Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) can devastate berry crops. Dr. Kelly Hamby and Arielle Arsenault-Benoit are part of a multiregional team of researchers investigating management strategies for SWD. Check out the team’s suggestions to reduce SWD infestations and save crops in this recently published extension bulletin, “Management Recommendations for Spotted Wing Drosophila in Organic Berry Crops.”
Dr. Leo Shapiro has a new publication out in Madroño, the quarterly publication of the California Botanical Society.
Check out full article, “The Identity Of Trentepohlia Algae (Chlorophyta: Trentepohliales) From Point Lobos State Reserve And The San Francisco Region, California” at
Congratulations to Maile C. Neel, whose paper, “Predictability of demographic rates based on phylogeny and biological similarity” was recently published in Conservation Biology.
This study examines the efficacy of using data from biologically similar or closely related species to inform conservation status assessments.
Check out the full article at https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13135
We are excited to announce the launch of UMD Entomology's latest website- Insect Drawings! Most illustrations are by Dr. Francis Eugene (Gene) Wood and Dr. John A. Davidson. Additional images were contributed by Dr. Michael J. Raupp, colleagues Elaine R. Hodges and Arthur D. Cushman (SEL, ARS, USDA), and by students Amy K. Bartlett, Manya B. Stoetzel, and Warren E. Steiner, Jr.
Visit http://insectdrawings.umd.edu/ to start viewing these amazing drawings.
Entomology faculty member Dennis vanEngelsdorp has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure effective August 2018!
Since joining the UMD Department of Entomology in 2014, Dr. vanEngelsdorp has developed a nationally and internationally recognized research program focusing broadly on pollinator health. His epidemiological approach includes both broad-based field assessments and laboratory investigations of mechanisms underlying declines in pollinator health. Dennis has received numerous competitive research grants from USDA-NIFA, among other agencies to fund this important work.
His extension program - also nationally and internationally recognized - has at its heart the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP), which allows beekeepers and other stakeholders to interact with millions of data points related to honey bee health, making it the largest such database in the world. Dr. vanEngelsdorp’s research and extension work has resulted in dozens of publications in research and extension journals, and it has brought the state of honey bee health to the public through radio, TV, and print media.
In addition to research and extension, Dennis has made significant contributions to teaching through his “Insects” and highly popular “Introductory Beekeeping” courses, and through advising numerous undergraduate research, graduate students, and postdoctoral associates.
In recognition of these and many other achievements, Dr. vanEngelsdorp received the 2017 CMNS Board of Visitors Junior Faculty Award, which you can read more about here.
Congratulations on reaching this important, well-deserved milestone!
Learn more about the vanEngelsdorp Lab’s work here.
Dr. Paula Shrewsbury participates in Congressional Briefing on Areawide Integrated Pest Management (AIPM)
Dr. Paula Shrewsbury of the Department of Entomology was invited to participate in a Congressional Briefing sponsored by the Entomological Society of America on Areawide Integrated Pest Management (AIPM) that took place in Washington D.C. on May 10, 2018. Dr. Shrewsbury provided research - based information on the merits of AIPM programs to protect trees in natural forests and urban environments against economically and ecologically devastating pests such as the emerald ash borer.
Congratulations to ENSP student Max O'Grady and BSCI students Megan Wickless and Lily Durkee who successfully presented their entomology honors theses.
Max O'Grady, "Factors that Influence Wax Production in Honey Bees", van Englesdorp/Hamby Labs
Lily Durkee, "Does goose exclusion impact the benthic macroinvertebrate community of a restored freshwater marsh?", Gruner Lab
Meg Wickless, "Time and Dosage Effects of Fluvalinate on Apis mellifera Olfactory Associative Learning", van Englesdorp/Hamby Labs
Congratulations to UMD Biological Sciences student Chloe Garfinkel who successfully defended her entomology honors thesis, "Habitat influence on food resources available for male Calopteryx maculata reproductive potential." Her research looks into the effects of habitat on adult damselfly size and nutritional content. It has been great having Chloe in Entomology's Lamp Lab these last few years. We wish her all the best in future endeavors!
Dr. Marcia Shofner and BSCI Students Welcomed 6th Graders From Carole Highlands Elementary School to Principles of Biology II Lecture
Dr. Marcia Shofner and BSCI students welcomed 55 sixth graders from Carole Highlands Elementary School (CHES) to Principles of Biology II lecture on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.
The elementary school students visited the UMD campus to experience college life. CHES school counselor, Ms. Thomas puts a strong emphasis on what she calls “Kids to College.” 99% of CHES students who participated in the biology lecture would be 1st generation college attendees. Dr. Shofner says “and that is what we wish to happen by making their visit fun and motivating.” BSCI student mentors greeted CHES students personally, sat with them during the college lecture, worked alongside them to complete activities based on lecture, and answered the youth's questions about STEM and college.
Dr. Shofner has been hosting CHES students since 2013. Shofner says, “I’m proud of how excited our UMD students are about being a positive influence to these kids!”
