Congratulations Morgan Thompson (Lamp Lab), who successfully defended her masters thesis: "Evaluating the effect of potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae) feeding on biological nitrogen fixation in alfalfa (Medicago sativa)" Want to learn more about Thompson's thesis? Mark your calendars; she will be presenting Friday, April 26, at noon during Entomology's Spring 19’ seminar series.
Congratulations again, Morgan! Best wishes to you as you begin working on your PhD at Texas A&M University this summer!
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>>
Congratulations to Brian Lovett (ENTM PhD student, St. Leger Lab) for being selected to receive the American Institute of Biological Sciences’ Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award! This award recognizes the achievements of biology graduate students who have demonstrated an interest and aptitude for contributing to science and science policy.
As a recipient of the award Brian will:
Travel to Washington, DC to participate in the AIBS science communications training program and AIBS Congressional Visits Day
Meet with lawmakers to advocate for federal investment in the biological sciences
Receive a one-year membership in AIBS, which includes a subscription to the scientific journal BioScience
Check out the AIBS press release here: https://www.aibs.org/public-policy/news/aibs_announces_2019_emerging_public_policy_leadership_award_winners.html
Congrats Brian on receiving this award! What a wonderful and well-deserved recognition!
Written by: Katie Reding, Serhat Solmaz, and Arielle Arsenault-Benoit
Adaptation to abiotic stressors and environmental change is imperative to survival in a rapidly changing world. Dr. Reid Brennan, an ecological geneticist and postdoctoral scholar in the Pespeni Lab at University of Vermont, presented his research in aquatic systems to explore the genomic basis of populations’ responses to these stressors over short- and long- time periods.
Congratulations to Dr. Magdalene Ngeve for being awarded the highly prestigious University of Maryland President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship for her postdoctoral work in Maile Neel's lab!
To find out more about Magdalene Ngeve's research please visit, https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Magdalene_Ngeve
Patricia L. Graham, Research Assistant Scientist and Entomology colleagues W. Ray Anderson, Elizabeth A. Brandt, JieXiang (PhD 17’, UMD MOCB, Pick Lab) and Leslie Pick, have a new paper out in Developmental Biology. Check out “Dynamic expression of Drosophila segmental cell surface-encoding genes and their pair-rule regulators” here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2019.01.015
Associate Professor, Jeffrey Shultz has a review article out in ZooKeys. His paper reviews the taxonomic diversity of harvestmen in Canada. Find out how many species of harvestmen are in Canada & more in the full article, "Opiliones of Canada".
UMD Scientists, Postdoctoral Research Associate Alina Avanesyan and Professor William Lamp, assessed native Hawaiian plant responses to leafhopper injury. Read findings in their recent paper titled, "Short-Term Physiological Response of a Native Hawaiian Plant, Hibiscus arnottianus, to Injury by the Exotic Leafhopper, Sophonia orientalis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae)", published in Environmental Entomology.
A new study published by UMD Extension Agent, Alan Leslie ( PhD 14’, UMD ENTM) & Entomology Professor, William Lamp in the Journal of Aquatic Sciences showed that burrowing macroinvertebrates can alter dynamics of phosphorus storage and release in drainage ditches.
Check out full paper, “Burrowing macroinvertebrates alter phosphorus dynamics in drainage ditch sediments” at https://doi.org/10.1007/s00027-019-0621-8
Becca Eckert, Ph.D.student (Lamp Lab), is a recipient of this year's Cosmos Scholars Grant Program. The foundation, which began in 1998, awards research grants for graduate students enrolled in Universities in the D.C. area. The Cosmos Scholars Grant Program will support Becca’s research, more specifically, experiments measuring the contribution of algae growing on leaves to stream macroinvertebrate growth.
!Congratulations to the recipients of the Spring 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 Justin Lee, Madeline Potter, Catherine Trelstad, and Betsy Wang and their extraordinary efforts in Entomology!
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.