Congratulations to Environmental Science and Policy major, Maggie Tan (Palmer Lab), who successfully defended her entomology honors thesis last week. Her thesis entitled, “Changes in Hydrology and Water Quality Resulting from a Regenerative Streamwater Conveyance System in Campus Creek", received honors. Under the supervision of Michael Williams, her honors thesis investigated how Campus Creek’s regenerative stream conveyance restoration project influences the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. Maggie used hydrological and water chemistry data to document changes that occurred in Campus Creek, on the north side of campus, when step pools were placed in the stream in 2019. Their data provides a preliminary picture that RSC may reduce runoff as well as nutrient and sediment concentrations.
It has been wonderful having Maggie in the Entomology Honors Program. She graduated from UMD Environmental Science and Policy program this Spring with a concentration in Geosciences and Restoration and minoring in Geochemistry. Maggie has plans to start graduate school this fall in Arizona.
Despite challenges presented, Entomology kept teaching, kept learning and kept working during the spring 2020 semester. Check out research & teaching during COVID, promotions, publications, awards, defenses, workshops and much more.
Dr. Bill Lamp is seeking an undergraduate student, sophomore or junior, to join his lab as a part-time intern, 10-15 hours/week, to focus on molecular approaches applied to the study of plantinsect interactions of an invasive insect, the spotted lanternfly. The position requires a current University of Maryland student who has experience with molecular biology and basic molecular techniques, or has a strong desire to learn them. The student will use molecular techniques to aid in the identification of host plants of the spotted lanternfly using DNA barcoding of their gut contents. Entomological experience is not required, but an interest in or willingness to learn about insects is useful.
Follow link to read more>>
Giant gypsy moths could bring 'serious, widespread damage' to the US. "Were it to become fully established and spread widely, it would affect forests and landscape trees and shrubs in the invaded range," says Prof. Emeritus Mike Raupp.
As we lead up to Spring 2020 graduation, celebrating the success of our entomology grads and honors undergrads, UMD Today reminds us, the first woman to graduate with a four year degree shared their interest, a passionate pursuit of knowledge about the natural world. Discover more about entomology major Elizabeth Hook and how she helped set the stage for future generations to follow.
Congratulations to Public Health Science at University of Maryland, College Park student, Rebecca Kaminsky (Fritz Lab), who successfully defended her entomology honors thesis, "Larval rearing conditions conducive for Aedes aegypti autogeny expression and theoretical population growth." She received high honors for her research into autogeny - the ability of a mosquito to lay eggs without a blood meal. Becky found that increased larval nutrition was consistent with increased phenotypic expression of autogeny.
It has been wonderful having Becky in the Entomology Honors Program actively engaging in research these last few years. We wish her all the best in her future pursuits!
What affects will the asian giant hornets have on local and national ecosystems. Should we worry about asian giant hornets in the DMV? 1A, WJLA, WTOP and WUSA9 reach out to Professor Emeritus Mike Raupp for answers. In short, "Here in Maryland, in the DMV, we've got a bit of time," he says. See full interviews to learn more:
WUSA9 Verify: https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/verify/verify-murder-hornets-in-the-dmv/65-8ca95a23-5ac0-4b93-8341-15ecc8606c70
Unusually warm weather has bugs emerging sooner than expected. "People need to understand that as soon as the temperatures reach maybe 55 to 60 degrees, those ticks are going to be active -- they’re going to be looking for food and that’s going to be you,” Professor Emeritus, Mike Raupp tells WBALTV. Raupp also reminds viewers, it’s not just pests that are emerging early it’s pollinators too.
Follow link to story: https://www.wbaltv.com/article/spring-like-temperatures-bugs-emerging/31262917?fbclid=IwAR1KByUyuwXxGF8D7uBW309zwn_Ql6gS2-3NR4FNCHuR5_B4MdniPZLStiM
The St. Leger laboratory, Department of Entomology at The University of Maryland (UMD), invites applications for a Postdoctoral Scholar – Employee position starting Spring 2020 on a National Science Foundation funded project entitled “Unraveling the mechanisms by which novel fungal-plant associations evolve”. The candidate post-doctoral associate will work on a unique experimental system involving a radiating genus of fungi (Metarhizium spp) which have rapidly diversifying lifestyles. The goal is to ask fundamental questions about lifestyle shifts - where a pathogen jumps from one host (insect) species to another, or changes its role from just pathogen to plant symbiont. By taking a comparative approach, with a strong set of hypotheses from ecological and evolutionary theory, the project will provide insights into the genetic and molecular underpinnings determining evolutionary shifts in lifestyles that will be generally applicable to pathogens and hosts. Understanding these shifts is critical, especially in light of environmental change, invasive species and the laboratories work on transgenic approaches to controlling vectors of human disease. A combination of experimental approaches will be used, and there will be many opportunities to develop new projects to explore the evolution of lifestyle shifts.
Click here for the complete Job Announcement.
written by: Nancy Harding
On November 5th the Entomology Department conducted an educational community outreach event that provided hands-on experience with insects and other arthropods to 27 students along with a couple of their teachers (Karen McCabe, Dan Hatfield and Brenda Stephens) from Pocomoke Middle School. Dr. William Lamp welcomed and provided the students with a glimpse into the fascinating world of insects. An overview of the innovative and important research currently being conducted in the department was provided by the following: Anna Noreuil, Ph.D. student (Fritz lab) gave a presentation and hands-on activity regarding the northern house mosquito; Rachel Kuipers, Lab Assistant (vanEnglesdorp lab) gave an overview of the research to further understand the loss in honey bee colonies in the United States; Maria Cramer, PhD student & Dr. Torsten Schöneberg (Hamby lab) spoke to the students about the important relationship between lady beetles (predator) and aphids (prey); Alexander Forde, Ph.D.student (Gruner lab) and Todd Waters, Agricultural Technician Supervisor and caretaker of the department’s Insect Zoo, gave the students an opportunity to look at and hold native and exotic arthropods. Nancy Harding, Research Assistant, (Shrewsbury lab) and Todd Waters set up and coordinated the visit from Pocomoke Middle School. Feedback from the students and teachers was extremely positive (see Pocomoke Middle School facebook page).
ENTM Alum, Dr. Akito Kawahara, uses DNA to piece together the evolutionary history of moths and butterflies
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.