July 2010

Faculty News

A recent UF/IFAS news release featured Dr. Akers Pence (Ph.D. '05) and his work on native American pollinator bees. Dr. Pence is directing the IFAS portion of a five-year study of native pollinators. Specifically, the study will try to determine the most effective ways to attract the native pollinators, keep them around, and encourage them to pollinate Florida’s crops.

The Spring 2010 issue of CALS Connection, a University of Florida publication, carried an article featuring Dr. Christine Miller. The article, "Miller Lab Provides Opportunities for Undergraduate Research," discussed Dr. Miller's efforts to provide "serious undergraduate science majors the opportunity to boost their resumes and potentially publish research."

As of July 1st, Stephanie Stocks joined our department from Clemson University in an Assistant-In Extension Entomology position. This is a full-time, non-tenure accruing position in our department. She is working out of room 3106, immediately next to Dr. Amanda Hodges. Stephanie has a M.S. in biology with a diverse background in educational design and classroom instruction. Stephanie will be working with Dr. Hodges on a variety of multi-agency national e-learning educational materials. Primary duties will include the development of a variety of print and multi-media extension education materials, with an emphasis on invasive, exotic species, pest detection, plant biosecurity, and pest/pathogen diagnosis.

Dr. Mike Scharf and Dr. Jian-Zhong Sun (Jiangsu University, China) recently co-edited a special volume of the journal Insect Science on insects, biofuels, and renewable energy. The special issue containing 11 original international papers is available on the Wiley InterScience site. To access the site requires that your browser allows cookies.

A recent UF/IFAS news release featured Dr. Rebecca Baldwin and her development of cell phone applications that lets users identify pests with photos and text. They are compatible with Apple mobile devices, including the popular iPhone, and sell for $1.99 each. As of July 1st, Dr. Baldwin became a member of our teaching and extension faculty. Previously, she was very active in both areas as a member of our staff.

Student News

The UF/IFAS news release featuring Dr. Akers Pence also mentions others in Dr. Jamie Ellis's laboratory who are working on native pollinators. M.S. student Anthony Vaudo is studying native honey bee conservation in South Africa; Ph.D. student Jason Graham is studying native pollinator habitat, nesting materials, how to encourage native bees to nest and educate Floridians about native pollinator conservation; and M.S. student Katie Buckley is studying native bees that use specific Florida wildflowers. Fulbright scholar and M.S. student Pablo Herrera is studying native pollinators’ effectiveness with blueberries and watermelons, while undergraduate honors student Julian Aris is researching wasps attracted to specific wildflower plots.

The CALS Connection article on Dr. Christine Miller also mentions entomology and nematology senior Fae Nageon de Lestang who presented her work at a recent annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America and has one project published and another under review. Ben Anderson, a recent graduate, also thanked Dr. Miller for the experience he received while working with her. The Miller Lab must be a fun place to work as the lab even has its own t-shirts!

Delano Lewis successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation on the 24th May.

On 13 April, Ph.D. student Harsimran "Rosie" Gill was recognized as a recipient of the James Davidson Travel scholarship, at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences scholarship and leadership awards banquet.

Ph.D. student Harsimran Gill recieved a $200 Graduate Student Scholarship from the Florida State Horticultural Society at its annual meeting during 6-8 June.


Ellis JD, Zettel Nalen CM. (June 2010). Varroa mite, Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman. Featured Creatures. EENY-473. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/varroa_mite.htm

Ellis JD, Ellis A. (June 2010). Small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray. Featured Creatures. EENY-474. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/small_hive_beetle.htm

Mann RS, Stelinski LL. (June 2010). An Asian citrus psyllid parasitoid, Tamarixia radiata (Waterston). Featured Creatures. EENY-475. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/wasps/tamarixia_radiata.htm

Spence D, Hodges A. (June 2010). A tiphiid wasp, Myzinum maculata Fabricius. Featured Creatures. EENY-470. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/wasps/myzinum_maculata.htm

Lewis DS. 2010. Book Review: Butterflies of Puerto Rico - Las Mariposas de Puerto Rico (2009). Pérez-Asso AR, Genaro JA, Garrido OH. Tropical Lepidotpera Research 20: 45.

Lewis DS, van Veen R, Wilson BS. (2010). Conservation implications of mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) diet in a hotspot within a hotspot: the Hellshire Hills, Jamaica. Biological Invasions (DOI 10.1007/s10530-010-9781-0). PDF copy.

Zhou X, Kovaleva ES, Wu-Scharf D, Campbell JH, Buchman GW, Boucias DG, Scharf ME. 2010. Production and characterization of two recombinant beta-1,4-endoglucanases (GHF9) from the termite Reticulitermes flavipes. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 74: 147-162.

Sun JZ, Scharf ME. 2010. Exploring and integrating cellulolytic systems of insects to advance biofuel technology. Insect Science 17: 163-165.

Scharf ME, Boucias DG. 2010. Potential of termite-based pre-treatment strategies for use in bioethanol production. Insect Science 17: 1-9.

Center TD, Cuda JP, Grodowitz MJ. (June 2010). Alligatorweed thrips, Amynothrips andersoni O'Neill. Featured Creatures. EENY-476. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/alligatorweed_thrips.htm

Gill HK, McSorley R, Goyal G, Webb SE. 2010. Mulch as a potential management strategy for lesser cornstalk borer, Elasmopalpus lignosellus (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), in bush bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Florida Entomologist 93: 183-190.

