Monday, November 23, 2009

Insect Resistance to Bt Crops can be Predicted, Monitored, and Managed

Since 1996, crop plants genetically modified to produce bacterial proteins that are toxic to certain insects, yet safe for people, have been planted on more than 200 million hectares worldwide. The popularity of these Bt crops, named after the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, comes from their ability to kill some major pests, allowing farmers to save money and lessen environmental impacts by reducing insecticide sprays.

However, since insects can evolve resistance to toxins, strategies must be implemented to ensure that Bt crops remain effective. A new study published in the December issue of Journal of Economic Entomology entitled “Field-Evolved Insect Resistance to Bt Crops: Definition, Theory, and Data” ( analyzes insect resistance data from five continents, as reported in 41 studies, and concludes that existing theories and strategies can be used to predict, monitor, and manage insect resistance to Bt crops.

According to lead author Dr. Bruce E. Tabashnik, “Resistance is not something to be afraid of, but something that we expect and can manage if we understand it. Dozens of studies monitoring how pests have responded to Bt crops have created a treasure trove of data showing that resistance has emerged in a few pest populations, but not in most others. By systematically analyzing the extensive data, we can learn what accelerates resistance and what delays it. With this knowledge, we can more effectively predict and thwart pest resistance.”

Among the authors’ conclusions are:

• The refuge strategy (growing non-Bt crops near the Bt crops) can slow the evolution of insect resistance by increasing the chances of resistant insects mating with non-resistant ones, resulting in non-resistant offspring.

• Crops that are “pyramided” to incorporate two or more Bt toxins are more effective at controlling insect resistance when they are used independently from crops that contain only one Bt toxin.

• Resistance monitoring can be especially effective when insects collected from the field include survivors from Bt crops.

• DNA screening can complement traditional methods for monitoring resistance, such as exposing insects to toxins in the lab.

• Despite a few documented cases of field-evolved resistance to the Bt toxins in transgenic crops, most insect pest populations are still susceptible.

With Bt crop acreage increasing worldwide, incorporating enhanced understanding of observed patterns of field-evolved resistance into future resistance management strategies can help to minimize the drawbacks and maximize the benefits of current and future generations of transgenic crops.

The full article is available at

Bruce Tabashnik, the lead author can be contacted at or 520-621-1141.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

2010 World of Insects Calendar Now Available

The World of Insects Calendar, free for Annual Meeting attendees, is available now for purchase. They cost $8.00 for ESA members, and $12.00 for non-members (plus shipping), with bulk purchases available.

Click here for an order form, or call 301-731-4535, ext. 3017.

In the 2010 Calendar, ESA members have captured stunning photographs of insects, both common and uncommon, in their natural habitats. Enjoy this beautiful and colorful 15-picture calendar, with informative captions that illuminate the secretive and very busy lives of insects.

Click here for an order form, or call 301-731-4535, ext. 3017.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Insect Scientists Converge in Indianapolis

November 5, 2009 -- Approximately 2,500 entomologists and professionals in related disciplines from around the world will gather December 13-16 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana to exchange scientific information at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA). The Meeting will feature 69 symposia featuring insect scientists who will give presentations on agriculture, bioenergy, GMOs, insect repellents, evolution, biodiversity, pest control, forestry, invasive species, colony collapse disorder (CCD), bed bugs, and more.

A full list of symposia can be found in the Online Program available at

Noted speakers will include Peter Raven, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden; Mark Moffett, National Geographic Society; Colonel Richard Johnson, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; and Ned Walker, Michigan State University.

Other highlights will include an insect photo exhibit, awards presentations for outstanding entomologists, the Linnaean Games (a contest of knowledge between 10 competing university teams), student debates and poster competitions, an entomology career center, and numerous receptions and social events.
Members of the media who would like to attend ESA meetings can contact ESA (; (301) 731-4535, ext. 3009) for a press pass.

More information on the ESA Annual Meeting, including registration instructions, can be found at

Founded in 1889, ESA is a non-profit organization committed to serving the scientific and professional needs of nearly 6,000 entomologists and individuals in related disciplines. ESA's membership includes representatives from educational institutions, government, health agencies, and private industry. More information on ESA is available at

Thursday, October 1, 2009

ESA 2010 Election Results

The votes from the 2010 ESA Officers Election, which ended August 25, are in. The following members will begin their terms at the Closing Session of the ESA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana on Wednesday, December 16, 2009:

ESA Governing Board
Vice President-Elect: Grayson C. Brown
Eastern Branch Representative: Douglas G. Pfeiffer
Southwestern Branch Representative: Bastiaan M. Drees
Plant–Insect Ecosystems Section Representative: Robert K. Peterson

Integrative Physiological and Molecular Insect Systems Section
Vice President-Elect: Subba Reddy Palli

Plant–Insect Ecosystems Section
Vice President-Elect: Bonnie B. Pendleton
Publications Council Representative: William O. Lamp

Structural, Veterinary, and Public Health Systems Section
Vice President-Elect: Christopher J. Geden

Systematics, Evolution, and Biodiversity Section
Vice President-Elect: Kelly B. Miller

Certification Board
Director-Elect: Jerome J. Hatch, BCE
Pacific Branch Representative: Elizabeth Dykstra, BCE
Southwestern Branch Representative: Brian L. Mount, BCE

Honorary Member
Shripat T. Kamble

Bylaws Amendment to Create an International Branch

Entomological Society of America Names 2009 Award Winners

ESA is pleased to announce the winners of its 2009 awards. Professional awards will be presented at the Opening Plenary Session of the ESA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, Sunday, December 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The student awards will be presented on Tuesday, December 15, 7:00-8:00 p.m. The awardees are listed below.

Honorary Member—Honorary Membership acknowledges those who have served ESA for at least 20 years through significant involvement in the affairs of the Society that has reached an extraordinary level. Dr. Shripat T. Kamble earned his Ph.D. in entomology from North Dakota State University (1974), and is currently a professor of entomology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Kamble has been an active member of the North Central Branch (NCB) since 1970, has served two terms on the ESA Governing Board (2000-2006), and has been actively involved in the certification program since its early days, serving as BCE Director in 2000 and Chair of the BCE Examining Committee from 2004-present. He has organized and moderated a total of 34 symposia at NCB and national ESA meetings. He also served the NCB as an executive member-at-large (2006-2009).

Dr. Kamble has worked at the University of Nebraska for 31 years as an assistant, associate, and full professor. He is a graduate faculty fellow and has supervised eight M.S. and eight Ph.D. students, as well as three postdoctoral researchers. He has served on various departmental committees, a pesticide advisory committee, and in the University Academic Senate. He has been a state liaison for the Pest Management Center, the Pesticide Impact Assessment Program, and the IR-4 program for more than 15 years. He has hosted 13 visiting scholars, has published 129 papers, and has acquired $3.15 million in grants.

His studies include assessments of insecticides to control pests affecting crops, livestock, turf-grass, stored grains, and households/structures. His studies on termites include research on environmental toxicology, baiting technology, and over-wintering physiology. His research on cockroaches includes the biochemical basis for insecticide resistance mechanisms, field evaluations of new products, and baiting technology. He has also studied insecticide exposure on field workers and insecticide drift.

Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension—This award recognizes outstanding contributions in extension entomology. This year’s winner, Dr. Michael J. Raupp, is a professor and extension specialist at the University of Maryland at College Park. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from Rutgers University, and his Ph.D. in entomology at the University of Maryland. As an extension specialist, he develops and implements IPM programs for managed landscapes. The goal is to improve sustainability of landscape systems through the conservation and enhancement of biological diversity with special emphasis on natural enemy communities. His extension programs provide training on the theory and practice of IPM to growers, landscape managers, master gardeners, and private citizens.

Mike has taught larval taxonomy, pest management, insect pests of ornamentals, general entomology, forensic entomology, extension education, and non-majors biology. He has more than 200 publications, including refereed articles, books and book chapters, extension publications, and lay articles. He has made more than 750 professional and extension presentations on the ecology and management of insect and mite pests. He is a regular guest on Good Morning America and has appeared on CNN, NPR, BBC, National Geographic Ultimate Explorer, and Lehrer News Hour, among others.

His “Bug of the Week” website (, an information source on the natural history of insects, received more than 500,000 visits since its inception. Mike has received eight regional or national awards for excellence in extension programming and media communications, including the Secretary of Agriculture’s Award for Environmental Protection. He has served ESA on Program and Awards Committees and as President of the Eastern Branch.

