Professor, Mike Raupp introduces WTOP and MarylandToday readers to the scarab beetles invading gardens this wet summer season.
How is climate change affecting our food supply? What policies and practices can mitigate the impact? Professor Sara Via is among the expert speakers addressing these questions at the upcoming Climate Change & You series, Tuesday, July 16th at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Join the discussion.
Congratulations to the recipients of the Fall 2019 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. Choose, "Read More" to find out about James Digel, Sophia Moon and Maddie Potter & their extraordinary efforts in Entomology.
Lightning bugs light up Maryland early this year. Professor Mike Raupp provides illuminating answers, explaining to viewers why these insects are out so early and the “magic” behind their glow.
Congratulations to Entomology's Brian Lovett (Ph.D. student, St. Leger Lab) and Professor Ray St. Leger on their new research paper, "Transgenic Metarhizium rapidly kills mosquitoes in a malaria-endemic region of Burkina Faso" published in Science. Their study tested the effectiveness of genetically modified fungus in controlling malaria-carrying mosquitoes outside a laboratory. Their tests demonstrated that the transgenic fungus caused mosquito populations to drop below viable levels within two generations.
Read the CMNS press release here>>
Other notable media mentions include NPR & Science News.
Entomology faculty member Dr. Paula Shrewsbury has been promoted to Full Professor!
Paula Shrewsbury has maintained a very active research and extension since joining UMD Department of Entomology in 1999. Her nationally and internationally recognized extension program identify methods to restore plant and insect community dynamics to create sustainable urban landscapes, nurseries, and turf systems, with an emphasis on biological control and conservation of natural enemies and pollinators. The program also examines the ecology and management of invasive species in managed and natural environments.
Over the years Paula has presented at more than 300 events reaching over 20,000 stakeholders. Events include conferences, in-service trainings, green industry meetings, and field days. In addition to face-to-face trainings, Paula writes in the Weekly Landscape and Nursery IPM Pest Alert Newsletter reaching even more people. Her columns "Beneficial of the Week" and "Pest Prediction Calendar.” In recognition of Paula’s many achievements in extension, she received the Entomological Society of America’s 2018 Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension.
Dr. Shrewsbury has made significant contributions to teaching as well. Paula’s popular course, Insect Pests of Ornamentals and Turf (BSCI497) is being taught this Fall. She also is currently advisor to undergraduate researchers and postdoctoral associates.
Congratulations on this well-deserved promotion!
Learn more about Paula Shrewsbury here.
Entomology faculty member Bretton Kent has been promoted to Principal Lecturer!
Brett Kent has a long standing and exemplary record with the department of entomology. Brett has been an instructor and Director of Undergraduate Studies with the Department since his recruitment to Entomology in 1997. Brett has taught many courses along the way, most recently 4 major courses Organismal Biology, Biology of Extinct Animals, Biology of Extinct Animals Laboratory and Teaching & Professional Development in Biology. As Undergraduate Director he tirelessly coordinates the teaching, scheduling of classes and advising with the Department and with the College, all while maintaining a research program on extinct animals.
In addition to Brett’s teaching, advising and administrative roles Brett maintains an active independent research program. Notably, Brett has been involved in the Smithsonian based project documenting vertebrae fossils in Calvert Cliffs. Last Sept. “The Geology and Vertebrate Paleontology of Calvert Cliffs, Maryland, USA”, was published in Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology, the first comprehensive review of fossils from Calvert Cliffs published in over a century! As part of this project Brett worked with a colleague to name a new species of extinct giant thresher shark that would have been the size of a modern great white shark. To boot, Brett was a coauthor on a paper documenting the evolution of Carcharocles megalodon from the ancestral species, C. chubutensis that was published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology this Spring.
Congratulations on this well-deserved promotion!
Learn more about Dr. Kent here.
Amy Brown started with the Department of Entomology in 1982 as Coordinator of Pesticide Education & Assessment Programs (PEAP), a program she continues to coordinate today. PEAP enhances protection of human health and the environment through eduction on sound pesticide use and policy assistance. Through this program, Amy seeks to improve pesticide applicators' knowledge to minimize potential effects on human health and the environment and to increase the health care community's understanding of pesticide-related illnesses.
In 1993, Amy joined our faculty. Throughout her distinguished career, Dr. Brown has been a valued researcher, instructor, supervisor and mentor. Amy’s research and extension work has led to more than 200 publications. She has served for many years on pesticide advisory panels and review committees at the state and federal levels, and her work is recognized locally, nationally and internationally. Dr. Brown has taught graduate level courses and undergraduate Honors courses including HONR228G: Are You Really Gonna Eat That? – Food Ethics, which she developed in 2015. She also supervised 7 masters students throughout her career and served as one of three Departmental undergraduate advisors for several years.
Over the years, Amy has received many recognitions for her achievements including the USDA Secretary's Award for Environmental Protection, and was a U.S. EPA Honoree for “significant contributions to pesticide safety education to protect human health and the environment”. In 2009, Dr. Brown was named a Fellow of the American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators.
Congratulations, Amy, on this well-deserved appointment. We look forward to your activities in retirement.
The University of Maryland Graduate School awarded Associate Professor, Jeffrey Shultz, the Outstanding Director of Graduate Studies Award!
Since the dawn of agriculture thousands of years ago, humans have altered the global landscape. Humans transported crop species and plants across the world for feed and harvest. Agriculture allowed for modern civilization to progress, ultimately resulting in the construction of cities, urban and suburban areas. As humans move further and further away from natural landscapes, it comes at a significant cost to communities of various organisms. With these human-induced changes in mind, Dr. Kim (La Pierre) Komatsu (Fig. 1) of the Smithsonian Environment Research Center studies plant communities and connections to ecosystem processes. Dr. Kim investigates interactions between plant communities and plant biomass accumulation, insect herbivores, and nutrient acquisition, always considering how global change affects such interactions.
