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July 16th, 2013

the Florida Pest Management Summer Conference

ABOVE: The Urban Lab crew at the Florida Pest Management Summer Conference (June 17-20), where they presented six hours of continuing education units to the pest management industry. In the photo are Josh Weston, Holly Beard, Casey Parker, Ben Hottel, Dr. Stephanie Hill, Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, Dr. Roberto Pereira and Dr. Phil Koehler. Photo by Pete Elbert of Residex.

Faculty and Staff News

Be sure to congratulate these faculty members on their recent promotions:

Dr. Ronald D. Cave was promoted to Professor.

Dr. C. Roxanne Connelly was promoted to Professor.

Dr. William T. Crow was promoted to Professor.

Dr. Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman was promoted to Associate Extension Scientist.

Dr. Faith M. Oi was promoted to Associate Extension Scientist.

Dr. Lukasz L. Stelinski was promoted to Associate Professor.

Dr. Michael E. Scharf, Dr. Drion G. Boucias, and six other scientists received a patent for "Biomass Conversion Using Recombinant Termite Ligno-Cellulases" on May 21st.

Drs. Emma Weeks and James P. Cuda were featured in the Summer 2013 issue of the Mosquito Research Foundation Newsletter. The article highlighted their research on evaluating the amino acid methionine as a larvicide for mosquito IPM programs.

Phil Award

ABOVE: Congratulations to Dr. Phil Stansly, one of our professors based at the SW Florida REC. He was honored on July 9th with a proclamation from the Collier County Board of Commissioners recognizing his research and efforts to resolve citrus greening and protect the citrus industry in Collier County and Florida.

Insect Molecular Genetics, ENY 5820, will be taught in the Fall Semester 2013 by Dr. Marjorie Hoy. The course can be taken on campus, by REC students, and by true distance students. For additional information, please contact Dr. Hoy.

National Public Radio (NPR) Correspondent Greg Allen visited the Department a few weeks ago to discuss various emerging pest problems in Florida. This news segment aired June 26th.

Featured scientists and critters include: Dr. John Capinera, snails and slugs; Dr. Marjorie Hoy, Asian citrus psyllid and citrus greening disease; Dr. Amanda Hodges, invasive species and the brown marmorated stink bug; and M.S. graduate student Ashley Poplin, the brown marmorated stink bug.

Featured Creatures articles are being translated into Arabic. Here is the first on the citrus nematode نيماتودا الموالح. Authors: Nicholas S. Sekora and William Crow, University of Florida.

Translation provided by Dr. Diaa El-Ansary, Precision Agriculture Laboratory (PAL), Faculty of Agriculture (El-Shatby) at the University of Alexandria, Egypt.

The Featured Creatures Project Coordinator Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman met Dr. Diaa in Egypt and formed a partnership agreement while working on an ACDI-VOCA and USAID Farmer-to-Farmer Program with the Egyptian Union of Producers and Exporters of Horticultural Crops (UPEHC).

Student and Alumni News

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Haleigh Ray, an M.S. student in the laboratory of Dr. Marjorie Hoy, presented her research proposal on June 24th, The Potential of the Predator Hemicheyletia wellsina (Acari: Cheyletidae) as a Natural Enemy of Arthropod Pests of Orchids.

Aaron Pomerantz and Al Estep, students in the laboratory of Dr. Marjorie Hoy, attended the Seventh Annual Arthropod Genomics Symposium June 13th-16th at the Eck Institute for Global Health at the University of Notre Dame. Aaron presented a poster, Identification and Phylogenetic Analysis of Dmrt Genes Involved in Sex Determination in Metaseiulus occidentalis (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Dr. Hoy and Dr. Akito Kawahara were co-authors on the poster.

Two highschool students, Carson Smith and Seren Nurgun, are conducting research in the laboratory of Dr. Marjorie Hoy under the Student Science Training Program (SSTP).  They will spend about 6 weeks conducting research under the direct supervision of graduate student Haleigh Ray. Seren is from Pompano Beach, and Carson is from Winter Springs.

Dr. James Cuda’s lab is hosting Ms. Emma Mantyh for the summer semester. Ms. Mantyh, who is a gifted student attending A.W. Dreyfoos high school in West Palm Beach, is participating in the 55th Annual Student Science Training program sponsored by UF’s Center for Precollegiate Education and Training Office.