Gill HK, McSorley R. 2010. Effect of integrating soil solarization and organic mulching on the soil surface insect community. Florida Entomologist 93: 308-309.

Goyal G, Nuessly GS, Steck GJ, Seal DR, Capinera JL, Boote KJ. New report of Chaetopsis massyla (Diptera: Ulidiidae) as a primary pest of corn in Florida. Flroida Entomologist 93: 198-202.

Medal J, Bustamante N, Vitorino M, Beal L, Overholt W, Diaz R, Cuda J. 2009. Host specificity tests of Gratiana graminea (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a potential biological control agent of tropical soda apple, Solanum viarum (Solanaceae) in Florida. Florida Entomologist 93: 231-242.

Meetings and Presentations

During 25-30 June, Dr. Christine W. Miller attended the Evolution 2010 Conference in Portland, Oregon. Stephanie Gillespie, a recent graduate of UF, presented her undergraduate research with Dr. Christine W. Miller at this conference. Her paper was "Mate discrimination varies by context" and is coauthored with Dr. Miller, Scarlett Tudor (Ph.D. Student in Biology) and Dr. Allen J. Moore (University of Exeter).

Dr. Gregg Nuessly attended the annual meeting of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists in Panama City Beach, Florida. A paper he presented, "Sugarcane rust mite, Abacarus sacchari: an Old World pest attacking sugarcane in the New World," coauthored by J.C. Comstock, D. Zhao, W.R. Davidson, C. Welbourn, and R. Ochoa, was awarded first place.

Ph.D. student Harsimran "Rosie" Gill presented the paper "Integrated impact of soil solarization and organic mulching on weeds, insects, nematodes, and plant parameters," at the recent joint meeting of the Florida State Horticultural Society with Soil and Crop Science Society of Florida. Dr. Robert McSorley was a coauthor.

Drs. James P. Cuda and his Ph.D. student Abhishek Mukherjee participated in the 2010 Plant Camp held at the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Gainesville, FL, 13-17 June. Cuda and Mukherjee conducted a field demonstration on biological control of aquatic weeds, including how to collect insects from aquatic plants. The Plant Camp is an invasive species summer workshop for middle school teachers co-sponsored by the Center and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Dr. James P. Cuda and Devin Donohue, one of his undergraduate students, participated in the 2010 Summer Journalism Invasive Species Program held on the UF campus near Lake Alice on 19 June. Cuda and Donohue gave a field demonstration on biological control of aquatic weeds to 15 high school journalism students. The program was co-sponsored by the UF College of Journalism and Communications and the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. Cuda was one of several scientists featured in a video (6:51) developed by the group.

Advanced Mosquito Biology

An online course in Advanced Mosquito Biology (ENY 6905/4905, 3 credits) will be offered this Fall. Instructors are Dr. Chelsea T. Smartt (ctsmart@ufl.edu, 772-778-7200 x156) and Dr. Cynthia Lord (clord@ufl.edu, 772-778-7200 x157) (Fax for both: 772-778-7205). There are no prior coursework requirements to enroll. However, this is an advanced course and basic knowledge of ecology, cell biology, genetics, and molecular biology is highly recommended. Graduate students are encouraged to contact the instructors with questions. Undergraduate students require permission from the instructors prior to enrolling.

Entomology Field Camp

During 21-25 June, the Outreach Committee presented the department's first annual Entomology Field Camp, or "Bug Camp" as it was called in the press. Oriented toward middle-school students, this first year was a learning experience for us, especially as we missed being listed in the Gainesville Sun's "Summer Camp Publication" and also forgot to take a booth at the summer camp "Expo" at Littlewood school. As a result, we had only 11 students, instead of the 25 we had hoped for. But those 11 students had a blast! The June 25th edition of the Sun ran an article and photo spread the afternoon visit to the Bee Farm, just one of the many activities of our camp.

The Black Bear Murder Mystery

The June issue of the UF/IFAS Extension Comings and Goings carried the following article: "Thirty middle school students in Collier County were introduced to the world of forensics through the University of Florida’s 4-H Forensic Entomology project. The youth learned the history of forensic entomology and the ten basic rules for insect collecting. The participants learned how to define PMI (Post-Mortem Interval) by observing the insects that were attracted to their insect jars and the stage of the insect’s life cycle. After the youth learned the basics of forensic entomology they participated in "The Black Bear Murder Mystery," a four day lesson culminating activity for the forensic entomology project. The youth worked in teams investigating the crime scene to solve the mystery by determining the time of death of the black bear. The bear was actually a few cuts of meat wrapped in a piece of fake bear fur. The youth enjoyed the project and learned about forensic science as well as insects and the information they can provide to investigators about the time and location of a variety of criminal cases. With this new project, Collier County hopes to spark interest in learning more about science through 4-H."

The Black Bear Murder Mystery was developed by Erika Andersen (M.S.N. '05), a school teacher whose advisor was Dr. Russ Mizell. Ms. Andersen's project was then reviewed by entomology faculty and IFAS 4-H. It was then made available for county agent use.

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.

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July 2010.