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.