1/28/00 Entomology and Nematology News
Entomology and Nematology Student Organization
A University of Florida Publication

"Because I have shifted a few grains of sand upon the shore, am I in a position to understand the abysmal depths of the ocean? Life has unfathomable secrets. Human knowledge will be erased from the world's archives before we possess the last word that a gnat has to say to us."
- J. Henri Fabre

Dr. Adams, I presume?

Dr. Byron Adams began his position as "the new guy" earlier this January. Originally from Susanville, California, Dr. Adams received his B.S. in Zoology with emphases in systematics, ecology and marine biology from Brigham Young University, spending part of his summers at Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey. As if this weren't enough stimulation for the budding scientist, he and his colleagues formed Red Rock Canyon University, a fictional institution in Utah between Canyonlands and Arches national parks. Informal classes met primarily on weekends, although he admits that particularly "pressing" issues requiring further research sometimes took him away from his "regular" work. Dr. Adams went on to receive his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at University of Nebraska, and until a few weeks ago was a postdoctoral fellow in the Nematology department at UC Davis.

When asked about his research interests, Dr. Adams replied: "I dig evolution stuff, like: the origin and maintenance of sex, symbiosis, mutualism, parasitism, speciation, cophylogeny, biogeography, molecular systematics, deep phylogenies (i.e. relationships among the Nemata, origin of and relationships among Tylenchida), shallow phylogenies (tests of modes of speciation, inference of population processes) soil biodiversity and ecosystem function, entomopathogenic nematodes, biological control, biological pollution, and molecular evolution (molecular clocks, selection, intron conservation)."

While investigating his numerous and varied pursuits, Dr. Adams somehow found time to begin a family. Marci, a fellow student at Red Rock Canyon University, is a herpetologist/ecologist whose previous work focused on the behavioral ecology of a clade of fence lizards and a lot of "statistics stuff". Currently, the couple is working on two very ambitious projects: Ethan, three years old, and Helen, ten months old.

Dr. Adams and his family are enjoying their time in Florida and are eager to meet everyone and make new friends. Please welcome Dr. Adams to the department!


We have exciting news to report from this year's ESA meeting in Atlanta! Juan Manuel Alvarez won first prize in the Molecular Genetics poster presentation, and Oscar Perez won first place in the Biological Control poster presentation.

Congratulations, Juan and Oscar!


Kevi Vulinec has funding through The Center for Field Research to do participatory field work back at her research sites in Brazil.


Dr. Gene Gerberg gave a paper at the ESA meetings in Atlanta, GA: "The use of plant extracts as repellents for mosquitoes and biting flies".


Dr. Richard Baranowski will be searching for beneficial insects in Thailand from January 21 - December 1, 2000.


The Southeastern Branch of the ESA Annual Meeting will be held Feb. 27 - March 1 at the Adams Mark Hotel in Mobile, AL. Tom Merritt, Pete Coon, and Philip Lake are each presenting a paper in the Student Symposium on February 29. Submissions for the Insect Photo Salon are due by Feb. 18.


This year, the Entomology/Nematology department is sending two teams to the Linnaean competition. There may be room for one or two more students!

Current members are Craig Welch, Cynthia Tucker, Dina Richman, Jade Williams, Mike Patnaude, Phillip Lake, Richard Pluke, Tom Merritt and Yasmin Cardoza.


Chris Tipping, who graduated with a Ph.D. last year and went into private industry, is now teaching three sections of Biology at Arkansas State University.

Jennifer Anderson, who recently received a M.S. here and then went on to serve in an internship at the Center for Disease Control, is beginning a Ph.D. program at John Hopkins Medical School.

Dan Suiter, who received his Ph.D. here several years ago and became the administrator for Purdue's Industrial Urban Center, has accepted a position as Urban Pest Specialist for the University of Georgia.


Room 2105 is the Reading Room. It is open from 8:00-5:00 on weekdays, and can be opened at other times by anyone with a key to the building. It has a new Xerox machine for your convenience and so that you are not tempted to remove books or journals for photocopying elsewhere. To operate the Xerox machine, put money or a debit card into it. You may get a debit card from Nick Hostettler. The cardinal rule: REMOVING BOOKS AND JOURNALS FROM THE READING ROOM IS NOT PERMITTED.


A new primer ( on writing is available on departmental computers. It is intended to help students who are writing theses, dissertations, and other manuscripts, but it may help faculty members, too. It will be expanded as time permits.


The search by "Crop or Habitat" menu for Featured Creatures was heavily modified over the holidays. This was done to reflect new categories that the department is trying to establish as a standard for departmental publications on the WWW. However, since each organism's host plants [if any] were not closely reviewed, some organisms may now be incorrectly listed as to crop or habitat. [Please note that an organism may be listed in more than one category. For example, giant swallowtail is under "Natural Areas and Biodiversity" and under "Fruit Pests (Citrus)."] In addition, each organism should be listed in each category by all its names. For example, "pea leafminer" and "leafminer, pea." If you should notice that an organism is incorrectly listed or not listed, please notify Tom Fasulo at


The Florida Division of Plant Industry received samples of aphids on Christmas trees. There were concerns raised by homeowners, as some of these aphids look like engorged ticks. Drs. Susan Halbert and Avas Hamon of DPI created a WWW page on these "pests" and a link to it exists from the UF Pest Alert site at

WWW sites

"Dances With Wolves" may have been a popular movie but "Dances With Bees" is more truthful. You'll find loads of information on bees, as well as numerous movie shorts, on Nova's Tales From The Hive WWW site at


Catharine Mannion will be the "new kid on the block" at TREC in April 2000. She will develop a program (0.6R: 0.4E) on arthropods affecting nursery and ornamental plants. Look for her biography in next month's issue!

Editor: Erin  Britton

This version of the newsletter is prepared for the Web by Kathryn Jones.

January 2000. Updated May 2003.