The Entomological Society of America's Plant-Insect Ecosystems Lifetime Achievement Award in Entomology goes to Professor Emeritus Galen Dively. Awarded to Galen for his LEGENDARY career as an entomologist, his contributions to the advancement & promotion of the field, and for his inspiration and mentorship to others. Galen will be presented with this award along with an ESA Fellows award during the Annual ESA Meeting, October 31 - November 3 in Denver, CO. Please join us in congratulating Galen for another well-deserved honor!!!
ESA announcement released in August 21 P-IE newsletter.
Professor Emeritus Galen Dively has been elected as a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America in recognition of his outstanding contributions to entomology research, teaching and extension. Galen’s research is broadly focused and closely linked to his extension efforts to address IPM issues. Most recently, he developed and directs a multistate sweet corn sentinel monitoring network for tracking field-evolved resistance to the Bt toxins, which has influenced EPA to consider changes to the insect resistance monitoring protocol for Bt crops. Galen will be presented with this award during the Annual ESA Meeting, October 31 - November 3 in Denver, CO. Please join us in congratulating Galen on this well-deserved honor!!!
For more on Galen’s efforts in entomology check out ESA's press release here>>
Veronica Yurchak, a Ph.D. student working in the Hooks Lab, and colleagues have a paper out in Transgenic Research that looks into how Cry proteins, insecticidal toxins created by Bt corn, break down after crops are harvested and whether or not farmers practices can accelerate the degradation process. Although research to date reveals few adverse effects resulting from cry proteins on non-target organisms, the authors say knowing the practices that degrade these proteins will be important for assessing the ecological risk of future genetically engineered crops.
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Bee Informed Partnership has released results from their annual survey, which highlights the continuing cycle of high honey bee colony turnover, with beekeepers and researchers hoping to find solutions.
“This year’s survey results show that colony losses are still high,” says Nathalie Steinhauer, BIP’s science coordinator and a post-doctoral researcher in University of Maryland Department of Entomology. "We should remember, however, that loss rates are not the same as population decline. The recent numbers of honey bee colonies in the U.S. are relatively stable despite those high losses, but that’s because beekeepers invest a lot of time and effort to increase their operation size to mitigate their losses.”
See AGNR's full press release here
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Shout out to Undergrad - and first Entomology minor- Grace Soltis (Gruner Lab) on her debut in the Audubon and Wired. The articles feature her work with George WashingtonUniversity ecologist Dr. Zoe Getman-Pickering studying Brood X impacts on Maryland food webs.
After 62 years of teaching in various places including 26 years in the Entomology Department, Don Messersmith has finally pulled back from formal instruction. With his final course at JHU's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute wrapping up early due to the pandemic. Barbara Johnson, President Maryland Ornithological Society, authors a beautiful article that celebrates his many decades as an educator.
UMD’s Entomology Games team—known as the Checkerspots—earned second place in the eastern regional competition. With their win, the Checkerspots advanced to the national competition, which will be held at the Entomological Society of America’s (ESA) national meeting in Denver in November.
See CMNS article to learn more about the team and their preparations for the national games.
Join Dr. Sara Via, Professor & Climate Extension Specialist for the 2021 Climate and Sustainability Webinar Series beginning at 4 p.m. on June 23. Learn about the impacts of climate change and what you can do to help every other Wednesday in this summer-long series ending Sept. 15. Learn more and register for one or all of the webinars at https://climatecorner.org/webinars/
The Department of Entomology is a participant of the Green Office Program and is working towards Bronze certification. The GO Representative is Amy Yaich.
Check out our Spring 2021 Department of Entomology Newsletter to see what we've been up to! Content includes news on publications, awards, defenses, media mentions and much more.
Is there something you'd like to see in the Summer 20201 edition? Let us know by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
Congratulations to Associate Professor Dennis vanEngelsdorp for being named Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate's Web of Science for the 5th year in a row!
See Clarivate's list here>>
Congratulations to Distinguished University Professor Margaret Palmer recipient of the Helmholtz International Fellowship Award for Excellent Researchers. These fellowships are "aimed at outstanding senior scientists who have distinguished themselves through their work in areas relevant to Helmholtz. The prize is awarded in recognition of the scientific merits and is endowed with a total of 20,000 euros." She was recognized for "cutting edge work in hydrology and ecology" and "pioneer work at the interface of science and society." Once COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted, Margaret will be spending time at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany with the option to collaborate with scientists at other Helmholtz centers.
PREDATION OR SCAVENGING? GRUNER LAB COLLABORATES ON A NOVEL METHOD OF MEASURING INTERACTIONS BETWEEN INVASIVE RATS & BIRDS
On the Hawaiian Islands invasive black rats are eating native and introduced birds. The long-term ecological impact of the rats' taste for island birds will depend on whether or not the rats are preying upon birds or scavenging their dead remains, a species interaction that can be difficult to verify through observation alone. So scientist from Smithsonian’s Center for Conservation Genomics and the Gruner Lab (grad student Madhvi Venkatraman, former postdoc Erin E Wilson Rankin and Associate Prof. Daniel S. Gruner) set out to find another way to measure these hard to see interactions. They worked out a method of using bacterial biomarkers in the rat's stomach and feces to tell whether the birds consumed were alive or dead. Their paper entitled, “Identification of novel bacterial biomarkers to detect bird scavenging by invasive rats”, was published earlier this year in Ecology and Evolution, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7171.
