Red Admirals can be spotted throughout the DMV, but you better hurry if you want to catch a glimpse! At first frost these little creatures will start their journey south. Bug Of The Week has what you need to know to start your search:
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.
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.
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.
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"
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>>
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.
A NY Times Article Features New England Journal of Medicine Paper, to which the Pick lab contributed
The New York Times published an article, When the Illness Is a Mystery, Patients Turn to These Detectives, about a recent paper published in New England Journal of Medicine, to which the Pick lab contributed.
Read full article here
Check out our Fall 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 Spring 2019 edition? Let us know by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
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?