Distinguished Achievement Award in Horticultural Entomology (Sponsored by OHP)—This award honors any entomologist who has contributed to the American horticulture industry. This year’s awardee, Dr. Timothy D. Paine, is a professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Riverside. He received his B.S. in entomology and his B.A. in history from the University of California, Davis. After a brief flirtation with law school, he returned to UC Davis to obtain a Ph.D. in entomology. Tim was a postdoctoral scientist at the University of Arkansas working in forest entomology and population dynamics of bark beetles before being appointed to the faculty at UC Riverside with the responsibility to develop pest management programs for pests of woody ornamental crops, landscape plants, and urban, managed, and unmanaged forests. He and his students have worked with arthropod pests across nine different orders, including studies on their behavior and chemical ecology, relations with host plants and natural enemies, competition and defense, population dynamics, impact of environmental stress, association with endosymbiotic bacteria, mycangial fungi and mycorrhizae of their host plants, cultural management, and biological control.

Tim is nationally and internationally recognized for his research on the ecology and integrated management of pests of woody plants and forest trees. He has received state and local chapter research awards from the California Association of Nurserymen, the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, the American Nursery and Landscape Association Norman Jay Coleman Award for Research, the ESA Recognition Award in Urban Entomology, and he was selected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of ESA.

Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching—This award is presented to the ESA member deemed to be the Society’s outstanding teacher of the year. The 2009 recipient, Dr. Carol M. Anelli, is an associate professor of entomology at Washington State University (WSU), Pullman and thesis director for the honors college. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in entomology from the University of Illinois, where she garnered recognition for teaching excellence as a teaching assistant. At WSU, she has developed eleven courses for the general education program, the honors college, and the Department of Entomology. Dr. Anelli served as inaugural chair for the WSU President’s Teaching Academy and serves on its board. The academy developed WSU’s “Six Learning Goals of the Baccalaureate,” in use campus-wide for student learning assessment and program accreditation. WSU has recognized Dr. Anelli’s teaching contributions with the Marian E. Smith Award for Faculty Achievement (1999), the Honors College Faculty Award (2002), and the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Instruction (2009). Dr. Anelli has organized numerous ESA symposia and served as ESA Program Co-Chair (2004), Section B Chair (2004), Linnaean Games organizer/moderator (EB-ESA, PB-ESA), and Student Competitions Chair (PB-ESA). She is an Entomological Foundation counselor and has been co-editor for the Heritage feature of American Entomologist since 1997.

Dr. Anelli’s current research and publications address the history of entomology and evolutionary thought, the teaching of evolution, and pedagogy using active learning and interdisciplinary approaches (funded by a USDA-CSREES Higher Education Challenge Grant). She has organized outreach events and appeared on radio and television advocating for evolution education. She is co-principal organizer on an NSF-ISE grant to teach evolution through museum exhibits.

Distinguished Service Award to the Certification Program—The purpose of this award is to encourage and reward outstanding contributions to the ESA Certification Program and the professionalism of entomology. This year’s recipient, Dr. James E. Cilek, is a professor with the John A. Mulrennan, Sr. Public Health Entomology Research and Education Center at Florida A&M University. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky and his M.S. at Louisiana State University, with a B.S. earned from Purdue University in entomology.

Cilek became a Board Certified Entomologist in 1992 and has continued his membership since then. He has served on the Professional Maintenance and Certification Committee and chaired the medical/veterinary entomology specialty in 1997. In 2008, Cilek served as Director of ESA’s Board Certification Program. He has actively participated in the promotion of the BCE and ACE programs through increased visibility at the Branch level as well as at other professional entomological venues. He also provided an administrative mechanism that established BCE liaison positions to promote the profession of entomology within employer and professional societies. He currently serves on the Board Certified Entomologist Committee of the Southeastern Branch. He has published over 100 refereed and non-refereed publications on medical/veterinary entomology and currently serves as the ESA Structural, Veterinary, and Public Health Systems Section Representative on the Editorial Board of Arthropod Management Tests. He also currently serves as Past Director of the ESA Certification Board.

Early Career Innovation Award (sponsored by BASF)—This award honors young professionals working within the field of entomology who have demonstrated innovation through contributions within any area of specialization (research, teaching, extension, product development, public service, etc.). This year’s awardee, Dr. James D. Harwood, is an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Harwood received his B.Sc. in biology (1997) and Ph.D. in insect ecology (2001) from Cardiff University and, after a postdoctoral position at the University of Kentucky, accepted a position within the department where he assumed research and teaching responsibilities in insect ecology, molecular ecology, and biological control. His research program, supported by multiple USDA and regionally competitive grants, seeks to understand mechanisms of foraging by generalist predators and to identify their roles in biological control through the integration of molecular techniques, behavioral studies, and ecological field experiments. These approaches are being used, in parallel, to delineate trophic connectivity and to measure the intensity of specific predator-prey interactions. Understanding the factors that regulate the abundance of these important natural enemies is ultimately providing information that discerns the role of prey biodiversity and habitat management on biological control. His teaching responsibilities include a graduate course in insect ecology and participation in the undergraduate Agricultural Biotechnology program. He is currently mentoring two postdoctoral research associates and advising three Ph.D and two M.S. students.

Dr. Harwood also serves as Chair of the ESA International Affairs Committee, which was responsible for developing the framework for establishing the International Branch of the Society earlier this year. Additionally, he has been active within IOBC-NRS, serving as a member-at-large (2006-2008), and the American Arachnological Society, where he is currently chair of the Marketing Committee.

Nan-Yao Su Award for Innovation and Creativity in Entomology—This brand new award was created from a $250,000 endowment from Dr. Nan-Yao Su to honor entomologists who are able to identify problems and develop creative, alternative solutions that significantly impact entomology. This year’s winner, Dr. Anthony A. James, is Distinguished Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics (School of Medicine) and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry (School of Biological Sciences) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). He is a member of the National Academy of Science and was a founding editor of the journal Insect Molecular Biology. He is an editorial advisor for PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees at UCI. He went to Boston in 1979 for postdoctoral work (Harvard Medical School and Brandeis University) and joined the faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1985. He returned to his alma mater in 1989, where he is today.

Dr. James is working on vector-parasite interactions, mosquito molecular biology, and other problems in insect developmental biology. His research emphasizes the use of genetic and molecular genetic tools to develop synthetic approaches to interrupting malaria parasite and dengue virus transmission by mosquitoes. His research group was the first to develop routine transgenesis procedures for mosquitoes, and they have been able to engineer single-chain antibodies that interfere with malaria parasite development in the mosquito. He is collaborating with other researchers to develop RNAi-mediated approaches to prevent dengue virus transmission. He is also using bioinformatics to study the evolution of control DNA involved in regulating genes involved in hematophagy. He has published over 140 papers, reviews, and policy documents and has provided guidance to 34 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Recognition Award in Entomology (Sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection)—This award recognizes entomologists who have made or are making significant contributions to agriculture. This year’s recipient, Dr. Bradley A. Mullens, is a professor at the University of California, Riverside. He received his B.S. in agriculture (animal science) and M.S. in agricultural biology (entomology) from the University of Tennessee, and his Ph.D. in entomology from Cornell University. He teaches courses on the natural history of insects, medical and veterinary entomology, and aquatic insects. Most people consider agriculture as plant crops, but animal agriculture is at least as important in many states. Brad works in veterinary entomology, particularly on biting midge vectors of bluetongue viruses to ruminants (e.g. cattle and desert bighorn sheep), fly pests of poultry and dairy systems, poultry ectoparasite control, and host-ectoparasite relationships. His 120+ reviewed, scientific papers focus on field ecology and ultimately integrated control (cultural, biological, and chemical tactics). He has worked in Denmark (Musca biological control and poultry mite ecology) and Reunion Island (stable fly biological control). Most recently his field projects, related to the ongoing bluetongue outbreak in Europe, were in Spain (ecology and management of midges). In 2008 he helped draft a scientific opinion dealing in part with vector control and surveillance to reduce potential for bluetongue spread there. He is a fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, has served on editorial boards for Journal of Medical Entomology and Medical and Veterinary Entomology, and he received the best paper award from Medical and Veterinary Entomology (2005-06) and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Veterinary Entomology (2005).

Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, & Toxicology (Sponsored by Bayer CropScience)—This award recognizes and encourages innovative research in insect physiology, biochemistry and toxicology. The 2008 awardee, Dr. Michael R. Strand, is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Georgia. He also holds appointments in the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, Faculty of Infectious Diseases, and the Department of Genetics. Dr. Strand received his B.S. and Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Internationally recognized, his primary research interests are in the study of the interactions between parasites, pathogens, and their insect hosts. His laboratory is highly interdisciplinary, with studies that focus on both the molecular and biochemical regulation of physiological processes as well as their effects on life history and evolution. Dr. Strand has authored or co-authored over 160 peer-reviewed journal papers and book chapters. His service contributions include appointments on several journal editorial boards, grant evaluation panels, and committees for national and international scientific agencies. Dr. Strand has advised more than 60 graduate students and postdoctoral scientists, and is also active in teaching at the undergraduate level. Dr Strand is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has received several awards for his work.

Student Activity Award (Sponsored by Monsanto Company)—This award recognizes an ESA student member for outstanding contributions to the Society, his/her academic department, and the community, while simultaneously achieving academic excellence. Gregory J. Wiggins is a Ph.D. candidate working in the laboratory of Jerome Grant in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at the University of Tennessee. Greg is studying the potential nontarget impacts of Rhinocyllus conicus and Trichosirocalus horridus on native Cirsium thistles, and he is using GIS to predict suitable habitats for native and introduced thistles to identify where native, non-target feeding may occur. He has authored or co-authored 10 refereed publications, 10 non-refereed publications, and has given more than 40 oral and poster presentations at various professional conferences. As a student member of the ESA, Greg has served as Representative and Chair of the Student Affairs Committee of the Southeastern Branch (SEB) and as SEB Representative to the ESA Student Affairs Committee. He has been a member of the SEB Local Arrangements Committee, co-organized three student symposia for SEB and ESA meetings, served as Student Liaison to the ESA Linnaean Games Committee, and helped organize and participated in musical jam sessions at SEB and ESA meetings. Greg also has enjoyed his involvement with entomological outreach programs for several events at the University of Tennessee and at many area schools and organizations. Greg has received several awards, including Best Student Paper (Tennessee Entomological Society), the Robert T. Gast Award for Best Ph.D. Paper (SEB), an ESA President’s Prize, and the John Henry Comstock Award.

Student Certification Award (Sponsored by Springer Pest Solutions)—This award recognizes and encourages outstanding entomology graduate students with interest in the mission of the ESA Certification Program. This year’s winner, Timothy J. Husen, received his B.S. in biological sciences (2002) and his M.S. in entomology (2006) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Tim is currently a Ph.D. candidate and graduate research assistant in the UNL Department of Entomology, working in the Urban Entomology Laboratory. Tim’s research focuses on chitin synthase and chitinase gene expression in subterranean termites and the response of these genes/protein products to growth inhibiting chemicals.

Tim has also participated in a wide variety of research projects, such as termite inspections, liquid termiticide and baiting treatment applications, evaluating liquid and gel-bait insecticide treatments for nuisance ant control, and evaluating the degradation of liquid termiticides under differing storage and environmental conditions. He has been an ESA member since 2004, a Board Certified Entomologist (BCE)-Intern since 2008, and actively participates in the meetings of the BCE of Mid-America. Tim is also a member of the Sigma Xi chapter at UNL. He has served a one-year term on the North Central Branch Student Awards Committee and a two-year term on the Student Affairs Committee. Tim has given seven professional presentations at ESA meetings (both National and Branch), as well as several other extension and outreach presentations at the Nebraska Urban Pest Management Conference and the Lancaster County Extension Termite School.

John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Awards—These awards promote interest in entomology at the graduate level and stimulate interest in attending the ESA Annual Meeting. The following 2009 winners were selected by each of the five ESA Branches:

Dr. Scott M. Geib (Eastern Branch) attended Michigan State University (MSU), where he received his B.Sc. in zoology and entomology through the Lyman Briggs School of Natural Science with honors. While at MSU, Scott was employed for five years at the USDA Forest Service North Central Research Station, working on forest insect research projects.

After graduating from MSU, Scott pursued his doctoral degree at the Pennsylvania State University under the guidance of Drs. Kelli Hoover in entomology and Ming Tien in biochemistry and molecular biology. There, Scott focused his research on the microbial ecology and biochemistry of the Asian longhorned beetle, with a focus on wood degradation in this insect’s gut.

Upon receiving his Ph.D. in 2008, Scott received a USDA NRI postdoctoral fellowship in biobased energy and bioproducts to continue his work on the Asian longhorned beetle gut system, and he is currently working at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State.

David R. Coyle (North Central Branch) is majoring in entomology at the University of Wisconsin and is expecting to complete his Ph.D. in December. He is advised by Dr. Kenneth Raffa.

David’s dissertation research involves the ecology and effects of root feeding by invasive weevils on the health and growth of trees in the northern hardwood ecosystem. David’s dissertation research also involves invasive species management and pest management in production forestry. In addition to his dissertation research, David is collaborating on two other forestry research projects, one involving the use of Populus clones in phytoremediation plantings in northern Wisconsin, and a second long-term project determining the effects of resource amendments on tree growth, biomass, and nutrient partitioning on a research plantation in South Carolina.

David is the author of two book chapters and 24 refereed journal articles. He has also authored several extension publications and has given 11 invited and 25 submitted presentations and 15 posters. David has authored or co-authored successful grants, including a highly competitive EPA STAR fellowship. David has demonstrated excellence in teaching forest entomology courses and is active in several professional societies, including the ESA-NCB Student Affairs Committee. He has shown tremendous initiative in organizing and moderating symposia at regional and national meetings. He has also volunteered his time and expertise in reviewing manuscripts for ESA and other journals.

Allison K. Hansen (Pacific Branch), a graduate student at the University of California, Riverside, investigates the potential role and maintenance of bacterial endosymbionts in their insect hosts. In the invasive psyllid Glycaspis brimblecombei, she found that an endosymbiont may confer resistance towards a wasp parasitoid introduced for biological control.

In a second psyllid system (Bactericerca cockerelli), Hansen discovered the bacterial symbiont, Candidatus Liberibacter psyllaurous. She found that the psyllid vectors L. psyllaurous to the phloem of solanceous plants, and that the bacterium is associated with psyllid yellows.

Psyllid yellows is a serious disease of solanceous crops, and the cause of this disease had been unidentified for over a century. Liberibacter psyllaurous may also prove to be a new model system for combating Huanglongbing disease in citrus, which is another Liberibacter-associated disease. Hansen has received two NSF grants in support of her research.

Waseem Akbar (Southeastern Branch) received his M.S. from Kansas State University, where he studied microbial control of the red flour beetle using Beauveria bassiana. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate working under Dr. Thomas E. (Gene) Reagan at Louisiana State University. His dissertation research focuses on resistance to the sugarcane aphid, including feeding behavior and identification of free amino acids with differential susceptibility among sugarcane cultivars.

Waseem has 14 peer-reviewed publications, including seven as senior author. Additional studies have involved tebufenozide resistance in the sugarcane borer, biological control of the sugarcane aphid, cultural practices and invasive species, and stored grain insects IPM.

Other awards include the LSU Department of Entomology’s L.D. Newsom Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award, the ESA President’s Prize (second place in an oral session), and the R.H. Painter M.S. Student Award at KSU.

Michelle R. Sanford (Southwestern Branch) received her M.S. from the University of California, Riverside, where she examined the effects of nitrogen enrichment on mosquito production from constructed treatment wetlands with Dr. William E. Walton. Her research utilized a broad range of aquatic ecology sampling methods in an attempt to relate wetland ecosystem level changes to mosquito production and water quality. Michelle also worked with Dr. Joe B. Keiper on projects involving the description of the immature stages of some wetland Diptera.

She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University under the advisement of Dr. Jeffery K. Tomberlin. Her dissertation work involves the examination of olfactory conditioning in mosquitoes with emphasis on the southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus Say. Specifically, she is examining the breadth and variables important to appetitive olfactory conditioning.

Her research has also examined the interaction between non-consumptive predatory effects, larval experience, and adult oviposition preference in Cx. quinquefasciatus. This research also led to the opportunity to undertake a Fulbright research fellowship to Thailand to examine olfactory conditioning in Anopheline mosquitoes. She has six peer-reviewed publications with several more in preparation and plans to complete her doctoral work in May, 2010.

Call for Papers -- Journal of Integrated Pest Management

In spring 2010, the Entomological Society of America (ESA) will begin publishing the Journal of Integrated Pest Management (JIPM), a new, open-access, peer-reviewed, extension journal covering the field of integrated pest management. The Editors-in-Chief are Dr. Marlin E. Rice of Pioneer Hi-Bred International (formerly with Iowa State University) and Dr. Kevin L. Steffey of Dow Agrosciences (formerly with the University of Illinois).