by Taís Ribeiro and Max Ferlauto
Climate change is having a drastic effect on species across the globe, our own included (Pachauri et al 2014). We have not only witnessed increases in mean temperatures but also extreme weather events like heat waves (Pachauri et al 2014). Although there are many studies looking at the impacts of climate change on particular species, research on the effects of climate change on species interactions is still limited. An important type of species relationship is a host-parasitoid interaction such as what occurs between an insect and its parasitoid wasp. Parasitoid wasps are tiny insects that lay their eggs in other insects. The eggs then hatch and consume the host while it is still alive. There are thousands of parasitoid wasp species. In fact, their order, Hymenoptera, may be the most diverse animal order in the world because of their high degree of specialization with their hosts (Forbes et al., 2018). In order to parasitize eggs, larvae, or pupae, parasitoids must align their life cycle with that of their hosts. But what happens when climate change increases temperatures and extreme climatic events? Does this misalign the host and parasitoid life cycles?
This spring Maggie Hartman, M.S. student in the Lamp Lab, entered the Campus-Level Three-Minute Thesis competition and won! Maggie says distilling her thesis, ‘Dragons on the farm: A novel approach to determining dragonfly diet in agroecosystems', into a 3-minute video for a public audience was an interesting challenge.
Choose "read more" to find out more about Maggie’s initial interest in the competition, her approached to the task, her initial “shock” to have won and what’s next for her and her competitors.
Dr. Bretton Kent, Principal Lecturer in the Department of Entomology will be retiring this semester.
Dr. Kent has a long and impressive history with UMD. Dr. Kent received his B.S. degree in 1973 from Oregon State University, a M.S. degree in Zoology from Oregon State, and his Ph.D. in 1981 from University of Maryland, College Park. The focus of his education was Zoology, a field he has continued to pursue throughout his career. After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Kent worked as a Research Affiliate here at the University of Maryland, while simultaneously initiating his role as Instructor. Initially appointed in the Department of Zoology, Dr. Kent was recruited to the Entomology Department in 1997, where he was appointed as Instructor and Director of Undergraduate Studies. In addition, since 2005, Dr. Kent has been actively involved in the Master of Chemical & Life Science Program, serving as Associate Director and Director of this online Masters Program.
Choose "Read More" to find out more about Dr. Kent's exceptional career.
written by: Huiyu Sheng and Arielle Arsenault-Benoit
Maggie Lewis, a PhD student in the Hamby Lab, aims to advance sustainable management of spotted-wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii, SWD). Spotted-wing drosophila is a pest of soft skinned fruits such as raspberries and blackberries that is specifically adapted to infest ripe fruit prior to harvest, unlike other fruit flies that often lay their eggs in overripe or rotting fruit. Spotted Wing Drosophila presents a considerable threat to the small fruits industry because the management options are limited and the consumer tolerance threshold to larvae in fruit is very low. Lewis’s dissertation work aims to inform and improve traditional Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches for SWD through a better understanding of the fly’s relationships with yeasts, synergism with fruit rot fungi, and optimization of traditional management practices.
In recognition of Dr. Bill Lamp's extraordinary dedication to Honors education at the University of Maryland he has been named recipient of the Honors College's highest award, the Winston Family Honors Faculty Award. For nearly two decades Bill has directed the Department of Entomology’s Honors program, which has graduated 30 students 17 of whom were mentees of his lab. In addition to his directing role Bill also instructs stand out courses like HONR208D, “Insect Biodiversity: The Good, theBad and the Weird,” in the University Honors Program. Please join us in congratulating Bill on this well deserved recognition!
& if you get a chance spread the word on social media: facebook, twitter
Varroa mites are a major threat to honeybee health in the US. Chemical applications have proved effective at controlling varroa mite populations in honey bee colonies, however, only to a point. The mites are developing resistance to these chemicals. Collaborative study between University of Valencia and UMD Entomology Bee Lab researchers, Grad Student Krisztina Christmon & Associate Professor Dennis vanEngelsdorp, demonstrate mutations related to tau-fluvalinate resistance in Varroa destructor are widely distributed in the US. Their research reveals an urgent need for pest management strategies based on treatment resistance. Knowing the frequency of resistant mites, the authors argue, would help beekeepers choose the right treatment for their colonies.
Written by: Maria Cramer and Veronica Yurchak
In academia it’s fairly common to become an expert in a tiny slice of science. Researchers often become incredibly familiar with the particular system or organism they study and may not have too many reasons to branch out. That is not the pattern that Dr. Raul Villanueva, from the University of Kentucky, followed, however. Dr. Villanueva, the field crops entomologist for Kentucky, attributes his diversity of study areas to working in agricultural extension. In order to help support and educate Kentucky farmers he ends up working on whatever insect problems they are facing. And what’s more, Kentucky is a state of diverse agricultural production, ranging from grain crops like wheat, corn, and soybeans, to hemp for CBD production, sweet sorghum for molasses, and many horticultural crops like fruits and vegetables. Over the course of the seminar talk that he presented to the University of Maryland Entomology Department, Dr. Villanueva took the audience on a journey through his extension research program.