January 2012

Faculty News

Dr. Eugene Gerberg

Dr. Eugene Gerberg, a medical entomologist who 'joined' our faculty after retiring from a long career as a public health entomologist, including service in World War II, died on December 19th. Dr. Gerberg was still active in many endeavors until his early 90s, but began to fail in health after he reached 92. I first met him in the early 1990s when I was developing a large, software training program for a major pesticide company that supported the urban pest control industry. He was listed as one of the authors of the program and was a great resource when I had questions about a pest. I remember that the company providing the grant wanted information on the 'cheese skipper' included, and my first response was, "What the hell is that?" As the Internet wasn't there yet, I went to Gene for help. He replied that he thought he had some information on this pest in the warehouse where he ran his entomological supply company. A few days later he handed me a phamplet opened to the 'cheese skipper' pages, held open with a paperclip. After thanking him and later reading the material, I removed the paperclip and opened the phamplet to the front page. It was a USDA publication and the author was Dr. Eugene Gerberg. It was dated 1947, the year I was born. When Dr. James Nation, another 'retired' entomologist in our department, came in, I mentioned Gene's passing to him. Dr. Nation replied that Gene was one of the old breed of entomologists who were not only experts in their specialities, but also knew a little bit about everything else.

I was fortunate to get to know Gene well and was a guest at his house several times. When he came to the department, I either went to his office to chat with him or he came by mine. He had many friends and admirers and will be greatly missed. - Thomas R. Fasulo

The following information appeared in the Gainesville Sun:

Dr. Gerberg was born June 1, 1919, in Brooklyn, New York. He received both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, and a Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.

Dr. Gerberg served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Public Health Service from 1941 until 1943, when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. From 1942 until 1945, he served in the Malaria Control in War Areas unit, a forerunner of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). After the war, Dr. Gerberg transferred to the Army Reserve, retiring as a colonel from the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps in 1979. In 1946, he co-founded Insect Control and Research (ICR) in Baltimore, serving as president until he sold the company in 1990. During the Vietnam War, ICR was instrumental in helping combat malaria, which was paralyzing U.S. troops in Vietnam.

From 1972 until his death, Dr. Gerberg was a Research Associate for the Florida Department of Agriculture in Gainesville. He also served as Adjunct Professor with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, from 1986 until 1991, and as Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville from 1991 until his death. Dr. Gerberg served as a consultant to the U.S. Commerce Department trade missions to Nigeria and Pakistan, the U.S. State Department Agency for International Development, the Pan American Health Organization, and the World Health Organization. He was a Cooperating Scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1954 until his death.

Dr. Gerberg's work and expertise were recognized by the American Mosquito Control Association, the National Pest Management Association, the Entomological Society of America and the Florida Entomological Society. He was the American Registry of Professional Entomologists' Outstanding Medical/Veterinary Entomologist in 1983. He was the author or co-author of many manuals, articles and publications related to the identification, rearing and control of insects. He also co-authored a manual on Florida butterflies.

A memorial service will be held early next year in Gainesville with interment at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida. Donations in honor of Dr. Gerberg may be made to the American Mosquito Control Association scholarship fund at http://www.mosquito.org.

Drs. Keith Willmott and Andrei Sourakov, two UF entomologists with the Florida Museum of Natural History's McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, were featured in an online article on ScienceDaily for their work describing how caterpillars mimic one another for survival. The article was co-authored by Dr. Marianne Elias, of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France.

Student News

Dr. Abhishek Mukherjee, former Ph.D. student of Dr. James P. Cuda, was the recipient of the department’s "John A. Mulrennan, Sr. Outstanding PhD Student Award." The Mulrennan award includes a cash award of $500. Dr. Mukherjee’s dissertation was selected to be the departmental Ph.D. nominee for the U.F. College of Agricultural and Life Sciences’ "Award of Excellence for Graduate Research."

Every year the University of Florida International Center recognizes a few international students with its "Outstanding Academic Achievement Award" and Ph.D. student Vivek Kumar was among those students this year. Vivek received the award during the 7th annual International Students Academic Awards ceremony at Smathers Library, in Gainesville.

Alumni News

Dr. Ameya Gondhalekar graduated from our department in August 2011 and is now working in a post-doctoral position at Purdue University. Recently, a chapter from Dr. Gondhalekar's Ph.D. dissertation was published in the Journal of Medical Entomology 49: 122-131. The title of the paper is "Mechanisms underlying fipronil resistance in a multi-resistant field strain of the German cockroach (Blattodea: Blattellidae)," and lists Dr. Gondhalekar and co-author Dr. Michael Scharf as members of our department.


Bibbs CS, Buss LJ. (December 2011). Widow spider parasitoids, Philolema latrodecti (Fullaway) and Baeus latrodecti Dozier. Featured Creatures. EENY-515. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/wasps/latrodectus_parasitoids.htm

Hulcr J, Mann RS, Stelinski LL. 2011. The scent of a partner: Ambrosia beetles are attracted to volatiles from their fungal symbionts. Journal of Chemical Ecology 37: 1374-1377.

Mann RS, Pelz-Stelinski K, Hermann SL, Tiwari S, Stelinski LL. 2011. Sexual transmission of a plant pathogenic bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, between conspecific insect vectors during mating. PLoS ONE. 6(12): e29197.

Youn Y, Backus EA, Serikawa RH, Stelinski LL. 2011. Correlation of an electrical penetration graph waveform with walking by Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae). Florida Entomologist 94: 1084-1087.

Lietze V-U, Geden CJ, Doyle M, Boucias DG. 2012. Disease dynamics and persistence of MdSGHV-infections in laboratory house fly (Musca domestica) populations. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78: 311-317.