The editors are requesting submissions of original, extension-type articles about any aspect of pest management in the broadest sense, including, but not limited to, management of pests that affect row crops, forage and grasslands, horticultural crops, forests, urban landscapes, structures, schools, households, livestock and pets, and human health. Articles should be written for one of the three following categories:

1) Profiles: These are biology and ecology profiles for insects pests such as soybean aphids, emerald ash borers, bed bugs, and others. Profiles will include an insect’s scientific name, description of stages, biology, life history, host plants, potential for economic damage, sampling or scouting procedures, and management and control options.

2) Issues: These articles will focus on emerging integrated pest management issues such as "Transgenic Bt Cotton and Insect Management" or "Prevention and Management of Bed Bugs in Commercial Buildings." Articles will include information on the issue’s relevance, why the issue developed, balanced perspectives on the issue, and possible solutions.

3) Recommendations: These articles will contain consensus-based, pest management recommendations on topics such as "Management of Cattle Ticks in the Southwestern U.S." or "Management of the Asian Longhorned Beetle in New England Urban Environments." Recommendations will be based upon the principles of integrated pest management and supported by published research and validation data when available.

The intended readership for the journal will be any professional who is engaged in any aspect of integrated pest management, including, but not limited to, crop producers, individuals working in crop protection, retailers, manufacturers and suppliers of pest management products, educators, and pest control operators.

"Anyone with an interest in the practice of modern-day pest management and who has access to the Internet will be the target audience," according to editor Kevin Steffey.

As an open-access journal, there will be author publication fees for accepted manuscripts.

For complete information about the journal and how to submit a manuscript, see

Editors’ Choice Awards for Best ESA Articles in 2008

For the first time, the Entomological Society of America (ESA) is presenting the Editors' Choice Awards for the best articles in 2008 from each of the ESA journals and from American Entomologist. Authors of the winning articles will receive $1,000 at the ESA Annual Meeting in December (co-authors will split the prize). The winning articles for 2008, which were selected by the editors of each publication, are as follows:

American Entomologist — "The Termite Menace in New Orleans: Did They Cause the Floodwalls to Tumble?" by Gregg Henderson. According to Gene R. Kritsky, Editor-in-Chief of American Entomologist, "Several papers were considered for this honor, but Henderson’s paper had an impact well beyond the readers of American Entomologist, which warranted its selection. This paper generated considerable media interest, with feature articles in several newspapers and hundreds of media websites. For several days last year, people around the world were reading its conclusions ‘as reported in American Entomologist.’"

Annals of the Entomological Society of America — "Tracing an Invasion: Phylogeography of Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in the United States Based on Mitochondrial DNA" by Thomas J. Simonsen, Richard L. Brown, and Felix A. H. Sperling. "Among papers published in Annals during 2008, all of which are valuable contributions to entomology, this paper had the best combination of sound science, breadth of interest, and good writing," said Editor-in-Chief Larry E. Hurd. "The study was a nice combination of experimentation and molecular genetics brought to bear on a question of both theoretical and applied interest: How did an economically-important, exotic insect get established in the United States? This paper stands as a fine example of the synthetic, integrative approach to science we like to publish in Annals."

Environmental Entomology — "World Distribution of Female Flight and Genetic Variation in Lymantria dispar (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae)" by Melody A. Keena, M.-J. Côté, P. S. Grinberg, and W. E. Wallner. "Increasingly, there have been introductions of gypsy moths from Asia, where there are females capable of flight," said Editor-in-Chief E. Alan Cameron. "Keena and colleagues have undertaken a worldwide examination of different strains of this insect in an attempt to determine the flight propensity of each strain. While individuals can be assigned with a very high level of accuracy to their geographic areas of origin, female flight capability could not be predicted accurately in the absence of additional genetic markers. This work was already used in successful negotiations with China and Korea to include them in the Far East Lymantria Port Monitoring Project, which alerts us when outbreaks are occurring in the Far East so extra measures can be taken to prevent introductions."

Journal of Economic Entomology — "Effects of Insect-Vector Preference for Healthy or Infected Plants on Pathogen Spread: Insights from a Model" by Mark S. Sisterson. According to Editor-in-Chief John T. Trumble, "There has been a long-standing debate regarding the nature of virus and insect evolutionary relationships. Innumerable papers discuss how transmission benefits with color change or nutritional status of the host plant, but there are many conflicting examples. This manuscript offers an explanation about how virus vector relationships change with either feeding or orientation preferences. Sisterson’s discussion provides a rational answer to the perplexing problem of the variability of responses seen in the literature. This paper is one of the best-kept secrets in the literature."

Journal of Medical Entomology — "Biochemical and Molecular Analysis of Deltamethrin Resistance in the Common Bed Bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)" by Kyong Sup Yoon, Deok Ho Kwon, Joseph P. Strycharz, Craig S. Hollingsworth, Si Hyeock Lee, and J. Marshall Clark. "Bed bug infestations are increasing at an alarming rate due, in part, to insecticide resistance," said Editor-in-Chief Walter J. Tabachnick. "This paper identified mutations in the bed bug gene, causing deltamethrin resistant bedbugs. The identification of these mutations will lead to DNA-based diagnostic techniques to use for efficient and cost effective monitoring of bed bug resistance to insecticides. This paper was widely reported in the international news media, demonstrating its importance to public health. It effectively illustrates medical entomology’s use of state-of-the-art, basic research and quality science to address important public health issues."

Founded in 1889, ESA is a non-profit organization committed to serving the scientific and professional needs of nearly 6,000 entomologists and individuals in related disciplines. ESA's membership includes representatives from educational institutions, government, health agencies, and private industry. More information on ESA is available at

Contact: Richard Levine, 301-731-4535, ext. 3009, or


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Entomological Society of America Names 2009 Fellows

The ESA Governing Board has elected ten new Fellows of the Society for 2009. The election as a Fellow acknowledges outstanding contributions in one or more of the following: research, teaching, extension, or administration. The following Fellows will be recognized during the 2009 ESA Annual Meeting, which will be held December 13-16 in Indianapolis, Indiana:

Dr. Charles S. Apperson is a vector biologist with research and extension responsibilities in the Department of Entomology at North Carolina State University (NCSU). He obtained a Ph.D. in entomology at the University of California, Riverside in 1974. After graduation, Apperson accepted a position as research entomologist for the Lake County Mosquito Abatement District in Lakeport, CA. In 1976, he joined the entomology faculty at NCSU as assistant professor. In recognition of his accomplishments in public health entomology, Apperson was awarded the William Neal Reynolds Professorship by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NCSU in 2005. Apperson has published 110 refereed research publications, numerous conference proceedings and book chapters, and 50 extension publications. His entomological interests include the behavior, biology, and control of vector arthropods, especially mosquitoes and ticks. Apperson has established an international reputation for the breadth of his vector biology activities. In particular, Apperson is recognized for his contributions to an understanding of the host-feeding habits of mosquitoes and the biotic cues mediating oviposition by container-inhabiting Aedes mosquitoes.

Dr. Thomas C. Baker, upon graduation from high school, turned down Harvard University in order to attend Cornell because of his strong desire to attain a B.S. degree in entomology, which was awarded in 1972. He worked as a research technician for two years in Wendell Roelofs’ lab in Geneva, N.Y. and received his M.S. in entomology from Cornell in 1975. He received his Ph.D. in entomology from Michigan State University in 1979 under the guidance of Ring Cardé. He joined the faculty at UC Riverside in late 1979, where he served as head of the Division of Toxicology and Physiology from 1986-1988, and as chair of the department from 1988-1992. He moved to Iowa State University in 1992, where he served as chair of the Department of Entomology until 1999. In 2003 he started his professorship at Penn State University, where he has continued to perform his research in neuroethology of olfaction and its applications for agents-of-harm detection and integrated pest management.

Since his days as a Cornell undergrad under the spirited tutelage of George Eickwort, Baker has always been grateful to be able to serve society as a “paid explorer” and to be one of the small group of citizens who are allowed to look through the microscope and see what new things they can see and report. Baker’s always-small, but energetic and inquisitive, research groups over the years have helped advance our basic understanding of insect behavioral responses to pheromones and other odors, as well as the olfactory pathways underlying these responses. He feels fortunate to have had such talented and inspired graduate students and postdocs over the years explore with him the exciting new territories of insect chemical communication.

Dr. Brian A. Federici is a distinguished professor of entomology at the University of California, Riverside. He received his undergraduate training at Rutgers University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in medical entomology from the University of Florida, Gainesville.

