Congratulations to the recipients of the Spring 2021 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 more about Elizabeth Butz, Sophia Barringer & Madison Tewey and their extraordinary efforts in Entomology.
Elizabeth Butz is a senior undergraduate student studying environmental science and policy with a concentration in biodiversity and conservation biology; she also minors in German. She first joined the entomology department in May 2019, where she and the rest of the Burghardt Lab collected caterpillars from trees at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in order to calculate parasitism rates. She later helped to rear the collected caterpillars in growth chambers. Since then, she has also helped other members of the lab with their experiments as needed. She is currently in the Entomology Undergraduate Honors program, investigating how habitat diversity impacts the presence of spiders in managed forests. Her interest in spider presence began in Summer 2019 when the lab collected spider presence data alongside the caterpillar data, and in Fall 2019, she learned how to use R to analyze patterns that she saw. With this project, she is exploring how tree attributes such as height, canopy openness, mycorrhizal type, and caterpillar abundance compare to the presence of spiders. She would like to thank Dr. Burghardt for her amazing mentorship, and everyone in the Burghardt lab for their continued support.
Sophia Barringer is a senior at UMD pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She hopes to eventually earn an advanced degree in neuroscience and significantly contribute to research literature. She joined the Entomology department in May 2019 as a member of the Hamby Lab working under PhD candidate Maggie Lewis. Sophia has been primarily working on identifying fungal species that are frequently in contact with Drosophila suzukii. With the help of Dr. Hamby and Maggie Lewis, she has been able to develop and begin her own project as a part of the Honors Entomology Program. Since the start of COVID-19, Sophia has been conducting research from home, studying the changes in orientation and oviposition behavior of D. suzukii in the presence of pesticide, which she hopes will shed more light on the nature of the aversive effects. She thoroughly enjoys her work with the Entomology department and cannot wait to return to the laboratory in person.
Madison Tewey is a senior Physiology and Neurobiology major who has been a member of the Hamby Lab since Spring 2019. She has aided on several projects as a laboratory assistant, participating in both field and laboratory-based research. She is currently pursuing a Departmental Honors Thesis which investigates the effectiveness of an organic crop sterilant in controlling the yeast colonies of small fruits. The goal of her project is to find new ways to reduce the negative impact of the fruit fly Drosophila suzukii, which is thought to be attracted to the yeasts of small fruits, on berry crop yields. In addition to her work in the Hamby Lab, Madison has also recently completed a project with the University of Maryland School of Medicine which analyzes differences in immunological responses between adults and children to malaria antigens. In the future, Madison hopes to attend medical school and to combine her passion for entomology and immunology-based research through a career in malaria research. Madison would like to thank Dr. Kelly Hamby and Dr. Torsten Schoneberg for their mentorship and support in pursuing her project.