Congratulations to Joshua Kiner for receiving the Dean’s Outstanding Employee Award for his outstanding dedication and service to the college!
Josh is truly an outstanding Coordinator in all respects. He is nominated for his exemplary leadership, positive attitude, innovation, organization and rapport inside and outside of the department. Josh has consistently gone above and beyond expectations. In addition to his routine responsibilities, which he tackles with his tireless work ethic and creativity, he enthusiastically takes over additional responsibilities as they become available.
Nominators mention “Josh has recenlty taken on responsibilities associated with the new KUALI Research System, and works closely with faculty and our business office to ensure timely, complete, and accurate submissions of grant proposals.” and "Josh is a model of efficiency and has streamlined the flow of information into and out of our front office in a way that I have not experienced..."
Congratulations to Dr. Tammatha O'Brien for receiving the 2018 Provost's Excellence Award for Professional Track Faculty for her outstanding contributions and accomplishments in teaching!
Dr. O'Brien received this prestigious award for her "exemplary teaching performance, including course diversity and format, and how [she has] integrated basic and biological concepts with late-breaking research, real-life concerns, and perspectives from the humanities."
Dr. O'Brien, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Entomology, is also the director of the fully-online Applied Entomology Professional Masters and Graduate Certificate Program. You can learn more about this program here: Graduate Programs in Applied Entomology.
Check out Entomology's Insect Zoo and Discover the Swamp exhibits at Maryland Day on Saturday, April 28, 2018!
Discover a Swamp – Room 1162, all day
Capture and observe the small aquatic creatures that are common in nearby wetlands. Learn about their behavior as they swim through water and climb on plants
Insect Petting Zoo – Room 1161, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Imagine tarantulas, exotic insects, scorpions, bees and millipedes longer than your hand for you to look at and touch—if you dare.
Check out our Spring 2018 Entomology Department newsletter to see what we've been up to! Content includes news on publications, awards, defenses and much more.
Is there something you'd like to see in the Summer 2018 edition? Let us know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark your calendars for Samuel Ramsey's lecture, "What's Eating the Bees?" taking place April 25th at the MilkBoy ArtHouse. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and lecture begins at 6:30 p.m. Ramsey's talk is part of the new CMNS lecture series, Science on Tap. RSVP at go.umd.edu/scienceontap3. Space is limited.
ABOUT THE TALK
There's a parasite on our honey bees—and researchers agree that it tops the list of stress factors for honey bee health. The parasite, called Varroa destructor, is similar in proportion to humans having a tick the size of their hand. This creature exists, to some extent, in virtually every honey bee colony. Scientists believed for more than half a century that the mite consumes small amounts of bee blood. Now, they know that the mite liquifies a bee's liver and sucks part of the liver out of the bee's body. Knowing how the mite feeds, researchers can develop more effective treatment methods and find ways to remediate the negative health effects associated with parasitic feeding.
Questions? Contact Abby Robinson at email@example.com or 301-405-5845.
The Entomological Society of America Eastern Branch has awarded Dr. Paula Shrewsbury the top nomination for the Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension for outstanding contributions in the areas of entomology teaching and extension. This nomination was recognized at the Eastern Branch Meeting. Nominees are considered for the Society–level awards given at the Entomological Society of America’s Annual Meeting. Congratulations to Dr. Paula Shrewsbury for being nominated!
During her fellowship year, Gussie will be researching insect herbivory on fossil leaves from the Late Cretaceous (~75 million years ago) in North America. She will be using a paleobotanical collection from New Mexico to study the diversity and intensity of insect herbivory at the National Museum of Natural History. Gussie will also conduct fieldwork in Coahuila, Mexico to collect a new fossil flora and study its insect damage. These two projects will tie into her overall dissertation on the biogeography of plant-insect associations during the Late Cretaceous of western North America.
Entomologists helping scientists, farmers, and citizens from Abkhazia, understand the biology, threats, and management of brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys
The United States is not the only country recently invaded by the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). In addition to several other countries in Europe and Asia, the Republic of Abkhazia, part of the former Soviet Union, recently received this unwanted visitor. BMSB has become a major pest on important crops including hazelnuts, grapes, and other fruits and is invading homes by the thousands. The United States Department of State and World Learning Incorporated contacted the Department of Entomology to arrange a visit with our leaders and scientists to learn about the brown marmorated stink bug. Their objectives are to discover the impact of the BMSB on fruit, vegetable, and other crops in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S.; to identify key research studies and current findings to assist in mitigating agricultural damage of the BMSB on crops in the South Caucasus; and to learn how institutions, organizations and farmers are partnering and collaborating to manage serious pests and other threats to agriculture.
Dr. Galen Dively and Dr. Dilip Venugopal, UMD Research Associate, look at 40 years of data to determine effectiveness of Bt corn as a pest management strategy. This study is the first to quantify benefits of Bt corn adoption across multiple offsite crops. Benefits include 90 percent suppression of pests, limited spraying and crop damage reduction.
"This is the first paper published showing offsite benefits to other host plants for a pest like the corn borer, which is a significant pest for many other crops like green beans and peppers," says Dively. "We are seeing really more than 90 percent suppression of the European corn borer population in our area for these crops, which is incredible."