Professor Federici’s research focuses on the basic and applied biology of pathogens of insects, with the overall aim of developing these and their products as biological, environmentally-safe insecticides. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers and review articles. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology and a member of the editorial board of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. He has served as president of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology.

Awards he has received during his career include ESA’s Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching, a similar award from the University of California, Riverside’s Academic Senate, the Founders’ Memorial Research Lecturer Award from the Society of Invertebrate Pathology, the USDA Secretary’s Individual Honor Award, the C. W. Woodworth Award for research from ESA’s Pacific Branch, and the Cook College Distinguished Alumni Award from Rutgers University. He has served on a variety of panels during his career, including scientific advisory panels for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Vector Biology and Control. He is an elected fellow of the America Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Malcolm J. Fraser, Jr. earned his B.S. degree at Wheeling College in 1975, and his M.S. (1979) and Ph.D. (1981) in entomology with emphasis in invertebrate pathology at the Ohio State University in the laboratory of W. Fred Hink. Following postdoctoral work with Bill McCarthy at Penn State (1981) and Max D. Summers (1981-83) at Texas A&M University, he joined the faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and rose to his present position as professor. Dr. Fraser’s research has followed his interest in insect virology and invertebrate transgenesis from early work with baculoviruses to his latest work with Dengue fever virus.

Among his contributions are the development of an agarose-based plaque assay for baculoviruses that permitted the characterization of a unique group of baculovirus mutants associated with acquisition of host transposons. One of these transposons, named piggyBac, has been developed over the years into a functional gene vector for protist (Plasmodium falciparum), invertebrate, and vertebrate transgenesis. During his tenure in the Summers lab, he participated in the development of the baculovirus expression vector system. While at Notre Dame, he established the currently accepted model for baculovirus assembly, elaborated the genetics of transposon mutagenesis of baculoviruses, and developed the piggyBac transposon vector system. More recently he has pursued novel ribozyme approaches to suppression of Dengue fever virus in transgenic mosquitoes as part of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health award.

He is a member of the newly endowed Eck Institute for Global Health at UND, and his current research projects include development of transgenic refractoriness for Dengue virus in Aedes as a possible means for intervention and prevention, developing improvements in transgenesis of mosquito vectors for both genetic manipulation and functional genomics analyses, and exploitation of transgenic Bombyx mori as protein bioreactors.

Fraser has mentored 11 postdoctoral associates, 12 Ph.D. students, and over 40 undergraduate research students. He has co-authored 7 patents and over 65 publications. Past honors include recipient of an NIH Research Career Development Award, fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of London. He has served as secretary and chairman of the Invertebrate Division of the Tissue Culture Association, and as panel member for the entomology and nematology study sections of both USDA-ARS and NIH/NIAID. Memberships include the American Chemical Society, American Society for Virology, American Society for Microbiology, AAAS, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and the Genetics Society of America.

Dr. Scott H. Hutchins is currently senior director and global leader of crop protection research and development for Dow AgroSciences. He has been with the company since 1987 and has served in a number of key positions. He has significantly influenced the science of entomology through his research on bioeconomics, integrated pest management (IPM), and host-plant response to insect-induced injury, especially concepts related to economic-injury levels. This has had broad-based implications related to the effective management of insect pests, especially as it relates to the private-sector community and practitioner. The conceptual principles and practices advanced by his research have led to the development of new, novel, and revolutionary technologies that have proven to be IPM-compatible tools. He has provided the outstanding leadership needed to launch global products for cropping systems and structural pest control that have reduced the use of non-selective tactics. His research and leadership in entomology has provided a revolutionary vision for new insect management “breakthrough” technologies in the industry, which have had a profound impact on insect management on a global scale.

The Society has benefited tremendously from Dr. Hutchins’ outstanding leadership skills. He provided the key leadership role in the restructuring and the renewal of the ESA, which has provided the framework for future growth and relevance of entomology as a science and profession. Bringing entomologists together with an exciting vision to promote the profession, both on a national and now on a global basis, is one of the single most important steps to the sustainability of our science.

Dr. Walter S. Leal, a chemical ecologist and professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis, is internationally recognized for his pioneering and innovative work in insect olfaction. He has identified and synthesized complex pheromones from such insects as scarab beetles, true bugs, longhorn beetles, moths, and the naval orangeworm. He and his laboratory discovered the secret mode of the insect repellent DEET. The groundbreaking research, published August 18, 2008 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is among the most widely downloaded and cited PNAS documents. His pheromone work has graced the cover of several journals, including Structure, and has been showcased in the popular press, including the BBC, New York Times, and National Public Radio.

His honors include the 2008 ESA Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology, and the 2007 Silverstein-Simeone Award from the International Society of Chemical Ecology (ISCE). His native Brazil awarded him its Medal of the Entomological Society of Brazil, and the Medal of Science (equivalent of ESA Fellow). The Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology granted him its highest honor, Gakkaisho. Educated in Brazil and Japan, Leal holds a doctorate in applied biochemistry from Tsukuba University, Japan, with other degrees in chemical engineering and agricultural chemistry. He is a past president of ISCE, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology. Under his tenure, the department was ranked number one in the country by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Dr. Norman C. Leppla has dedicated more than 40 years to advancing the science and practice of entomology by studying insects to protect agriculture and human health. His work is encompassed in the field of integrated pest management (IPM), emphasizing biological control and associated insect rearing technology. He has advanced pest management research and technology by developing new insect mass-production systems, establishing the first laboratory specifically to support the commercial biological control industry, leading the USDA-APHIS Methods Development Unit, collaboratively designing and establishing the National Biological Control Institute, leading the design and construction of the Central Florida Research and Education Center, and creating and leading the first comprehensive, statewide IPM program at the University of Florida.

Dr. Leppla works with faculty members, students, and cooperators to strengthen IPM research, extension, and education programs. He provides IPM education primarily through the UF Plant Medicine Program, which trains students to become plant health professionals, or “Plant Doctors.” Recent emphasis has been on plant biosecurity, safeguarding the U.S. against alien invasive species. He has authored almost 200 publications on a wide range of entomological topics, and has presented a greater number of papers on his research, extension, and administrative activities, often by special invitation. As a Board Certified Entomologist, Dr. Leppla frequently provides consultation on IPM, biological control, and insect colonization and mass production, and he mentors entomologists and scientists throughout the world. He is dedicated to the discovery and implementation of effective IPM technologies that protect the environment.

Dr. Alexander S. Raikhel earned his M.S. from St. Petersburg State University in Russia and was awarded his Ph.D. from the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, also in St. Petersburg. He immigrated to the United States where he re-established his career in entomology, first at the University of Georgia in Athens, then at Michigan State University, and, since 2002, at the University of California, Riverside. At Athens with Arden Lea, Alex commenced his studies into vitellogenesis in the mosquito Aedes aegypti. These early ultrastructural and immunocytochemical studies led directly to the purification and analysis of the many proteins involved in this important reproductive process, and to an understanding of the regulatory linkages between vitellogenesis and juvenile hormone. Within nine years of commencing this work, Alex succeeded in cloning and characterizing the first of many genes involved in vitellogenesis, work which has continued to this day. In recent years Alex has tackled, at multiple levels, the equally complicated task of dissecting the molecular basis of the immune response in A. aegypti and has, as is the case for his vitellogenesis research, established leadership in it. Alex’s research has established a critical physiological and molecular linkage between the need for a female mosquito to imbibe blood and the ability of blood-borne pathogens to subsequently evade her immune response. What has distinguished Alex’s research in both systems has been his meticulous approach to experimental design and analysis, and his embracement and advocacy of new and incisive genetic and biochemical tools. His logical, thorough, and analytical approach to experimentation has tremendously advanced our knowledge of critical genetic, biochemical, and physiological systems in mosquitoes, which will serve as a foundation for the sustainable control of mosquito-borne disease.

Alex has served as co-editor of Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and he helped establish this as one of the major journals in the field. He established the Center for Disease Vector Research at the University of California, Riverside, and successfully recruited new faculty to it. He continues to develop new courses in vector biology which emphasize state-of-the-art techniques, and he has graduated many students who now contribute, through their own laboratories, to molecular insect science. Alex received ESA’s Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, & Toxicology in 2001. He is an AAAS Fellow, and in 2009 he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his pioneering research in mosquito physiology and molecular biology.

Dr. Gene E. Robinson holds a Swanlund Chair at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he has been since 1989. He is also the director of the neuroscience program, theme leader at the Institute for Genomic Biology, and a professor of entomology with affiliate appointments in the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology, the Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and the Beckman Institute of Science and Technology. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University and was an NSF postdoctoral fellow at Ohio State University.

