COLLEGE STATION, Texas –The Department of Entomology would like to announce that Dr. Edward Vargo was recently selected to become the next endowed chair of the Urban and Structural Entomology Chair and arrived in early December.
The present chair Dr. Roger Gold retires on January 15, 2015. Vargo will be continuing the work of the urban and structural entomology program’s goals.
Before coming to Texas A&M, Vargo was professor and interim head of the Department of Entomology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. As interim head, Vargo was instrumental in securing funding to improve the Department’s computers, teleconferencing facilities and teaching technology for classrooms. He also has been a representative for the Department where he was instrumental in discussing ways to enhance public-private partnerships with agrochemical and agro-biotech industries.
Vargo also has been the academic advisor for Pest Management Technology majors in the NCSU Agricultural Institute from 1998 to 2012 and a faculty adviser to the department’s Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) from 2004 to 2005. As a graduate committee member, he has mentored over nine Master’s and 12 Ph.D. students during his term and has been a Thesis Committee Adviser for 5 Masters and 3 Ph.D. students.
Some of the grants Vargo received at NCSU include a grant from the USDA’s National Research Initiative (NRI) Competitive Grants Program to do comparative studies of colony and population genetic structure of Reticulitermes termites and a Tropical & Subtropical Agriculture Research grant to work on a genetic analysis of colony organization and elimination in Formosan subterranean termites. He has also worked on several grants relating to the Texas Imported Fire Ant Program and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and his research has been strongly supported by the pest management industry.
Vargo is currently a member of several professional organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Entomological Society of America, and the International Union for the Study of Social Insects. He also has received the Entomological Society of America’s Recognition Award in Urban Entomology both at the national and the Southeastern Branch levels in 2006.
Vargo received his Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Georgia and his Bachelor of Science in Biology at the Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa.
“I am very excited to be joining the Department of Entomology at TAMU as the next endowed chair in urban and structural entomology,” he said. “It’s a great honor to be given the opportunity to lead the world class program built by Dr. Gold. I look forward to working with my new colleagues at Texas A&M and the pest management industry to continue to advance the science and practice of urban pest management.”