Category Archives: Grad Student News

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 →

Grad Students Receive Top Awards at Nineteenth Annual Forum

Four students received top awards during the Department of Entomology’s Nineteenth Annual Graduate Student Forum on August 25. Tyler Raszick received first place for his talk titled ”Boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) population genomics as a tool for monitoring and management” and Jocelyn Holt received second place for her talk “The sugarcane aphid in the continental US” This year’s competition ended up with a tie, with both winners receiving awards. The winners were Derek Woller for his presentation titled “Exploring the functional frontiers of genitalia morphology via synergistic imaging… Read More →

Grad Student Assists In Rediscovery of Grasshopper Species Not Seen in Almost 60 Years

For almost 60 years, scientists thought that Melanoplus foxi Hebard, 1923, a flightless grasshopper endemic to Georgia, was possibly extinct until Ph.D. student Derek Woller and Assistant Research Professor JoVonn Hill at Mississippi State University recently re-discovered the species in May of 2015 after nine years of active searching. Woller became aware of the species in the first place because, for his dissertation, he is examining the evolutionary history of the 24 species that make up the Puer Group (Acrididae: Melanoplinae), which includes M. foxi. He said that… Read More →

Linnaean Teams Win First and Second Place at Southwestern Branch Meeting

TYLER, Texas–The Department of Entomology’s graduates and undergraduate Linnaean Teams came out big during the annual Linnaean Games quiz bowl competition at the Southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society meeting during the last week of February. The Graduate Linnaean Team received first place after defeating the Texas A&M undergraduate team in the final round of play. Both teams also competed other teams, graduate and undergraduate, from Oklahoma State University. The graduate team consisted of Pierre Lau, Freddy Ibanez, Adrian Fisher, and Carl Hjelmen while the undergraduate team included… Read More →

Grad Students Honored with Awards During Seminar

COLLEGE STATION, Texas –The Department of Entomology would like to congratulate two of our grad students as they received top honors during the department’s spring seminar series on February 18. Ph.D. student Carl Hjelmen received the Outstanding Ph.D. Student while Devin Beach Tillman received the Outstanding Masters Student Award during the special presentation. Hjelmen is advised by Dr. Spencer Johnston and is currently researching the evolution of genome size in Drosophila species. Hjelmen is a member of the Graduate Entomology Student Organization, where he is serving as the… Read More →

Ph.D. Student Receives Award from Beltwide Cotton Conference

The Department of Entomology would like to congratulate Ph.D. student James Glover for receiving the Best Ph.D. oral presentation prize in the Insect Management category at the Cotton Beltwide Conferences in New Orleans on January 5-7. Glover received the award for his talk titled, “Comparing Boll Injury and EILs for Species of a Boll-Feeding Sucking Bug Complex (Hemiptera: Miridae and Pentatomidae) on South Texas Cotton.” Texas A&M AgriLife Research professor and co-mentor Dr. Mike Brewer said that Glover’s research is on the injury of cotton plants from a… Read More →

Grad Students Receive High Awards for Presentations at National Meeting

MINNEAPOLIS– Congratulations to Ph.D. students Carl Hjelmen and Liz Walsh as they were given awards for the Graduate Ten Minute Paper Presentation Competition at the Entomological Society of America’s annual meeting on Monday, November 16. Hjelmen’s paper received first place in the SysEB – Citizen Science, New Methods, and Physiology section and was titled “Phylogenetic basis for understanding genome size evolution in Drosophila.” In his paper, he is looking at the evolution of the genome size in the Drosophila species of flies. In his research, he is utilizing… Read More →

Ph.D. Student Receives USDA-AFRI Travel Grant

Congratulations to Wenqing Zhou on receiving a USDA – AFRI travel award to attend the Entomological Society of America’s annual meeting in Minneapolis this November. The travel grant award is funded by USDA-NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program on Plant-Associated Insects and Nematodes. It was created to provide financial support to graduate students for new networking, presentation, and research opportunities at the meeting that will be held on November 15-18. Zhou is a Ph.D. candidiate currently being mentored under Professor and Charles R. Parencia Chair in Cotton… Read More →

Chong Chin Heo Receives Top TAMU Awards For Research Excellence

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Chong Chin Heo’s research has been recognized at the higher level as he recently received the Vice President for Research’s Excellence Award and the Sigma Xi Interdisciplinary Award for his outstanding research efforts. Heo is a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Jeffery Tomberlin’s FLIES lab and received his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences and Masters in Parasitology from the National University of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Heo’s interest in research started when he learned about the devastating impacts of parasites and insects to human and… Read More →