Robinson’s research group studies the regulation of social behavior, using the honey bee. The research is integrative, involving perspectives from evolutionary biology, behavior, neuroscience, molecular biology, and genomics. He has authored or coauthored over 200 publications. He pioneered the field of sociogenomics, spearheaded the effort to gain approval from NIH for the sequencing of the honey bee genome, and heads the Honey Bee Genome Sequencing Consortium. His honors include: university scholar of the University of Illinois; G. William Arends Professor of Integrative Biology; fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Certificate of Distinction from the International Congress of Entomology; Burroughs Welcome Innovation Award in Functional Genomics; the ESA Founders’ Memorial Award; a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship; a Guggenheim Fellowship; fellow of the Animal Behavior Society; fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences; and election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. William B. Showers, retired research entomologist for the USDA-ARS and professor emeritus at Iowa State University, is recognized nationally and internationally for his outstanding research contributions to the fields of entomology and insect ecology. He organized interregional studies elucidating European corn borer ecotypes based on diapause response. His seminal research on adult behavior demonstrated that European corn borers seldom mate on corn plants, but instead aggregate and mate in dense vegetation around cornfields. His innovative research on adult dispersal forms the basis of ongoing studies in several laboratories in the U.S. and Europe which are examining gene flow of this insect as it relates to resistance management to transgenic Bt corn. By leading complex cooperative regional projects, Dr. Showers was able to develop robust economic thresholds in corn for black cutworm which remain in use today. He organized a large interdisciplinary team that elucidated the mechanism for long-range migration of many noctuids, especially black cutworm.

Dr. Showers mentored numerous graduate students, and was a long-time, active member of the regional committees NC-205 and NCR-148. He has shown steadfast devotion to the ESA and the North Central Branch through 52 years of active membership and service. He served on numerous NCB committees, including the Executive Committee, often as Chair, and he is a recipient of the C.V. Riley Achievement Award. He has been an active member of ARPE, now BCE, for more than 30 years. He earned his B.S at the University of Arizona, his M.S. at Louisiana State University, and his Ph.D. at Iowa State University.

Founded in 1889, ESA is a non-profit organization committed to serving the scientific and professional needs of nearly 6,000 entomologists and individuals in related disciplines. ESA's membership includes representatives from educational institutions, government, health agencies, and private industry. More information on ESA is available at

Contact: Richard Levine, 301-731-4535, ext. 3009, or


Friday, August 14, 2009

Register Now for the ESA Annual Meeting

Registration is now open for the ESA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, December 13-16, 2009. You can register online, by fax, or by mail.

Click here to register for the ESA Annual Meeting.

Reserve a Hotel Room Now -- Hotel room registration is also open now. ESA has negotiated reduced rates for your stay in Indianapolis at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Historic Union Station, the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, and the Omni Severin Hotel. You can now register online, by phone, fax, or mail.

Click here to book a hotel room in Indianapolis.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Colonel Richard N. Johnson Will Speak at ESA Annual Meeting

This year’s Annual Meeting will feature four plenary speakers—one for each day of the meeting—and we are pleased to introduce Colonel Richard Johnson of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, who will be speaking on Monday, December 14.

Col. Johnson will be be addressing military entomology as it has affected the course of history of civilization and nations. From ancient times to the present, entomology has affected the course of battles and determined the fates of nations. Oftentimes that has been through the effect of pests and vector-borne diseases during periods of war or intercultural strife. From the plague of Athens in the Peloponnesian War to leishmaniasis in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, arthropods and their associated human pathogens have been with us, affecting generals, foot soldiers, and non-combatants. However, new technologies in combating arthropods have also emerged.

Col. Johnson was appointed as assistant professor, Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences, in August, 2008. He has been board certified in medical-veterinary entomology since 1987.

In October, 1984, Col. Johnson was commissioned as a medical entomologist, Medical Service Corps, United States Army. In his first active duty tour, he served as chief of epidemiology and disease control at Fort Ord in California. During this time, he performed a six-month tour as the staff entomologist with Joint Task Force –Bravo in Honduras. He subsequently served as research entomologist with the Army Medical Research Unit in Nairobi, Kenya from May, 1990 to June, 1993. From September, 1993 to December, 1995, he was assigned as the commander of the 105th Preventive Medicine Detachment at Fort Lewis in Washington state. While there, he deployed with his unit to support the military exercise Cobra Gold ’95 and also served as the combined joint task force preventive medicine staff officer.

From January, 1996 to March, 1999, Col. Johnson was assigned to the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine – North as chief of the Entomological Sciences Division, where he supervised and directed medical entomology training and pest management support to over 100 military bases in the northeastern U.S. Concurrently, during the period from September, 1996 to August, 1997, he served as the preventive medicine staff officer and military public health liaison to the 1997 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. There, he was responsible for the coordinating, planning, and oversight of support to safeguard the health of the 150,000 jamboree participants, staff, military support personnel, and guests.

In March, 1999, he was assigned as the deputy program manager/Army representative to the Defense Pest Management Information Analysis Center. He was responsible for coordinating and staffing pest management information products and services to deployed forces of all Services. In October, 2000, Col. Johnson was appointed the research liaison officer, where he was responsible for directing the development of Department of Defense requirements for pest management, technology development, and testing. He coordinated with other federal research agencies for execution of research interests to the military. He was responsible for administering the Deployed Warfighter Protection Research Program, DoD-sponsored research directed at the control of insects that are of military importance to the health of deployed servicemembers. In November, 2004, he was appointed director of defense pest management and as executive director of the Armed Forces Pest Management Board, where he was responsible for worldwide oversight of the pest management program for the U.S. Department of Defense.

His military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Meritorious Service Medal, and others. He has also earned the Expert Field Medical Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge. He is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College.

Col. Johnson is a native of Wilmington, Delaware. He received his B.S. in entomology and applied ecology from the University of Delaware and his M.S. and Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Florida. He is married to the former Elizabeth A. Kerrigan of Branford, Connecticut, a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner and former army nurse corps officer. They have three sons and one daughter. Off-duty, he is active with a number of community activities, particularly with the Boy Scouts of America.

Click here for info on other Plenary Speakers.

Monday, June 22, 2009

YouTube Your Entomology Contest Video

Dr. Marlin Rice, President of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), presents the YouTube Your Entomology Contest. ESA members are asked to create videos of two minutes or less in one of four categories: Discovery, Instruction, Outreach, or Open. More information is available at

Entomological Society of America's Annual Meeting Video

Dr. Marlin Rice, President of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), presents the Plenary speakers for the 2009 ESA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, December 13-16. The speakers are: Dr. Ned Walker, Michigan State University; Col. Richard Johnson, a military entomologist; Dr. Mark Moffett, National Geographic Society; and Dr. Peter Raven, Missouri Botanical Garden.

Monday, June 1, 2009

YouTube Your Entomology Contest Kicks Off in June

ESA will begin accepting entries for the YouTube Your Entomology video contest beginning on June 22, 2009, and ending on October 15, 2009.

This unique, new contest will give ESA members the opportunity to showcase their talents and creativity through video.

As previously announced by President Marlin Rice, members may submit entries of no more than two minutes in four different categories:

• Discovery (research-based)
• Instruction (teaching-based)
• Outreach (extension-based)
• Open category (anything goes, for the uber-creative entomologist)

All entries will be displayed on the ESA YouTube Channel, which will be accessible from the ESA website, and the winning entries will be shown at the Opening Session of the ESA Annual Meeting on Sunday, December 13, 2009, in Indianapolis.

The winners in each category will be chosen by a select judging panel, and each winner will receive a cash award and a trophy at the meeting.

All file formats that are compatible with YouTube will be accepted. To participate in the contest, email your videos to If your files are too large to send by email, write to the same address for instructions on alternative ways to send us your videos.

Contact: Richard Levine, 301-731-4535, ext. 3009, or

Edward Walker to Give Founders’ Memorial Lecture

This year’s Annual Meeting will feature four plenary speakers—one for each day of the meeting—instead of only one.
Dr. Edward D. Walker will deliver the Founders’ Memorial Award lecture at the Opening Session on Sunday, December 13, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The honoree is the late Dr. George B. Craig, Jr.

ESA established the Founders’ Memorial Award in 1958 to honor scientists whose lives and careers enhanced entomology as a profession and who made significant contributions to the field in general and in their respective subdisciplines. At each Annual Meeting, the recipient of the award addresses the conferees during Sunday’s opening Plenary session to honor the memory and career of an outstanding entomologist.

