Distinguished University Professor Margaret Palmer & Berkley Assistant Professor, Albert Ruhi have a new review out in Science on river restoration.
Check out full article, “Linkages between flow regime, biota, and ecosystem processes: Implications for river restoration” at DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw2087
Written by Todd Waters, Agricultural Technician Supervisor
On Saturday April 24 the Entomology Department joined AGNR and UME to participate in UMD Day at the Maryland State Fair. Our Insect Zoo guru, Todd Waters, organized a group of wonderful volunteers to run the tables and Dr. Michael Raupp carried a forward detachment of chitinous friends for an early morning interview on Fox45 Baltimore to advertise the event. We were provided tables in the 4-H and Home Arts Building and arrived before noon with a car full of terraria and arthropods. Before we could even set the first enclosure on the table, we were surrounded by a swarm of curious onlookers squirming in shock and fluttering with excitement. They were but moths, and our exhibit the finest lamp. Dr. Leslie Pick, covered in stick bugs, and Dr. Raupp, with a large tarantula in his hands, flourishingly convinced terrified spectators to hold Malaysian Giant Leaf Bugs, and our illustrious Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula “Rosie,” all of them becoming instant fans.
Professor Emeritus, Don Messersmith, who retired in 1989, celebrated his 90th birthday last December. After he retired from the University of Maryland in 1989, he continued to teach adult courses in Orthnithology in the DMV area and still continues that work today. He teaches part-time to senior citizens enrolled in the Osher Program at Johns Hopkins University in Rockville. The course he is currently developing for the upcoming Hopkins’ program is titled "Culture and Wildlife." The course will focus on how cultures around the world incorporate wildlife into their ceremonies, traditions, art, dances, costumes, etc.
To read more about Don's past and present influence check out recent message from North American Association for Environmental Education's Executive Director, Judy Braus. Read article here>>
Written by: Lindsay Barranco and Krisztina Christmon
Sam Droege is a wildlife biologist at USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland, where he runs the Native Bee Lab and conducts research that focuses on wild bee population conservation and management. Researchers far and wide send Sam bee specimens for identification and his work involves maintaining an inventory and monitoring program for native bees, and providing an online identification guide for North American bees at www.discoverlife.org .
Cato A, ^ Afful E, Nayak MK and Phillips TW. Evaluation of Knockdown Bioassay Methods to Assess Phosphine Resistance in the Red Flour Beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Insects. 2019.
Dively GP, Huang F, Oyediran I, Burd T and Morsello S. Evaluation of gene flow in structured and seed blend refuge systems of non-Bt and Bt corn. Journal of Pest Science. 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10340-019-01126-4
Thompson BM, Bodart J and Gruner DS. Community resistance to an invasive forest insect–fungus mutualism. Ecosphere. 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2609
^Lewis MT, and Hamby K.A. Differential impacts of yeasts on feeding behavior and development in larval Drosophila suzukii (Diptera:Drosophilidae). Scientific Reports. 2019. (manuscript accepted)
Serrano-Brañas CI, Espinosa-Chávez B and ^MacCracken SA. Teredolites trace fossils in log-grounds from the Cerro del Pueblo Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. Journal of South American Earth Sciences. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsames.2019.102316
Niu K, Xiang L, Jin Y…[& 10 others including Wang J]. Identification of LARK as a novel and conserved G-quadruplex binding protein in invertebrates and vertebrates. Nucleic Acids Research. 2019. DOI: DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkz484
Shen C, Zhang Y, Xia D, Wang J and Tang Q. Sensilla on the Antennal Funiculus of the Maize Weevil, Sitophilus zeamais (Motschulsky) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae): A Morphological Investigation. The Coleopterists Bulletin. 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1649/0010-065X-73.2.443
Talks and Presentations
^Abell KJ, ^Andrade RB, Duan JJ, Gruner DS and Shrewsbury PM. “Do treated ash trees confer a protective ‘silhouette’ from emerald ash borer for neighboring trees? Joint meeting of IUFRO Working Parties: Population dynamics and integrated management of forest insects, Quebec City, Canada. 2019.
Gruner DS, Rankin EEW, Knowlton JL, Flaspohler DJ, Giardina CP, and Fukami T. “Does forest fragment size mediate the impacts of introduced rodent predators? Foraging behavior of Hawaiian birds and their arthropod resources.” 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Antananarivo, Madagascar.2019.
^Jayd K, R MacKenzie, M Apwong and DS Gruner. “Mangrove herbivory across a salinity gradient.” Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, St. Louis, MO.2019.
Pick L. "What is RNA interference, and how will it affect the future of food?" Tech Talk. USDA, Washington DC. 2019
^Tielens EK and Gruner DS. "Insect communities across a space for time chronosequence converge over time: analyzing patterns and drivers of beta-diversity on Hawai‘i." Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Louisville, KY.2019.
Bold ENTM Faculty; ^ENTM current/former graduate student or post-doc; *ENTM research staff
This summer, Lisa Kuder (PhD Student, vanEngelsdorp lab) wrapped up her research project with The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) titled, “Evaluating Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM) Techniques to Improve Pollinator Habitat.” This three-year field study had two main goals: to determine which vegetation management tactics best maximize quality floral resources for pollinators in the Northeast, and to assess how those different regimes affect regional bee populations. The findings show that managing roadsides via selective herbicide use (SH) and annual fall mow (fall mow) can significantly increase floral diversity and bee abundance compared to a traditional frequent mowing (turf) regime. While differences between treatments – SH and fall mow – were detected, they were not significant. Bee diversity, which accounts for both abundance and the evenness of species in a given area, was mainly determined by site/surrounding landscape not treatment and was the sole significant factor. Given that floral abundance and diversity, as well as bee abundance, were increased under SH and fall mow compared to turf plots, both Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM) practices have shown great potential in supporting pollinators.
The final report can be read here>>
Congratulations to the vanEngelsdorp Lab for their work on the 13th Annual Honey Bee Loss Survey. The 13th Annual BIP Honey Bee Colony Loss Survey was released in June. The survey showed that U.S. beekeepers lost almost 40% of their bee colonies last winter, the largest loss recorded in 13 years. Researchers are using this data to establish best management practices that will help beekeepers improve the health of bees.
Thanks to the Colleges’ communication teams the survey gained widespread media coverage. Read the CMNS press release here>>
Other notable media mentions include: The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, NPR's The Salt, The Guardian, The San Francisco Chronicle, Kojo Nnamdi, ABC7 and FOX5.
Distinguished University Professor Raymond St. Leger has been elected as a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America. Dr. St. Leger is internationally known for his research on insect pathogenic fungi and for developing approaches to modify these pathogens to combat insect vectors of human disease and agricultural pests. Ray will be recognized during the Annual ESA Meeting, November 17-20 in St. Louis, MO.
Read ESA's press release here>>
Written by Kiley Gilbert, Bug Camp Assistant Director
This summer the Entomology Teaching Lab played host once more to UMD’s Bug Camp: Insect, Science, and Society. The two single-week sessions of camp were bursting with activity ranging from: collecting trips; field trips; aquatic insect hunts; apiary visits; art; crafts; inhouse experiments; and more. Days were exciting, adventurous, creative and educational. The icing on this cake was the genuine energy and enthusiasm the campers brought in each day.
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.