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 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?"
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 Dr. Rebecca Wilson-Ounekeo (Lamp Lab), UMD ENTM Grad Program's newest Ph.D. graduate, for successfully defending her doctoral dissertation: "Spatial Distribution, Habitat Preference, and Societal Impact of the Nuisance Black Fly, Simulium jenningsi"
Check out a recent Entomology Seminar Blog post about her research. https://entomology.umd.edu/…/the-relationship-between-human…
Congratulations again & best of luck in all your future endeavors, wherever these may take you!
UMD Assistant Professor, Karin Burghardt quoted in Popular Science. She comments on a new study out from the University of Delaware that researched the effects of native plant species on a specific species of bird.
“We think about birds [in human landscapes] as mostly needing birdseed,” Burghardt says. But work over the past decade paints a different picture, one that points to the importance of insects for many. However, the vast majority of plant-eating insects are evolved to only eat a small number of native plants, which means that in gardens without the foliage of choice, they’re not around.
For human gardeners, as well, introducing native plants and seeing the wildlife—from caterpillars and other insects to birds—they attract can be “a pretty rewarding process,” Burghardt says.
Read full article here.
Confirmation of the spotted lanternfly in MD has Farms asking what this means for MD crops. For answers, they turn to, UMD Assistant Professor, Kelly Hamby.
“This insect seems to cluster in big groups,” Hamby told Farms.com. “They pierce the plant tissue and sucks out the juices of the plant and filters the good stuff for themselves. While that’s going on, the insects also getting rid of the juices they don’t want.
“The excreted substance is called honeydew, and that can cause a lot of secondary problems because it can promote mold growth.”
Read full article here.
Galen Dively Shared Recommendations on Fall Armyworm with United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization - U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome
Fall Armyworms are spreading fast across Africa, devastating crops. The U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies for Food & Agriculture is looking for ways to help control the pest. This Sept, they invited Dr. Galen Dively to share his expertise in pest management. After traveling to observe the spread of the Fall Armyworm in Malawi & Ghana, Dively shared his recommendations at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome.
Read the full USUN news release here.
With West Nile numbers up, WTOP asks Professor Mike Raupp, mosquito season-when will it end?
Spider feeding live! Explore the world of entomology and see the fascinating Black and Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia) on display in the Plant Sciences Building 2nd floor lobby. Watch feeding every Tuesday & Thursday at 12:00pm beginning August 23rd.
Check out our Summer 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 Fall 2018 edition? Let us know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Kiley Gilbert, Bug Camp Assistant Director
If you are one of the folks working in the Plant Sciences Building during the summer, chances are you at least glimpsed the parade of youths toting armfuls of nets, bug houses, water bottles, and various pieces of indeterminate organic matter throughout the halls. If you happened to miss this aforementioned spectacle, perhaps you still overheard powerful and echoing cries along the lines of, “My daddy long legs are fighting!” and “Look! Look at my grasshoppers! This one is named Sir Hoppy Bob. Oh no Sir Hoppy Bob don’t escape!” reverberating through the building. Well, ladies and gentlemen, you can attribute these comical events to campers of the Shultz Lab’s world-renowned Bug Camp 2018: Insects, Science, and Society.
Kelly Kulhanek, Ph.D. student & Nathalie Steinhauer, Postdoc, work with NASA to look at pollinator health from space! NASA uses satellite data to reveal the environmental factors that affect honeybee populations. "This large-scale satellite data that NASA developed is really going to enable us to make large-scale correlations about the factors we’re seeing in honeybees and the physical interactions they are having with their landscape." , said Kulhanek. NASA summarizes the project:
Congratulations to UMD graduate student Veronica Johnson who successfully defended her thesis, "Understanding the effects of post-harvest litter management practices on the degradation of Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) proteins in genetically modified field corn debris"
The Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland, invites applications for a Post Doctoral Associate in Community Ecology of Forest Arthropods.
The incumbent will work with Dr. Daniel Gruner on several projects with theoretical and applied foci:
(1) Community-level biological control by natural enemies of the emerald ash borer in mid-Atlantic states, and
(2) Spatio-temporal drivers of arthropod diversity on a chronosequence of forested sites in the Hawaiian Islands.
The interdisciplinary nature of this research will provide opportunities for the postdoc to work with collaborators from the USDA Agricultural Research Service, the US Forest Service, and the University of California-Berkeley, among others.
Click here for the complete Job Announcement.
A wet and stormy spring and summer has contributed to a rise in the mosquito population. In response, MPT News airs expert advice from UMD Entomology professor, Michael Raupp, on ways to prevent mosquito bites.
The Ruth Patrick Award is given to scientists who have made outstanding contributions towards solving environmental problems. The Association for the Sciences of Limnology & Oceanography (ASLO) has awarded Dr. Margaret Palmer of the University of Maryland, College Park this distinguished honor in recognition for being a champion of solution-driven science for the protection of freshwaters. The award will be presented at the ASLO Summer Meeting in Victoria, British Columbia in June 2018.
Congratulations Dr. Palmer! Read the full press release here.
Congratulations to Dilip Venugopal and Galen Divley on their publication released today in Royal Society Open Science!
Climate change, transgenic corn adoption and field-evolved resistance in corn earworm.
Pests aggravate the agricultural costs of climate change. Understanding climate change interaction with transgenic crops, a key insect pest management strategy, helps minimize agricultural losses. We found that increasing temperature anomaly and its interaction with high Bt acreage probably accelerated Bt resistance development in a major crop pest, corn earworm. Bt resistant corn earworms may spread further given extensive Bt adoption, and their range expansion due to climate change. We highlight the need to incorporate evolutionary processes affected by climate change into Bt resistance management programs, and the challenges posed by climate change for Bt biotechnology based insect pest management.
Check out the full article here.
Dilip Venugopal completed his Ph.D. in the Entomology Department in 2014, co-advised by Drs. William Lamp and Galen Dively. He is now a AAAS Science & Technology Fellow at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C.
Transgenic Bt crops have been a very successful tool for managing various insect pests in field crops. However, like all pest management strategies, they have both pros and cons. Dr. Dominic Reisig, from North Carolina State University, discusses the challenges of managing resistance against Bt crops, using the example of Helicoverpa zea, an important pest of both corn and cotton.
The mechanisms of exactly how mosquitoes locate their human hosts still elude the scientific community. Dr Conor McMeniman’s lab at Johns Hopkins has made advances in understanding the important role that the CO2 we exhale has to play in mosquitoes’ host-finding abilities. With the urgency of the Zika threat looming, understanding its mosquito vectors’ human-finding processes is vital to public health.
Ph.D. student, Samuel Ramsey of the vanEngelsdorp Lab took 1st place in the 4th annual 3MT competition on April 5, 2017. After much preparation and making it through the first round of competitions the week prior, he scored the top prize!
Sammy will be awarded $500 and will go on to represent UMD in the International competition in October. Here is some info on the background of the competition but without the winners for this year updated on the site.
Please offer him congratulations when you see him. We are very proud!
A piece of exciting news to welcome you back from spring break!
Natural threats among the flowers lurk. Dr. T'ai Roulston delves into the somewhat macabre world of bumble bee parasitism by conopid or thick-headed flies.
"Dr. Arnaud Martin details his research adapting the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system to crustaceans and butterflies, providing further evidence that supports previous findings surrounding the use of genetic tool kits found in all animals."