Read the full CMNS press release here.
Congratulations to Entomology researchers Samuel Ramsey, Dennis vanEngelsdorp, David Hawthorne, & their colleagues on their new paper, “Varroa destructor feeds primarily on honey bee fat body tissue and not hemolymph,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research provides new details on the feeding habits of the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, which is one of the major threats to honey bee colonies worldwide.
Read the full CMNS press release here.
The Entomological Society of America has nominated Assistant Professor, Megan Fritz, to serve on the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group.
Announcement from ESA newsletter: "In response to a Federal Register notice calling for nominees to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tick-Borne Disease Working Group, ESA submitted a letter of support for the nomination of Megan Fritz, Ph.D., a professor of entomology at the University of Maryland. Fritz's work in the field, which supports public health efforts in Maryland, is representative of the Society's mission to share entomological science with the world, and ESA is proud to support her nomination."
Fritz's recommendation letter may be found here.
ENTM Associate Professor comments on the prospect of a vaccine for honeybees.
“This is a very new way of thinking about how we can help bee health,” said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, an entomologist with the University of Maryland. “As a proof of concept, this is really exciting.”
Read full article here.
The Burghardt lab in the Entomology department at the University of Maryland-College Park is hiring a Faculty Assistant. The lab focuses on understanding the ecology of plant/insect/soil interactions within human-managed landscapes.
The Faculty Assistant will function as a lab manager and technician. They will aid in laboratory and protocol setup and contribute to the maintenance and data collection for at least two current lab projects: (1) quantifying insect herbivore communities, predation/parasitism rates, and
plant traits within a large-scale tree diversity experiment (BiodiversiTREE) located at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and (2) examining whether rhizobial diversity determines soybean resistant to drought and herbivore stress.
The position will provide opportunities to work with Smithsonian researchers and UMD extension scientists and involves interaction with stakeholders and citizen scientists.
Click here for the complete Job Announcement.
A NY Times Article Features New England Journal of Medicine Paper, to which the Pick lab contributed
The New York Times published an article, When the Illness Is a Mystery, Patients Turn to These Detectives, about a recent paper published in New England Journal of Medicine, to which the Pick lab contributed.
Read full article here
Written by: Darsy Smith & Lindsay Barranco
Destruction by crop insects requires strategies to combat pests below ground and above ground. Dr. Hiltpold’s novel approach uses nature to do this work.
Written by: Dylan Kutz & Serhat Solmaz
Our ecosystems are under siege by plants hailing from exotic realms. Can one of nature’s most ubiquitous insects be the key to saving protecting our native locales from invasion?
Check out our Fall 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 Spring 2019 edition? Let us know by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
Julianna Greenberg Wins Student Poster Competition at the MD Water Monitoring Council’s Annual Meeting
Congratulations, Julianna Greenberg (Biological Sciences Undergrad, Palmer Lab) for winning first place in the Student Poster Competition at the Maryland Water Monitoring Council’s Annual Meeting. Julianna’s winning poster, " Evaluating the effects of system maturation on pollutant loads from stream-wetland complexes”, is on display in the hallway outside of room 4129.
Abstract: Throughout the world many streams and rivers are highly degraded and scientists are working to understand when and why certain restoration efforts result in improvements and others don’t. This study focused on small urban streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that were slated for restoration in order to reduce the movement of excess nutrients and sediments toward Bay Waters. Church and Cypress creeks were degraded urban streams located in Anne Arundel County. These were converted to stream-wetland complexes (SWCs) that include engineered wetlands and step-pool conveyances extending to the estuarine interface. Monitoring occurred throughout the pre- and post-construction phases to estimate the changes in catchment loads of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and total suspended solids (TSS) from the outflow of the restored stream reaches. Results indicate that moderate reductions in N loads and increases in TSS and P occurred since SWC implementation in Church Creek. The study authors concluded that the increases in TSS and P were due to extensive and more recent headwater restoration activities. By contrast, Cypress Creek had no recent disturbances in its headwaters and results indicate that water quality (e.g., TSS and P) has improved with system maturation. This improvement implies that shorter-term restoration studies that do not capture the maturation process may underestimate the true long-term performance of SWCs for some constituents.
Congratulations to Entomology's Anahí Espíndola, co-author of a new research paper, “Predicting plant conservation priorities on a global scale,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Anahi co-developed a machine learning algorithm that predicts which plant species may be eligible for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Researchers hope this algorithm will help prioritize conservation efforts.
Read the CMNS press release here>>
Other notable media mentions include WIRED & Smithsonian.
New and on-going research in the Entomology Department is supported by a variety of external funding sources, including federal agencies like USDA, NSF, and NIH; Maryland and other State agencies like the MD Department of Agriculture, the MD State Highway Association, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture; and other sources like the Almond Board of California, the National Honey Board, and the North American Bramble Growers Research Foundation. For the past 5 fiscal years, Entomology has received over $4,000,000 in support from such sources as estimated by grant expenditures.
Of the 44 currently active research awards in Entomology, 16 were new in calendar year 2018.For more information on these awards choose "Read More" below.
The Entomology Department at UMD is committed to encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to engage in science. Sending students and faculty to meetings like SACNAS & ABRCMS is just one way the department is attempting to meet those commitments.
SACNAS Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX- In October, Anthony Nearman (Ph.D. Student vanEngelsdorp Lab) represented ENTM at a recruiting booth hosted by the UMD Graduate School. SACNAS is an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM.
