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September 12th, 2013

Graduation time!

ABOVE: Dr. Jaret Daniels and (now) Dr. Matt Thom. We have photos of several happy faculty members and students on their way to the August graduation ceremony posted on Facebook!

Faculty and Staff News

Dr. Nick Tatonetti (Columbia University) and Ph.D. candidate Konrad Karczewski (Stanford University) are collaborating on a research project with Dr. Emma Weeks. They are currently in Florida conducting fieldwork involving sampling bloodfed mosquitoes using resting boxes deployed at residential properties throughout Gainesville.

Dr. James P. Cuda was a co-author on one of the top 5 most downloaded articles published in the journal Biological Control during the first half of 2013.

Dr. James P. Cuda and his former HHMI undergraduate student Mr. Justin Bricker were featured on the cover of the UF HHMI Science for Life 2012/2013 Viewbook.  

Student and Alumni News

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Dr. Delano Lewis, Entomology and Nematology Alumni (Ph.D., 2010, graduate from the McGuire Center, FLMNH, graduate student of Dr. Thomas Emmel), accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences at Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in January 2013 and was recently promoted to Director of Faculty Research for NCU in August 2013. He will continue to lecture in the Biology Department, carry out his administrative role, as well as conduct personal research. He and his wife welcomed their second child this May, and their first child, who was born in Gainesville, will begin Pre-K this September.

Dr. Hou-Feng Li, a former student and postdoc in Dr. Nan-Yao Su's lab, graduated in 2009 and just started a new job as an assistant professor in the Entomology Department of the National Chung Hsing University located in central Taiwan. Here is a brief introduction to the urban entomology lab. He would be happy to help his UF friends connect with Taiwanese entomologists for research and extension issues.

Congratulations to Dr. Paul Bardunias, on being selected as the 2013 Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America (ESA SEB) Comstock Award Winner!

Tailgator 3013

ABOVE: One of our majors, Tony Riggio, is featured on the CALS TailGator brochure sporting our Bed Bug Costume.  The Entomology Department will again have a table, and giant bed bug, at this year's TailGator, on October 5th.  

Natasha Marie Agramonte was elected to be president of the Young Professional's group for the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and will be coordinating events for the group at the 2014 AMCA annual conference in Seattle.

Eutychus Kariuki, a Ph.D. student at Florida A&M University, has joined the laboratory of Dr. James P. Cuda. Mr. Kariuki will be conducting part of his dissertation research in Cuda’s lab.

Michael Arvin, an undergraduate Biology major, joined the laboratory of Dr. James P. Cuda during the fall semester. Mr. Arvin will be doing research for this senior thesis in Cuda’s lab.

CALS scholarships for 2013-2014

In total, CALS is awarding $442,600 in scholarships and fellowships to 325 undergraduate students and 45 graduate students. Listed below are the students from Entomology & Nematology who are receiving scholarship or fellowship awards. CALS received more than 600 applications for CALS scholarships this year.

Florida Rural Rehabilitation Corporation Scholarship $1,000 Genevieve Comeau
Doris Lowe and Earl and Verna Lowe Scholarship $1,500 Kristen Donovan
Florida Rural Rehabilitation Corporation Scholarship $1,000 James Fleming
Kenneth R. and Waynell Tefertiller Scholarship $1,000 Christopher Lewis
Coca-Cola Scholarship $1,000 Alexander LoCastro
Florida Rural Rehabilitation Corporation Scholarship $200 Casey Parker
Southern States Scholarship $800 Casey Parker
Orange County Farm Bureau Scholarship $1,000 Anthony Riggio
Central Florida Fair Scholarship $1,000 Sabrina White
William C. and Bertha M. Cornett Fellowship $2,000 Dale Halbritter
William C. and Bertha M. Cornett Fellowship $1,500 Navneet Kaur

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.


ABOVE: In early August, Lyle Buss received a sample of dead ants, a “bone pile” that is often seen with bigheaded ant colonies. The debris was in one large clump and was sticking together, so he initially thought that fungus was growing. Closer examination revealed that the strands were silk, and some of the silk formed tunnels through which insects were scurrying. It turned out to be a colony of webspinners (one is shown above)! They appeared to be doing quite well on a diet of dead ants and other debris.

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.

Patrick Wong and Laura Palomino joined the Nematode Assay Lab to work on different research projects. These students were assigned to the lab through the University Minority Mentor Program (UMMP).

Kiona Elliott will join the Nematode Assay Lab starting October, 2013. She is a 1st place winner of several Florida State Science Fair projects and recently presented her invention to President Barack Obama. One of her science fair projects was "A molecular and morphological study of ‘Candidatus Pasteuria aldrichii" as a biological control to various nematode species. Her work was supervised by Dr. Robin Giblin-Davis.