Sebastian Padron, a Ph.D. candidate under Dr. Keith Willmott's direction, has been selected to receive an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant in the Directorate for Biological Sciences. This grant is for $19,154 and will support his travel expenses (to visit European collections and museums) and molecular work for his dissertation research: Molecular phylogeny and Biogeography of a highly diverse genus of Andean butterflies.

Sandy Koi, Master's student under Dr. Jaret Daniels' direction, was profiled in the Summer 2013 issue of Wildflower magazine, published by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. Entitled "Fluttering Back," the article highlighted Koi's lepidopteran research subject, Eumaeus atala, which was once thought to be extinct, and its host plant, North America's only native cycad, Zamia integrifolia (=pumila), which is still listed as a commercially exploited plant.

Please join us in congratulating UF alumnus Dr. Paul Skelley as he will begin a new chapter in his career with the Division of Plant Industry as the Entomology Section leader on August 1, 2013. Dr. Skelley has been with the Division for 27 years and within the entomology section in a variety of roles, beginning as a student and volunteer, and moving into a variety of lab technician roles.

Congratulations to our students!

Listed below are 10 students in our program who made the CALS Dean’s List for Spring 2013. Abigail Griffin was also on the President’s Honor Roll.

Genevieve Comeau, James Fleming, Keith Gerber, Abigail Griffin, Jade Hilliard, Alexander Locastro, Sarah Rachel, Anthony Riggio, Sigal "Andre" Szejner, Sabrina White.

Laura ticks

ABOVE: Laura Pearson is a M.S. student from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. For her M.S. in Biology and Control of Disease Vectors, she is conducting a field study at UF on tick and tick borne disease prevalence in suburban and rural residences in Alachua County.

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.

June was a busy month with a total of 78 samples. They included a good variety of insects and spiders, with termites accounting for 15 of the samples. Most were the Formosan subterranean termite or the West Indian drywood termite. Their swarming seasons extend into July. A few samples were of our native Reticulitermes subterranean termites, but their main flight seasons ended in April or May.

Lyle Buss is the 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. Tesfa Mengistu.


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Manrique V, Cuda JP, Overholt WA. 2013. Brazilan peppertree: a poster child for invasive plants in Florida landscapes. Journal of Florida Studies.

Martini X, Addison T, Fleming B, Jackson I, Pelz-Stelinski K, Stelinski LL. 2013. Occurrence of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae) in an unexpected ecosystem: the Lake Kissimmee State Park forest, Florida. Florida Entomologist 96: 658-660.

Roubos CR, Liburd OE. 2013. Parasitism of Dasineura oxycoccana (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) in North Central Florida. Environmental Entomology 42: 424-429.

New on Featured Creatures:

Swirski mite, Amblyseius swirskii Athias-Henriot. Authors: Mahmut Doğramaci, Garima Kakkar, Vivek Kumar, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, Jianjun Chen, Department of Environmental Horticulture, University of Florida, and Steven Arthurs, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

Eriophyid mite, Phyllocoptes fructiphilus Keifer. Author: Marjorie Hoy, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

Southern black widow, Latrodectus mactans (Fabricius). Authors: Amanda L. Eiden and Phillip E. Kaufman, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

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

Meetings and Presentations

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Kaufman PE, Seraydar KS. 2013. Behavioral resistance in house flies exposed to QuickBayt following selection for imidacloprid-resistance. Livestock Insect Workers’ Conference, Nebraska City, NE. June 23rd.

The Master Gardener field day at PSREU in Citra took place on June 13th and was attended by over 100 Master Gardeners. Dr. Billy Crow spoke to them about nematodes in home lawns, and his graduate students Tina Gu and Richard Baidoo presented results from their nematode management research. The Master Gardeners told Dr. Crow that his students did a great job!

Master Gardener day

ABOVE: Richard Baidoo and Tina Gu speaking to Master Gardeners.

Dr. Billy Crow was a speaker at the NW Florida Turfgrass field day in Jay, FL, on June 19th.

An extension program on Biologicals and Biorationals took place June 26th at the Mid Florida REC in Apopka. Dr. Billy Crow presented "Bionematicides: what we know and what we don't know" at this event.