ABRCMS Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN- In November, Marcia Shofner (Senior Lecturer) attended represented ENTM at a recruiting booth hosted by the UMD Graduate School. The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) is one of the largest conferences for underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students attend this conference to present their research, enhance professional development skills, explore graduate schools, and network.
Congratulations to Associate Professors Dennis vanEngelsdorp & Daniel Gruner for making the Clarivate Analytics’ 2018 list of Highly Cited Researchers, a compilation of influential names in science. vanEngelsdorp's research focuses on using an epidemiological approach to understand and improve pollinator health, which involves understanding the etiology of individual diseases and large-scale monitoring. Gruner's research investigates species interactions in food webs, the maintenance of biodiversity in ecological communities, community feedbacks with ecosystem function, and the impacts of global change. Read more>>
Congratulations to Peter Coffey (Hooks Lab), UMD ENTM Grad Program's newest MS graduate, for successfully defending his thesis, "Can cover crop residues suppress pests and improve yield in eggplant?"
Written by: Jonathan Wang & Mike Nan
It’s no secret that the road to academia is tough. Faced with a “publish or perish” atmosphere and stagnant or declining rates of scientific funding, the academic route for a graduate student is daunting. A recent study suggests graduate students are six times more likely to experience depression and anxiety compared to the general population. Part of the problem is how hard it is to navigate a way into a tenure-track position. Thankfully, the problem is being recognized and a number of high-profile failure CVs have made waves online. Dr. Kimberly Wallin has her own advice to graduate students and reveals exactly “how the heck” she got here.
Professor David Hawthorne has a paper out in Nature Sustainability titled, “Antibiotic and pesticide susceptibility and the Anthropocene operating space.”
This first assessment of planetary boundaries for antibiotic and pesticide resistance shows several boundaries have already been crossed. “Based on current trends in antibiotic, insecticide and herbicide resistance, we conclude that the states of all six assessed variables are beyond safe zones, with three variables surpassed regionally or globally.”
Find full press release on SESYNC’s news page.
Professor Maile Neel's research into the genetic diversity within species of submerged aquatic grasses points to new approaches for Bay restoration managers.
“She (Neel) has convinced us that we need to keep our seeds in the same region that they were harvested from,” Landry said. “Her argument is that it’s best to keep the plants local. It might be a waste of seeds and time if we move them too far — they might not be genetically suitable for the conditions in that spot. Plus, since they’ve found so much genetic diversity in the wild celery populations in the Bay, there’s no need to move the plants outside their region to increase diversity.”
Read more about how Neel's research is contributing to Bay restoration in this issue of Maryland Sea Grant's Chesapeake Quarterly.
Congratulations Morgan Thompson (ENTM MS student, Lamp Lab) for winning first place in the Student 10-minute Paper Competition at the ESA Joint Annual Meeting in Vancouver. Morgan’s award-winning talk: "Can aboveground potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae) feeding disrupt belowground nitrogen fixation in alfalfa?"
Written by: Veronica Yurchak & Anthony Nearman
Managing a crop pest means more than simply spraying fields with insecticides. What and when to spray, how much, and where to apply chemicals are all questions that any successful pest control must address. To further complicate things, the answers to those questions will change with any given pest. How then do we confront the vast number of pests plaguing our agricultural systems? Dr. Jim Miller believes he has an answer, and it begins with sex.
Lyra Morina, CBMG undergrad in Fritz Lab, is among the winners of the Bioscience Day Poster Competition. Her winning poster, “Characterizing Cytoplasmic Incompatibility induced by Wolbachia Prophage Insertions in Culex pipiens Complex Mosquitoes” was presented in the Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology category. Congratulations Lyra!
UMD researchers Hanna Kahl, Alan Leslie and Professor Cerruti Hooks assess the effects of cover crops on arthropod communities. Read their findings in their recent paper, "Effects of Red Clover Living Mulch on Arthropod Herbivores and Natural Enemies, and Cucumber Yield", published in Annals of the Entomological Society of America.
Written by: Zac Lamas and Graham Stewart
If you are traveling in New England and have ever passed an open meadow that isn’t being used for agriculture, you’re probably looking at an “old field” ecosystem. These are dense fields filled with a variety of flora- typically dominated by the early summer legumes trefoil and trillium, followed by the late season goldenrods and asters. While these fields are often overgrown, occasional mowing or controlled burning prevents succession to a forested state.
These old field ecosystems provide rich models for studying nutrient cycling. Rob Buchkowski, a PhD candidate from Yale, has spent his dissertation investigating “brown” (traditionally thought of as belowground) and “green” (traditionally thought of as aboveground) food webs, and how nutrition flows through and between these components of old field ecosystems. If you’re up for a bit of a ride, we’ll follow Rob through a bird’s eye view of the major principles of food chains, how nutrition moves through the system, and how we can mathematically model these systems
Hormone physiology and bacterial symbionts: Integrative approach to increasing understanding of vector development and reproduction
Written by: Arielle Arsenault-Benoit & Katie Reding
Vector development and reproduction are imperative to combating vector-borne illness. Dr. Kevin Vogel and his research team at the University of Georgia are employing an integrative approach to further understanding of these factors in mosquitoes and a triatomine kissing bug.
Peter Coffey , University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Agricultural Science Agent, ENTM Graduate Student (Hooks Lab), has a paper out in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.
Check out full article, "Careers in Cooperative Extension" at
Hooks Lab has a new publication out in Crop Protection titled, “Can winter cover crop termination practices impact weed suppression, soil moisture, and yield in no-till soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]?”
View full paper at https://www.sciencedirect.com/…/artic…/pii/S0261219418303211