Read the full release on the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources' news page.
Congratulations to Nathalie Steinhauer, Kelly Kulhanek, Karina Antúnez, Hannelie Human, Panuwan Chantawannakul, Marie-PierreChauzat, and Dennis vanEngelsdorp whose article, “Drivers of colony losses” has been published in Current Opinion in Insect Science. Check out the full article at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cois.2018.02.004.
Congratulations to Xing Zhang,Raymond J St. Leger and Weiguo Fang, whose article, “Stress-induced pyruvate accumulation contributes to cross protection in a fungus” was recently published in Environmental Microbiology.
This study examines mechanisms for cross protection in microorganisms. Check out the full article at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1462-2920.14058/full.
New Publication: Influence of Winter Cover Crop Mulch on Arthropods in a Reduced Tillage Cucurbit System
Congratulations to Amanda L Buchanan and Cerruti R R Hooks on their recent publication in Environmental Entomology titled “Influence of Winter Cover Crop Mulch on Arthropods in a Reduced Tillage Cucurbit System.” Check out the full report at https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvy004
Last month Atlanta-based pest control company Orkin released its "Top 50 Bed Bugs Cities" report, listing Baltimore and Washington as leading cities in bedbug infestations. In response, Direct Connection on Maryland Public Television aired expert advice from Dr. Michael Raupp on protecting your home from bedbugs.
New Publication: Arthropod communities in warm and cool grass riparian buffers and their influence on natural enemies in adjacent crops.
Congratulations to Jessica L. Nelson, Lauren G. Hunt, Margaret T. Lewis, Kelly A. Hamby, Cerruti R.R. Hooks, Galen P. Dively on their recent paper in Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment titled “Arthropod communities in warm and cool grass riparian buffers and their influence on natural enemies in adjacent crops.”
This study examines arthropod communities in riparian grass buffers, with a focus on their effect on natural enemy populations within neighboring crops. Check out the full article https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2018.01.019.
Congratulations to the recipients of the Spring 2018 Ernest N. Cory Undergraduate Scholarship! This scholarship provides up to $1,000 for undergraduate students each semester who have creatively contributed to Entomology Department research and/or extension efforts. Be sure to check back in to read more about their research progress!
Lyra Morina is a University Honors junior Biological Sciences: Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics and Economics dual degree. Working with Culex pipiens mosquitoes in the Fritz Lab for over a year, she began her own research project studying Wolbachia induced Cytoplasmic Incompatibility (CI) in Culex pipiens pipiens and molestus through the Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics Departmental Honors Program. By linking incompatibility patterns to the unique Wolbachia endosymbiont strains the mosquitoes harbor, the Wolbachia genes inducing these effects on embryonic development can be investigated. Lyra aims to pursue a PhD within Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics and continue her career path in biological research and academia. She also hopes to apply her background in economics to quantifying the impact of biological research outcomes on public health, environmental issues, and other social phenomena.
Lily Durkee has been working with the Gruner Lab since the summer before her senior year of high school. It was because of this incredible experience that summer that she decided to attend UMD as an undergraduate student and pursue a degree in Ecology and Evolution. Currently, she is working towards completing an Honors Thesis within the Department of Entomology that focuses on assessing the effects of restoration strategies on the macroinvertebrate benthic communities in Anacostia Park marsh systems. After she graduates next spring, she plans on attending graduate school to pursue a PhD in entomology, ecology, or natural resource management.
Chloe Garfinkel is a senior biology major with an ecology and evolution concentration and a sustainability minor. She has worked in the Lamp lab since the summer after her freshman year at Maryland. She is working on an independent research project on the damselfly Calopteryx maculata to determine the effect of habitat on adult size and nutritional content. She has volunteered at and planned the lab's Maryland Day event 'Discover a Swamp,' where children can collect insects from an artificial swamp. She has just finished applying to graduate school and in the future, she hopes to pursue interests in both biology and education.
Bijal Kikani research in the Pick lab focuses on investigating the role of pair rule genes in Drosophila melanogaster to better understand their roles during embryonic development. Particularly, she is searching for binding partners of a nuclear hormone receptor, Ftz-F1, to understand how gene regulation is controlled. Through the use of western blots, co-immunoprecipitation assays, and mass-spectrometry, she hopes to narrow down candidate binding partners of this nuclear receptor and verify these genes using RNA interference experiments. She says her exposure to this lab has increased her skills in molecular genetics and she hopes to continue to strengthen these skills through further exposure in the research field.
The Pick lab uses Drosophila melanogaster, a long germ insect, to investigate the regulatory genes and pathways that control embryonic development. Accordingly we sought other long germ insects for comparative studies and we are investigating pair rule genes in the beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. She says with the help of Pick Lab members, she has been able to improve embryo collection and fixation techniques, stage early embryogenesis and isolate a pair rule gene using molecular techniques, including PCR, DNA sequencing, and TA cloning. She hopes to continue doing research and eventually go to graduate school.