Entomology nearly swept the board with CMNS Awards this year. Congratulations to all the award winners on these well-deserved recognitions!
Board of Visitors Junior Faculty Award-Kelly A. Hamby
Board of Visitors Creative Educator Award- Tammatha O'Brien
Board of Visitors Outstanding Graduate Student Award- Brian Lovett
Dean’s Outstanding Employee Award- Greg Hess
CMNS will honor the college's award winners at the CMNS Academic Festival.
When: Friday, May 3, 2019 2:00 p.m.
Where: Physical Sciences Complex Lobby
Please join us as we celebrate with our colleagues.
Aditi Dubey has been awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student Assembly Member Award! This award honors scholar-leaders for their outstanding contributions to service & involvement at the University of Maryland. The award will be presented on Sunday, May 5, 2019 at the 38th Annual University Student Leadership Awards Program.
Join us at Maryland Day on Saturday, April 27, 2019 in Plant Sciences Building for Entomology's Insect Zoo and Discover the Swamp exhibits!
Insect Petting Zoo – Plant Sciences Building, 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.
Discover a Swamp – Plant Sciences Building, Room 1162, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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.
Congratulations to Morgan Thompson (MS student, Lamp Lab) & Maggie Lewis (PhD student, Hamby Lab) award winners of the Student Ten Minute Paper Competition at the ESA Eastern Branch Meeting in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Morgan won second place for her talk: "Potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae) feeding alters above- and belowground nutrient allocation and nitrogen fixation across alfalfa cultivars".
Maggie won first place for her talk: "Interactions between spotted-wing drosophila and fruit rot fungi in fall red raspberries"
UMD’s team placed second in the Linnaean Games competition hosted by the Eastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America, earning $1000 and a chance to compete at the national games in St. Louis. Congratulations Anna Noreuil, Arielle Arsenault-Benoit, Aditi Dubey, Morgan Thompson, Maggie Lewis and coach Kelly Hamby!
New paper, co-authored by UMD Entomology Lecturer Bretton Kent, describes the dental transition between megalodon ancestor, Carcharocles chubutensis, and Carcharocles megalodon. The study titled, "The transition between Carcharocles chubutensis and Carcharocles megalodon (Otodontidae, Chondrichthyes): lateral cusplet loss through time", was published this week in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
The Western Producer: Ramsey and vanEngelsdorp quoted in "Varroa mite research may improve bee health"
Alum Samuel Ramsey (Ph.D. '18, entomology) and Associate Professor, Dennis vanEngelsdorp quoted in The Western Producer. In this article, they describe a series of experiments that led to the discovery that honeybee parasites feed on fatty organs & explain how the discovery may improve bee health.
Quote: “The long-term hope is that, with this fat-based feeding, there may be products that can be fed to the bees that get into the fat that can deter the varroa mites,” said vanEngelsdorp. “We can better understand and predict when colonies could die because maybe we could try to measure their fat. The goal is to find a product that is more targeted.”
Read full article"Varroa mite research may improve bee health"
Dr. Karen Rane, Director of the Plant Diagnostic Laboratory, scheduled to talk ornamentals in the Ornamental Disease webinar series organized by Greenhouse Canada.
Follow link for more details about the series including registration
Written by: Maggie Hartman, Zac Lamas, Arielle Arsenault-Benoit
If you have been to the coastal tropics or subtropics, you may have seen lush trees, with almost science fiction-like root systems. These are trees in the genus Rhizophora, colloquially known as the mangroves. Mangrove forest ecosystems are coastal and found between 30° N and 30° S. They are a flowering angiosperm, with a hydrochorous propagule dispersal mechanism (dispersal occurs via water). The propagules are seedlings, formed by the embryo growing through the seed coat and fruit wall, while still attached on the mother tree, a phenomenon known as vivipary.. These propagules depend on the ocean surface current to disperse both close by and remotely; they are capable of floating in ocean currents for up to three months or more. Alternatively, mangrove gene dispersal can occur via pollen transfer by wind or insects. Ideally, these propagules are distributed to new environments where they can sprout, and mature into an adult tree. If the new tree is capable of maturing and reproducing in a new area, we would cite this as an example of gene flow. If you’re having a hard time imagining this, just think of the cosmopolitan coconut. Although technically the coconut is a drupe and not a propagule, their distribution in ocean currents is synonymous. Unfortunately for our hopeful mangroves, their propagules have to overcome barriers that restrict their distribution.
Written by: Elizabeth Brandt, Mintong Nan, Anna Noreuil, Katie Reding
How it is possible to maintain a segmented body plan after loss of a key developmental gene? Dr. Alys Jarvela, a biochemist, geneticist, and postdoctoral scholar in the Pick Lab at University of Maryland, presented her research to address this precise question.
Did the polar vortex kill off some harmful and invasive insects? Professor Mike Raupp explains how cold weather impacts these invaders.
Emerald Ash Borers
Mike informs CBS Baltimore: “This baby has killed 100 million ash trees nationwide,” said Raupp. “Did the polar vortex kill it here in Maryland? No, it did not. It has to go to minus 23 degrees fahrenheit before we see mortality in that guy.” Read more>>
Mike informs WUSA9's VERIFY: "Scientists have determined the super cooling point for stink bugs. It is about 6 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that when temperatures dip below this point, lethal ice crystals form in the cells of the bugs," Raupp said. "So, yes many areas went to single digits or below and this could result in high levels of mortality..but here is the catch. This is for stink bugs in UNPROTECTED locations. The stink bugs in people's attics where temps did not hit 6 will be fine." Read More>>