Dr. Crow conducted a workshop on earthworms and vermicomposting to a group of 20 children and adults at the Micanopy library on June 30th.

Drs. Roxanne Connelly and Phil Kaufman provided a one-day course on mosquito and tick biology and ecology to 22 middle and high school teachers through the Interdisciplinary Center for Ongoing Research/Education (ICORE) program on June 14, 2013.  The teachers learned about the mosquitoes, ticks and pathogens/diseases of Florida and left with ideas for incorporating these concepts into their own courses.  The course was one of many that the teachers completed over a two-week period through the Center for Precollegiate Education and Training (CPET) in collaboration with the Emerging Pathogens Institute. The ICORE program focuses on emerging pathogens of plants, animals and humans and is funded by a precollege grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute awarded to the CPET.

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for the annual meeting of the USDA Technical Advisory Group for the Biological Control Agents of Weeds held in Washington DC, June 18th to the 19th. Cuda gave a presentation titled, Proposed Release of the Stem Boring Weevil Apocnemidophorus pipitzi for Biological Control of Brazilian Peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolia, in Florida.

Dr. James P. Cuda was a co-author on a poster titled, Discovery of a Novel Bioratrional Larvicide: Methionine Bioassays with Papilio cresphontes.  The poster was presented by former Entomology Department Ph.D. student Delano Lewis at the  62nd Annual Meeting of the Lepidopterists’ Society held at the McGuire Center, June 27th to the 30th.


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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.

The DPM program would like to invite our newsletter readers to like their Facebook page to keep up with DPM events and developments. Be sure and "like" the DPM Facebook page.

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

Outreach has been busy this summer. We have had outreaches at Camp Discovery in Ocala, one here on campus hosting kids attending the Suwanee County 4H camp, and going to Marion County for an outreach at their 4H camp. We had local outreaches at Millhopper Montessori School and will have more at several library branches for Alachua County as well as at Levy County's Williston and Bronson library branches.

We hosted several students that are part of CROP (College Reach Out Program) here at UF. If you are not familiar with this program, it is a statewide project designed to increase the number of students who successfully complete a postsecondary education. Its primary objective is to strengthen the educational motivation and preparation of low-income and educationally disadvantaged students in grades 6-12 who otherwise would be unlikely to seek admission to a community college, state university or independent postsecondary institution without special support and recruitment efforts. They have recieved a talk on entomology careers and a tour of two labs (Tuesday, July 9th).  They also attended a lecture by Rebecca Baldwin that afternoon.

Summer camp

ABOVE: Bug Camp was June 24th to the 28th; for more information contact Dr. Rebecca Baldwin.

Dr. James P. Cuda hosted a group of fifteen 4H students from Suwannee Co. for a tour of his lab on 21 June. Cuda provided an overview of his research on Brazilian peppertree and hydrilla.

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, will report our June and July grants in the next newsletter.


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Register now: Due to the overwhelming popularity of HBREL’s Bee College (held annually in March at Marineland), this beekeeping extension event is expanding again,  this time to South Florida. The first-ever South Florida Bee College is planned for August 16th and 17th at the UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center.

The event will feature prominent Florida beekeeping professionals and researchers giving lectures and hosting workshops on basic through advanced topics. There will be nearly 50 courses over the two days, a 20-class Honey Show, great food and beekeeping vendors. SFBC will feature a Spanish-speaking track for the first time and is open to the public. Saturday, August 17th, is National Honey Bee Day and hosts the theme "Beekeeping, ask me how to get started." Join the event on Facebook.

2014: International Firefly Symposium

As the most commonly encountered and widely recognized bioluminescent organism worldwide, fireflies serve as the model system for the study of bioluminescence.


ABOVE: Mark your calendar and make plans to attend the International Firefly Symposium scheduled for August 11-15, 2014, at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, USA.

This international symposium will provide numerous opportunities for participants to share up-to-date information and research and to discuss common concerns and interests, and we invite you to join us.

The Call for Abstracts will be coming out soon. Updates will be posted on the symposium website, so add this link to your favorites and check back periodically. 

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 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 and Don Wasik who built the web page design.