marjorie Hoy presented an invited talk at the ESA meeting in Knoxville on Nov. 11, "The Genomes of Metaseiulus occidentalis."

Dr. Christine W. Miller presented a talk titled "Genotype-by-environment interactions and sexual selection in the leaf-footed cactus bugs, Narnia femorata."

Dr. Billy Crow was invited to teach two classes at the Carolina Golf Course Superintendent's Conference and Trade Show in Myrtle Beach S.C. on the 14th and 15th of November. He taught a 3.5-hour class on "Nematode Management on Golf Courses in the Carolinas" to 110 golf course superintendents and a half hour course on "Nematode IPM for Golf Courses" to >100 attendees.

Dr. Billy Crow was the educational speaker for the Seven Rivers Golf Course Superintendents Association meeting on September 13th in Dunnellon, FL.

Dr. Billy Crow gave two presentations at the Florida Turfgrass Association Annual meeting in Orlando on 25 and 26 September. One presentation was on new nematicides for turfgrasses, the other was on nematode management on sod farms.

The North-Central Florida Turfgrass Field Day was held on October 11th at the PSREU in Citra. Dr. Billy Crow showed off his turf nematicide trials. Dr. Crow and Ph.D. student Sudarshan Aryal spoke about nematode IPM on turfgrasses.

Dr. James P. Cuda travelled to  Bartow, FL on October 24th to give a presentation titled, "Classical Biological Control of Brazilian Peppertree: Overview and New Opportunities." Cuda was invited by the Research Technical Advisory Committee of the Florida Industrial Phosphate and Research Institute to give a presentation on a research proposal that he submitted to FIPR for funding consideration.


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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.

Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory wants you to follow them on twitter to find out about upcoming events, and interesting stories about honey bees @UFHoneybeelab.

From the Outreach Coordinator

We were very busy with outreaches this past month. 

Thanks to Dale Halbritter, Ashley Poplin, and David Sekora for going to Rawlings Elementary for their science night (October 11th). 

Thanks to our Florida Museum of Natural History Butterfly Fest volunteers Emma Roulette, Lucas Carnohan, Dehlia Albrecht, Dan Fitzpatrick, and Pablo Allen (October 13th and 14th). 

We held an outreach event on October 16th at Talbot Elementary. Erika Machtinger went to Little Pioneers Preschool for an outreach event (October 17th), and Crystal Atkinson held two outreach events on October 18th at Baby Gator and Horizon Center School. 

We had an exhibit at Tailgator this year (October 20th) which featured bedbugs. We even had Commissioner Putnam take a picture with our volunteer bedbug! On October 29th, we had a large group of students come to the department. Thanks to Stephanie Hill for helping. Dr. Faith Oi held an outreach at Northwest Baptist Church for a boy scout group on October 29th. 

Ocali Days booth

ABOVE: This year, we had a great booth at Ocali Days. Thanks to Chris Holderman, Aaron Pomerantz, Ashley Mortensen, Navneet Kaur, Bo Idsardi, Ephraim Ragasa, Jessica Louton, Dale Halbritter, Keith Gerber, Jade Hilliard, Lindsay Wheeler, Casey Parker, David Owens, and Juliana Xu for volunteering for this event. 

We have four more outreaches scheduled for this month. We are always in need of volunteers, so please keep an eye out for volunteer request emails!          

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 would like to schedule an event or have any outreach questions, go to the Outreach pages on our Bug Club Website and contact us. I look forward to working with all of you over the next four years.

- Stephanie Stocks, Outreach Coordinator 
- Office number  352-273-3958


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Virni Mattson, our Grants Specialist, reports that September 30th, 2012 to October 31st, 2012 we have had 10 new grants or contracts awarded for a total of $579,737.02 in external funding for all Entomology and Nematology faculty (in Gainesville and at RECs).

Dr. James P. Cuda was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Office of the Dean for Research. The endowed research funding program is supported by the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association. The funds will be used to develop rearing procedures for the leaflet galling psyllid Calophya terebinthifolii, a candidate biological control agent for Brazilian peppertree.


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Spread the Word

The University of Florida’s 1st Annual Caribbean Bee College (CBC) will be held January 3rd to 5th, 2013 in Grenada, West Indies. The CBC is a partnership between the University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory, the East Caribbean Bee Research and Extension Center at St. Georges University in Grenada, the Association of Caribbean Beekeepers’ Organizations, and the Grenada Association of Beekeepers.

Collectively, we are preparing to offer a three-day honey bee extension event that will serve as a learning experience for beekeepers, farmers, those in various bee-related industries, and others interacting with honey bees and beekeeping at any level. Our primary goal is to partner with beekeepers and other groups in the Caribbean in an effort to share information, tools, and resources that we hope will improve the sustainability of beekeeping among the islands. Additionally, our team will take time during the CBC to have a group discussion on the state of honey bee research, extension, and instruction efforts in the Caribbean. We will use the information gathered at the discussion to develop additional honey bee-related programs for the Caribbean islands.

Assistant Professor of Medical Entomology position now available in the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, at the University of Florida.

The 77th Annual Meeting of the Florida Academy of Sciences

Please note this call for abstracts and the deadline. This is a good and relatively inexpensive meeting for grad students in agriculture related fields to attend.

Barry University, Miami Shores, FL March 8th to 9th, 2013
All FAS abstracts must be submitted online at www.barry.edu/fas/

Abstract Topics: Abstracts on any aspect of science or engineering are solicited, and you are invited to organize additional sessions or symposia in any area of science, engineering, or science education. For further information and procedures, visit the academy’s web page or contact the FAS Program Chair, Dr. Jeremy Montague (Barry University). Abstract Deadline: Friday, December14th, 2012


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 7th of that month.

We would 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 Dr. Verena Lietze and Nancy Sanders who reviewed the newsletter for errors and to Jane Medley who built the web page.