Author Archives: Rob Williams

Entomology Department Helps Youths Practice for 4-H, FFA Judging Contests with Annual Clinic

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—More than 170 members of the Future Farmers of America and 4-H youth programs statewide and their agricultural science teachers, adult leaders and county agents spent a rainy Saturday morning learning about entomology, entomology contests, and testing their insect identification skills in the Heep Center during the Entomology Judging Clinic on Saturday, March 4. The annual half-day clinic is designed to help 4-H and FFA students with skills to collect, prepare, and identify insects, to learn about their biology and relationships to different environments, all in… Read More →

West Texas bees doubt groundhog’s extended winter prediction

By Steve Byrns, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications SAN ANGELO – SPLAT! West Texas honey bees are on the move, so motorists shouldn’t be surprised if their windshields are strafed by a hapless swarm in coming weeks, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist. Dr. Charles Allen, of San Angelo, said the unusually warm February, touted as the warmest on record here, has put honey bees in the mood to travel. “It’s a sign spring has arrived, at least to the bees,” Allen said. “Usually the number of… Read More →

Student Team Wins Best Policy Proposal during SCONA Conference

Congratulations to Senior Entomology Shelby Kilpatrick as she was involved in a team that received Best Policy Proposal during the 62nd meeting of the MSC Student Conference on National Affairs (SCONA). Kilpatrick was one of 196 delegates that were divided into 17 roundtable discussion groups during the annual conference held on February 14-18. The team was tasked to collaborate and write a policy proposal within 60 hours addressing a topic of national importance, such as homeland security, the environment, epidemics and public health, and cybersecurity. The team she… Read More →

Extension Names Drake, Gonzales as IPM Agents

The Department of Entomology and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service would like to welcome John David Gonzales and Dr. David Drake as the newest members of the growing statewide integrated pest management group. Gonzales and Drake started their Extension Agent-IPM positions on February 1, with Gonzales serving the Muleshoe area and Drake serving the Commerce area. Gonzales replaced Erin Jones while Drake replaced Dr. Jim Swart after he retired in December 2014. Before joining the Commerce position, Drake worked as an Extension Agronomist for 8 years at the… Read More →

Carl Hjelmen and Richelle Marquess Named Outstanding Graduate Students

COLLEGE STATION, Texas–The Department of Entomology recently named Ph.D. student Carl Hjelmen and MS  student Richelle Marquess as the newest Oustanding Graduate Students at a special recognition seminar on Thursday. Hjelmen is advised by Dr. Spencer Johnston and is researching the evolution of genome size in Drosophila species. During the past year, Hjelmen has prepared and submitted a manuscript titled “The mode and tempo of genome size evolution in the subgenus Sopophora” and was a contributing author of another paper titled “The effects of natural selection and repetitive… Read More →

Alex Payne Wins Award for Her Research at National Conference

GALVESTON, Texas—Congratulations to Ph.D. student Alex Payne as she recently received an award for Best Student Paper from the American Association of Professional Apiculturists for her talk at the organization’s annual American Bee Research Conference in Galveston in January, 2017. Payne is mentored by Dr. Juliana Rangel. Her talk at the symposium was titled “The effects of honey bee (Apis mellifera) queen insemination volume on colony growth”. Her presentation looked at how the volume of semen in a queen who was artificially inseminated affects the overall growth of… Read More →

Texas cattle fever ticks are back with a vengeance

by Steve Byrns, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications COLLEGE STATION– Texas cattle fever ticks, which made Texas longhorns the pariah of the plains in the late 1800s, are once again expanding their range with infestations detected in Live Oak, Willacy and Kleberg counties, said Texas A&M AgriLife experts. As of Feb. 1, more than 500,000 acres in Texas are under various quarantines outside of the permanent quarantine zone. Dr. Pete Teel, Texas A&M AgriLife Research entomologist at College Station, said the vigilance and cooperation of regulatory agencies, namely the… Read More →

Dr. Max Summers Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—The Department of Entomology honored Dr. Max Summers with the Department of Entomology Lifetime Recognition award during the January regular faculty meeting. Summers is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus and former holder of the Endowed Chair in Agricultural Biotechnology. Summers promoted inquiry-driven and knowledge-based research that generated more than $40 million in grants and patent income and over 375 scholarly publications in quality, high impact peer-reviewed journals. Together with his former student, Gale Smith, Summers was responsible for the pioneering and enabling research that developed the baculovirus… Read More →

Pest Management Conference Featured Expert Panels, Vector Control Sessions

BRYAN, Texas–Hundreds of pest control professionals convened at the Brazos Center in Bryan to learn about the latest technologies and regulations to control insects and other pests during the 71st meeting of the Urban Pest Management Conference and Workshop. The three-day-long workshop was held from January 11-13 and featured several different topics of interest including regulations on use of chemicals, control methods for various pests, and how to keep safe on the job. Entomology Department Head Dr. David Ragsdale opened the event with an overview of the Department’s… Read More →

Tomberlin Named AgriLife Research Fellow, Extension Entomology, IPM Agents Receive Superior Service Awards

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—The Department of Entomology has started the New Year off right as it celebrates the recipients of the latest round of awards given at the 2017 Texas A&M AgriLife Conference. The awards were given during the Research and Extension awards presentation on Tuesday in the Memorial Student Center’s Bethancourt Ballroom. Dr. Jeff Tomberlin was honored as a Texas A&M AgriLife Research Faculty Fellow, an honorific title he will keep throughout his tenure at Texas A&M.  This was awarded for his outstanding research in the field of… Read More →