Thursday, October 1, 2009

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