Dr. Walker is a professor in the Department of Entomology and the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University. Trained as a medical entomologist, his program involves studies of the biology and control of mosquito vectors, and the dynamics of transmission of vector-borne diseases including malaria, West Nile viral encephalitis, and Lyme disease. He obtained a B.S. (1978) and an M.S. (1979) in zoology from Ohio University, working with Dr. William S. Romoser, and a Ph.D. in entomology (1983) with Dr. John D. Edman at the University of Massachusetts.

Dr. George B. Craig, Jr., the honoree, was born July 8, 1930 in Chicago. He died on December 21, 1995 while attending the ESA Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. His intense enthusiasm for entomology and mosquito biology was matched only by his passion for sports at the University of Notre Dame, where he devoted the majority of his career. After obtaining a B.S. in biology at the University of Indiana (1951), where he was a collegiate wrestler, Dr. Craig earned his M.S. (1952) and Ph.D. (1956) in entomology with Dr. William R. Horsfall at the University of Illinois, engaging in the study of mosquito eggs.

After serving as a first lieutenant with the U.S. Army Preventive Medicine Detachment at Fort Meade, Maryland in 1954, and as a research entomologist with the U.S. Army Chemical Center in Maryland from 1954 to 1957, Dr. Craig joined the faculty of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, where he built a program on mosquito biology with an emphasis on the formal genetics of Aedes. He pioneered studies on genetic methods for control of Aedes aegypti, results of which revealed challenges that persist into the molecular era. His academic legacy included many undergraduate students who chose careers in entomology and biology, as well as numerous graduate students and postdocs.

In 1988, Dr. Craig won the ESA Founders’ Memorial Award himself, delivering a speech on H.G. Dyar at the Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. He also won the ESA Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching in 1975 and was selected as an ESA Fellow in 1986. Dr. Craig was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1983. According to Ned Walker, “He was an extraordinarily unassuming and generous individual, treating cub scout and colleague with equal deference.”

In recent years, Dr. Walker’s research has focused on malaria control in Kenya. Coincidently, this is the same country where Dr. Craig worked on controlling the yellow fever vector, Aedes aegypti, using a genetic translocation. According to Dr. John Edman, emeritus professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis, “Edward Walker is an outstanding speaker. He has an extremely interesting story to tell about his African malaria research—a compelling story that every ESA member should hear.”

Other Plenary Speakers

Thursday, May 7, 2009

IPM Reduces Cockroaches and Allergens in Schools

Fewer allergen concentrations could reduce asthma incidences

Full text of the article (HTML or PDF).

Lanham, MD; May 6, 2009 – For years, scientists have associated growing asthma rates among children with exposure to cockroach allergens, especially among inner-city children. A new study in the May issue of Journal of Medical Entomology entitled “German Cockroach Allergen Levels in North Carolina Schools: Comparison of Integrated Pest Management and Conventional Cockroach Control” shows that using integrated pest management (IPM) to control cockroaches is more effective at reducing cockroaches and their allergens than conventional methods which do not use IPM.

Unlike conventional pest-control methods, which often involve periodic spraying of insecticides on a predetermined schedule, IPM involves close monitoring for signs of specific pests, combined with baits and traps to control them. The authors of this study compared two school districts using the conventional method with one school district using IPM, and found that the one using IPM had much lower concentrations of cockroach allergens and zero cockroaches caught in pre-set traps.

“North Carolina schools are mandated to convert to IPM by 2011, so these findings give credibility that IPM has superior and longer-lasting results than pesticide use alone,” said Dr. Godfrey Nalyanya, one of the authors. “In fact, the study was so convincing that the two school districts using conventional pest control quickly made the switch to IPM.”

The authors also state that besides being more effective and ecologically superior to conventional pest control methods, IPM has long-term economic benefit as well.

“The monetary costs for IPM might be higher initially, but it pays for itself down the road and provides a healthier school environment,” Nalyanya says.

The abstract and full text of the article are available here.

Journal of Medical Entomology is published by the Entomological Society of America (ESA). Founded in 1889, ESA is a non-profit organization committed to serving the scientific and professional needs of nearly 6,000 entomologists and individuals in related disciplines. ESA's membership includes representatives from educational institutions, government, health agencies, and private industry. More information on ESA is available at

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Annals of the ESA one of 100 Most Influential Journals

A poll conducted by the BioMedical & Life Sciences Division (DBIO) of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) to identify the 100 most influential journals of biology and medicine over the last 100 years listed Annals of the Entomological Society of America among them. In the poll, 686 DBIO members participated, choosing Annals as the overwhelming winner of the “Journals of Land Invertebrates” category.

“It is always a pleasure to have confirmation that our journal is doing what it is supposed to do: convey accurate, interesting research to the community of scientists and enthusiasts who comprise our readership,” said Larry E. Hurd, the journal’s editor-in-chief. “And it is especially nice to be included among the most influential scientific journals in biology and medicine as determined by the SLA. Annals owes this honor to more than 100 years of authors, editors, and reviewers, and on behalf of the journal I pledge our continuing efforts to provide a home for top-quality publications in the field of entomology.”

According to Tony Stankus, life sciences librarian and professor at the University of Arkansas who served as final editor of the poll, “All DBIO members have at least an accredited master’s degree in library and information studies, and many possess additional credentials in biology or one of the medical or allied health sciences. The most common type of member is employed by a U.S. News & World Report Top 50 National Research University or Top 50 National Liberal Arts College as the top biology or life sciences librarian.”

The poll’s questions were developed by the DBIO Natural History Expert Panel, consisting of Lori Bronars, Kline Science Library at Yale University; Eleanor MacLean, Life Sciences Library at McGill University in Montreal, Canada; and Constance Rinaldo, head of the Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University.

Publishers of the top 100 journals will be honored June 16, 2009 at an awards ceremony at the DBIO Centennial Conference in Washington, D.C., where the winners of the “DBIO Top 10,” chosen from among the top 100, will be announced.

A full list of the top 100 journals is available here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dr. Peter Raven will Speak at Entomological Society of America's Annual Meeting

This year’s Annual Meeting will feature four plenary speakers—one for each day of the meeting—instead of only one. Dr. Peter H. Raven, one of the world’s leading botanists and advocates of conservation and biodiversity, is scheduled to speak Wednesday, December 16 about biodiversity and a sustainable environment.

Dr. Raven became interested in insects and plants when he was a seven-year-old boy growing up in San Francisco. Today, he is president of the Missouri Botanical Garden and George Engelmann Professor of Botany at Washington University in St. Louis. In addition, Dr. Raven is a trustee of the National Geographic Society and chairman of the society’s Committee for Research and Exploration.

For nearly 38 years, Dr. Raven has headed the Missouri Botanical Garden, an institution he has nurtured to become a world-class center for botanical research, education, and horticulture display. During this period, the garden has become a leader in botanical research in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and North America.

Described by TIME Magazine as a “Hero for the Planet,” Dr. Raven champions research around the world to preserve endangered plants and animals and is a leading advocate for building a sustainable environment. In recognition of his work in science and conservation, Dr. Raven has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the International Prize for Biology from the government of Japan; the Volvo Environment Prize; the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement; the Sasakawa Environment Prize; the International Cosmos Prize, Osaka; and the BBVA Prize for Ecology and Conservation, Madrid (2008). Earlier, he held Guggenheim and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowships.

In 2001, Dr. Raven received the National Medal of Science, the highest award for scientific accomplishment in the United States. Dr. Raven served for 12 years as home secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, to which he was elected in 1977. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the academies of science of Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, Denmark, Edinburgh (U.K.), Georgia, Hungary, India, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, the U.K. (the Royal Society), and of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). He was the first chair of the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation, a private, congressionally-chartered organization that funds joint research with the independent countries of the former Soviet Union. In 2004, he delivered the keynote address at the International Congress of Entomology in Brisbane, Australia.

Dr. Raven is co-editor of the Flora of China, a joint Chinese-American international project that is leading to a contemporary, 50-volume account on all the plants of China, scheduled for completion in 2012. He has written numerous books and publications, both popular and scientific, including Biology of Plants (co-authored with Ray Evert and Susan Eichhorn, W. H. Freeman and Company/Worth Publishers, New York), the internationally best-selling textbook in botany, of which the seventh edition appeared in 2007; and Environment (co‑authored with Linda Berg, Wiley & Sons, New York), a leading textbook on the environment, now in its sixth edition.