For more information on the Nematode Assay Laboratory, please contact the lab manager Dr. Tesfa Mengistu.


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Ali JG, Campos-Herrera R, Alborn HT, Duncan LW, Stelinski LL. 2013. Sending mixed messages: a trophic cascade produced by a belowground herbivore-induced cue. Journal of Chemical Ecology 39: 1140-1147. 

Alto BW, Bettinardi D. 2013. Temperature and dengue virus infection in mosquitoes: independent effects on the immature and adult stages. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 88: 497-505.

Lampman RL, Krasavin NM, Ward MP, Beveroth TA, Lankau EW, Alto BW, Muturi E, Novak RJ. 2013. West Nile virus infection rates and avian serology in east central Illinois. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 29: 108-122.

Medal J, Halbert S, Smith T, Santa Cruz A. 2013. Suitability of selected plants to the bean plataspid, Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae) in no-choice tests. Florida Entomologist 96: 631-633.

Mukherjee A, Ellison CA, Cuda JP, Overholt WA. 2013. Biological control of hygrophila: foreign exploration for candidate natural enemies, pp. 142-152.  In: Y. Wu, T. Johnson, S. Sing, S. Raghu, G. Wheeler, P. Pratt, K. Warner, T. Center, J. Goolsby, and R. Reardon (eds.).  Proc. XIII Int’l Symp  Biol Control of Weeds, Waikiloa, HI, USA, September 11-16, 2011, FHTET- 2012-07, Jan 2013. USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team, Morgantown, WV, USA.

Lietze V-U, Gillett-Kaufman JL, Bradshaw JP, Gioeli KT, Cuda JP. 2013. Hydrilla Integrated Pest Management Guide for UF/IFAS Extension Professionals. 14 pp. UF/IFAS Entomology Publishing.

Ogbunugafor CB, Alto BW, Overton TM, Bhushan A, Morales NM, Turner PE.
2013. Evolution of increased survival in RNA viruses specialized on cancer-derived cells.  American Naturalist 181: 585-595.

Shen W, Halbert SE, Dickstein E, Manjunath KL, Shimwela MM, van Bruggen AHC. 2013. Occurrence and in-grove distribution of citrus huanglongbing in north central Florida. Journal of Plant Pathology 95: 361-371.

Sourakov A, Locascio LM. 2013. Exotic Crotalaria species as host plants of the ornate bella moth, Utetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Erebidae), in Florida: laboratory biology. Florida Entomologist 96: 344-350.

Tiwari S, Meyer WL, Stelinski LL. 2013. Induced resistance against the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, by β-aminobutyric acid in citrus. Bulletin of Entomological Research 103: 592-600. 

Tsikolia M, Bernier UR, Coy MR, Chalaire KC, Becnel JJ, Agramonte NM, Tabanca N, Wedge DE, Clark GG, Linthicum KJ, Swale DR, Bloomquist JR. 2013. Insecticidal, repellent and fungicidal properties of novel trifluoromethylphenyl amides. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology 107: 138-147.

New on Featured Creatures:

البق الدقيقي للموالح citrus mealybug Planococcus citri (Risso) Authors: Harsimran Kaur Gill, Gaurav Goyal, and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman, Entomology and Nematology Department, 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.

European honey bee and subspecies, Apis mellifera Linneaus
Authors: Ashley N. Mortensen, Daniel R. Schmehl, Jamie Ellis, 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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On August 21st, Dr. Billy Crow gave a 1.5 hour presentation on "Nematode IPM on Florida Golf Courses" to the Florida Sun Coast Golf Course superintendents at the Gulf Coast REC.

Dr. James P. Cuda attended the 14th Annual CALS Teaching Enhancement Symposium held at the UF Hilton Conference Center on August 12th.

Dr. James P. Cuda attended the 2013 Extension Professional Associations of Florida Professional Improvement & Administrative Conference held in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL,  August 26th to 30th. Cuda was a co-presenter of a poster presentation titled, "Spreading the Word: New Strategies for Hydrilla IPM are Investigated." 


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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 invites you to follow them on Twitter to find out about upcoming events and interesting stories about honey bees @UFHoneybeelab.

From the Outreach Coordinator

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 August 1st to August 31st, 2013, we have had 18 new grants or contracts awarded for a total of $1,833,740.23 in external funding for all Entomology & Nematology faculty (in Gainesville and at RECs).

Dr. James P. Cuda was awarded a $3,300 Professional Development Mini-Grant from the Florida Cooperative Extension Service. Cuda will use the funds to travel to South Africa to participate in an international weed biological control symposium to held 1-7 March, 2014.


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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.