Geden CJ, Steenberg T, Lietze V-U, Boucias DG. 2011. Salivary gland hypertrophy virus of house flies in Denmark: Prevalence, host range, and comparison with a Florida isolate. Journal of Vector Ecology 36: 231-238.

Geden CJ, Garcia-Maruniak A, Lietze V-U, Maruniak JE, Boucias DG. 2011. Impact of house fly salivary gland hypertrophy virus (MdSGHV) on a heterologous host, Stomoxys calcitrans. Journal of Medical Entomology 48: 1128-1135.

Kumar V, Seal DR, Schuster DJ, McKenzie C, Osborne LS, Maruniak J, Zhang S. 2011. Scirtothrips dorsalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): Scanning electron micrographs of key taxonomic traits and a preliminary morphometric analysis of the general morphology of populations of different continents. Florida Entomologist 94: 941-955.

Spring 2012 Entomology Seminars

The department's entomology seminars take place on Thursday afternoons in Room 1031, unless indicated otherwise. The talks start at 3:30 pm. with refreshments served at 3:20 pm. Other details, as well as a listing of this semester's talks, are available on the seminar site.

Spring 2012 Nematology Seminars

The department's nematology seminars take place on Monday afternoons in Room 1031, unless indicated otherwise. The talks start at 3:45 pm. with refreshments served at 3:30 pm.

Bee College

The Bee College, Florida's biggest educational event for honey bee hobbyists, professionals and anyone interested in honey bees is back for its fifth year. UF’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory has organized and hosted the event since 2008. This year’s event will be held at the UF Whitney Marine Laboratory in Marineland, Florida, 9-10 March.

The two-day event offers classes for beekeepers of all ages and experience levels, gardeners, naturalists, county agents and anyone else who might be interested in the topic. The course lineup has been refreshed and may appeal to those who have attended in the past. More speakers have also been added, including international- and national-caliber experts. The Junior Bee College event also returns, and will be held 10 March. Children ages 6 through 16, teachers and parents are encouraged to register and attend.

Some of the new Bee College courses include: Integrated Pest Management, swarm control, mead making, gourmet honey cookery, building observation hives and beeswax encaustic painting. Coupled with the event is the annual honey show, the state's largest competition of its kind. A best of show winner will be chosen from 13 show classes.

Registration begins this month, and the registration form and program agenda are now available. The cost is $115 per person to attend for one day or $175 for both days. Family and discount rates are offered.

Just preceding the Bee College on 8 March, training and examinations for the Master BeeKeeper Program also will be provided at the Whitney Marine Laboratory. This is a completely separate event from the Bee College and requires separate registration.


December was a quiet month for outreach activities, but the Florida State Fair is looming on the horizon! The following are programs and outreach events currently scheduled for January and February:

The Florida State Fair in Tampa is less than 30 days away and it is time for us to start recruiting volunteers. This is our largest outreach event of the year in terms of the number of visitors. It is important that you make an effort to volunteer! This year’s theme will be Backyard Bugs. We will have several live and preserved common Florida arthropods as well as some interactive and hands-on displays at our indoor booth. You don’t need to be an expert on our local arthropod fauna and detailed fact sheets will be provided for volunteers.

If you are a university employee, you may take a state vehicle to drive there on the day(s) you volunteer. The outreach truck also will be available. Booth hours will be 10:00 am–4:30 pm on Mondays–Thursdays and 9 am–4:30 pm on Fridays–Sundays and Presidents Day. You need to be there 15 minutes prior to the Fair's opening so you have time to walk to the booth and get things ready. It would be best to have one faculty and two students (either grad or undergrad) at the booth each day. You then can take shifts so one person can walk around and see the Fair's attractions. Volunteers will receive a free admission ticket, a parking pass (close spots!) and a meal voucher. If you can only go for half the day, I will make sure there is someone to fill in the other half.

Click here for the Doodle link for volunter sign-ups. The times listed include the driving time and the 15 min morning buffer. There will also be a sign-up sheet at the front office. I will provide more details to those who volunteer. Feel free to come by room 3235 or e-mail me if you have any questions.

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 traveling cage and one larger static cage. Please be sure to contact me 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 so that 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 Web site and contact us. - Dale A. Halbritter, Outreach Coordinator

Departmental Vans

The department has several vans available for general use. Personnel are reminded that when returning vans after the administrative office has closed, the vans should be locked and the keys deposited in the "mail slot" on the office door. This ensures that people who reserved the vans for the next day have immediate access to the keys. Placing the keys under the driver's seat in an unlocked van is not an acceptable substitute. The worst case scenario in this case is a stolen van to which no one has access. Keeping the keys in your pocket, lab or office until you remember to turn them in is also discourteous to others as it might affect their work schedule. Some additional guidelines are:

The 3 Rs - Reading Room Rules

The Reading Room Committee reminds us that no one is allowed to take materials out of the reading room, and no one is allowed to take food or drink in. You are also reminded that Reading Room users are monitored on closed-circuit TV. The committee requests that you tidy up after yourself before leaving the room. Those who wish to use the in-room copier should visit the stock room and obtain a PIN from Nick Hostettler.

Newsletter Minutiae

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Departmental faculty, staff, students and alumni can submit news anytime to fasulo@ufl.edu. Issues usually are published by early mid-month. Submit items for an issue by the 7th of that month.

UF-Bugnews-L listserv subscribers receive notices when issues are posted on the newsletter Web site at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/news, which has instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing. Pam Howell and Nancy Sanders review the newsletter for errors. Thomas Fasulo does the HTML coding.

In the last 12 months, the newsletter Web site recorded 106,505 page views.

January 2012.