Dr. Raven received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1960 after completing his undergraduate work at the University of California, Berkeley. While a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University with Paul R. Ehrlich, he developed the theory of co-evolution, and also carried out extensive studies of pollination systems in the plant family Onagraceae, his specialty. Raven has been awarded a number of honorary degrees by universities in the United States and throughout the world, most recently from Yale and Michigan State University.

For more information about Dr. Raven and the Missouri Botanical Garden, visit

Click here for information on the other Plenary Speakers.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Symposia Selected for Entomological Society of America Meeting

The Entomological Society of America (ESA) will feature 70 symposia on insect science at their Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, December 13-16, 2009. They are:

Integrative Physiological and Molecular Insect Systems Symposia:
• Cold Case Files: Integrative Perspectives on Physiological and Molecular Responses of Insects to Low Temperature
• Evolutionary Arms Race of Resistance in Herbivores to Novel Chemistries: Lessons from Native and Agricultural Systems
• Mite Invasions: Learning from the Invaders
• The Quiet Revolution: Facilitating International, Holistic, Service Learning on Toxicologic, Physiologic Issues

Structural, Veterinary, and Public Health Systems Symposia:
• Celebrating the Success of Global Insect Repellent Science Research
• Celebration of Entomology: Advances in Stable Fly (Stomoxys calcitrans) Research
• Novel Ideas in Sand Fly Research: Classification and Systematics, Epidemiology, and Molecular Interactions
• Vector-borne Disease and Public Health Protection by the Federal Sector

Systematics, Evolution, and Biodiversity Symposia:
• Advances in Aquatic Entomology: Celebrating the Role of Aquatic Insects in Scientific Research
• Diversity and Biology of Parasitoid Hymenoptera: A tribute to Lubomir Masner
• Phylogeography and Historical Biogeography: What Can Insects Tell Us About the Past?
• The Long and Short of Longicorns: Cerambycid Workers Symposium
• Understanding Group-living in Social Invertebrates

Plant–Insect Ecosystems Symposia:
• Celebrating over 120 Years of Regulatory Pest Control: Social, Political, Legal, and Biological Challenges of Detection, Quarantine, and Eradication Programs
• Corn Rootworm Management: State of the Art and a Look Toward the Future
• Current Research and Future Challenges on the Use of Arthropods in Inundative Biological Control Programs
• Developing Effective Management Strategies for Curculionidae: Novel Tactics Targeting the Axis of Weevil
• Honoring Hölldobler and Wilson by Celebrating the Social Insects
• Insect Scientist/Plant Breeder Interactions: Working Together Towards Host Plant Resistance in Soybeans
• Plant Disease Vector Movement and Spatial Dynamics in Greenhouse and Cropping Systems
• Pollinator Diversity in Urban, Agricultural, and Native Landscapes
• Stewardship of Plant Incorporated Protectant Crops

ESA Member Symposia:
• Advances in Acarology 2009
• Advances in the Application of Molecular and Biochemical Methods for Biological Control Research
• Advances in the Use of IPM for Arthropod Management in Greenhouses
• A Feast from Bees: Celebrating the Cornucopia of Pollinators Meeting the Needs of Modern Agriculture
• Annual Business Meeting of the North American Section of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects
• BCE Symposium: Green Pest Management Technology
• Building Sustainable Urban Landscapes
• Celebrating a Versatile Technology for Entomological Science: Diagnostic DNA Barcoding Comes of Age
• Celebrating Darwin’s 200th Birthday: Using Insects to Teach Evolutionary Concepts
• Celebrating Entomology at the USDA Agricultural Research Service
• Coleopterists Society
• Conservation of Butterflies
• Current and Emerging Trends in Vegetable Insect Pest Management
• DoD Entomology: Unique Opportunities and Challenges
• Entomological Disaster: Success Stories Thanks to Scientific Collaboration
• Fire Ant eXtension Network Meeting
• From Bottle to Drawer and Beyond: Novel Methodology in the Collection and Curation of Hymenoptera
• Heteropterists Conference
• Insect Resistance Management: Science, Scope, and Solutions
• Korean Young Entomologists (KYE)
• Look What Ken Yeargan Started!
• Minute Pirate Bugs (Orius spp.) a Potential Biocontrol Tool in IPM of Fruit, Ornamental, and Vegetable Pests
• North American Neuropterists Meeting
• Overseas Chinese Entomologists Association (OCEA): Looking into the Future
• Plant Resistance to Insects and Pathogens: Is It Really so Different?
• Regulation of Transgenic Crops: The State of the Science
• Regulatory and Extension Network Symposia: Extension and Regulatory Programs—Interfacing and Connecting
• Science and New Policy Ideas: A New Foundation for Governance and Regulatory Frameworks
• SOLA Scarab Workers
• Stored-Product Insect Pest Management: Outputs and Outcomes of Collaborative Research
• Student Debate: Implications of Insect Management for Human Survival
• Systematics and Diversity of Coleoptera
• The Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) Past, Present, and Future: Integrating Management and Reality
• The Future of Biological Control of Japanese Beetles and Scarab Pests
• The Larry L. Larson Symposium: New Developments from Industry for Insect Management through Biotechnology and Chemical Solutions
• The Passion of Entomology
• The Sterile Insect Technique: Achievements and Challenges for Area-Wide Integrated Pest Management
• Turfgrass and Ornamental Pest Management: Celebrating Colleagues, Science, and New Ideas
• Vector-Virus Interactions in Agroecosystems: Approaches, Advancements, and Limitations
• What’s New in Forest Entomology?

ESA Program Symposia:
• Bringing Geospatial Colleagues, Science and Ideas Together: Opportunities for Spatial Analysis and Remote Sensing in Entomology
• Celebrating Stern et al. (1959): The Past, Present, and Future of IPM
• Celebrating the Role of Entomology in the Genomics Revolution
• Colleagues, Science and Ideas: Investigating Chemicals, Signals, and Interactions
• Entomology and Bioenergy
• Insect Molecular Physiology: Basic Science to Applications
• Serendipity: Celebrating the Synchrony of Ideas, Colleagues, and Science in Unexpected Ways
• Teaching: Ideas to Contemplate - ESA Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching Winners

Members of the media who would like to attend ESA meetings can contact the ESA (; (301) 731-4535, ext. 3009) for a press pass. For more information on ESA's Annual Meeting:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wild Bees Can Be Effective Pollinators

Over the past few years, honey bee keepers have experienced problems due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which has hurt honey bee populations, causing some growers of fruits, nuts and vegetables to wonder how their crops will be pollinated in the future. A new study published in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America shows that wild bees, which are not affected by CCD, may serve as a pollination alternative.

In the article “Wild Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila) of the Michigan Highbush Blueberry Agroecosystem,” authors Julianna K. Tuell (Michigan State University), John S. Ascher (American Museum of Natural History), and Rufus Isaacs (Michigan State University) report the results of a three-year study which took place on 15 southwestern Michigan blueberry farms. Using traps and direct observation, the authors identified 166 bee species, 112 of which were active during the blueberry blooming period. Many of these species visit more flowers per minute and deposit more pollen per visit than honey bees (Apis mellifera L.), and most of them are potential blueberry pollinators.

“This should help growers know what kinds of bees are in the fields so that they can make informed decisions about whether they should modify crop management practices in order to help conserve natural populations of bees,” said Dr. Julianna Tuell.

Unlike honey bees, which live together in hives, most of the bees found by the authors were solitary bees that nest in the soil or in wood cavities. While soil–nesting bees may be difficult to manage, the authors see potential for cavity–nesting bees, such as several species of mason bees, to be managed by growers who can support their populations by providing nesting materials.

“Untreated bamboo or reeds are good materials because they provide natural variation in hole diameter to attract the broadest range of species,” said Dr. Tuell. “There are also a number of commercially manufactured options that growers can use, such as foam blocks with pre-drilled holes and cardboard tubes made to a particular diameter to suit a particular species of interest. Drilling different sized holes in wood is another option. If a grower is interested in trying to build up populations of a particular species, there are also details about how to do so available online.”

Besides blueberries, many of the species in this study also visit cherries, apples, and cranberries, and managed mason bees are already being used to pollinate cherry orchards.

Click here for the full text of the article.

Annals of the Entomological Society of America, which is published quarterly by the Entomological Society of America (ESA), was recently named one of the 100 most influential journals in biology and medicine over the last 100 years by the Special Libraries Association.

Founded in 1889, ESA is a non-profit organization committed to serving the scientific and professional needs of nearly 6,000 entomologists and individuals in related disciplines. ESA's membership includes representatives from educational institutions, government, health agencies, and private industry. More information on ESA is available at