Texas A&M garners $10 million grant to establish center, fight vector-borne diseases

by Steve Byrns, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M AgriLife recently received a substantial monetary boost to bolster its aggressive fight to stem the spread of vector-borne diseases for the public good, said Dr. David Ragsdale, Texas A&M University entomology department head at College Station. Ragsdale said the $10 million five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be used to establish the Western Gulf Coast Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases. The Western Gulf Coast Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne… Read More →

Entomology Students Part of Record Number of Graduating Aggies

COLLEGE STATION—Several Entomology students celebrated the holiday season early as they were part of more than 4,000 students expected to graduate this fall during commencement ceremonies at Reed Arena on Friday, December 16. The department had a total of 21 students, which included 6 undergraduate ENTO majors and 1 minor, 3 master’s students and 1 Ph.D. student that attended the 2pm ceremony with others in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. There also were 15 students that received the Certification in Public Health Entomology. “We want to… Read More →

Ann Pool Receives Staff Meritorious Service Award

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University would like to congratulate Ann Pool on receiving the 2016 Department of Entomology Staff Meritorious Service Award. Pool, an Academic Advisor II in the Department’s Advising office, received the award during a special reception in the fourth floor atrium on Wednesday, December 14. Since joining the Department in 2013, Pool has been instrumental in the daily academic operations in the department, taking care of most of the undergraduate academic advising for the Entomology, Forensic and Investigative… Read More →

Former Student Honored with Outstanding Early Career Alumni Award

BRYAN, Texas—Congratulations to Dr. Brad Hopkins as he received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Early Career Award. The award recognizes former students in the College that have made significant accomplishments and contributions at the state, national or international levels in agriculture, natural resources or the life sciences and who graduated from the college within the past 15 years. Hopkins was recognized at the annual Legacy and Leadership banquet held at the Brazos County Expo Center on November 18. Hopkins received his bachelor’s, masters, and Ph.D…. Read More →

Kerns Named Statewide Integrated Pest Management Coordinator

COLLEGE STATION–The Department of Entomology and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service would like to welcome Dr. David Kerns to the faculty as Professor and Statewide Integrated Pest Management Coordinator. Kerns started December 1 and is based in College station. Before joining A&M, he was the Jack Hamilton Regents Chair in Cotton Production in the Department of Entomology at Louisiana State University since April 2011 located at Winnsboro at the Macon Ridge Research Center. At LSU, Kerns was responsible for conducting entomological research at Macon Ridge and St. Joseph… Read More →

AgriLife Research team makes strides in fight against Zika

by Steve Byrns, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications COLLEGE STATION – There’s a war raging on a tiny battlefield and the outcome could well touch millions of people worldwide threatened by Zika and related viruses. The key ally unlocking the mystery surrounding this conflict is the long-dreaded yellow fever virus. Dr. Kevin Myles, Glady “Hazitha” Samuel and Dr. Zach Adelman are Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists at Texas A&M University, College Station, who published “Yellow fever virus capsid protein is a potent suppressor of RNA silencing that binds double-stranded… Read More →

Former Grad Student Receives Award from Malaysian Government

Chin Heo, center, with Dato' Kamel Mohamad, Deputy Secretary General of Higher Education in Malaysia (left), and Associate Prof. Dr. Puzziawati Abdul Ghani (right)

The Department of Entomology would like to congratulate former Ph.D. student Chong Chin Heo as he received the highest honor from the Malaysian government during a special ceremony held at the Embassy of Malaysia in Washington, D.C. on November 5. Chong Chin Heo received the Perdana Scholar Award in the Research, Innovation and Publication category from the Malaysian government. Given to selected Malaysian students that have studied in the United States, the award’s goal is to identify, document and promote Malaysia students that have excelled in academics, leadership… Read More →

Pietrantonio’s Fire Ant Research Featured in Podcast

Fire ants

Texas A&M Entomology professor Dr. Patricia Pietrantonio’s fire ant research project was recently featured in a video posted by the science media podcast website EarthSky. The podcast is located at http://earthsky.org/earth/science-fights-to-control-fire-ants, highlights the destructive impact of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta Buren) and the ongoing basic research efforts to conceive better strategies to control this pest. Pietrantonio’s National Science Foundation-funded project, titled “Neuropeptide Receptors and Identification of Genes in Signaling Networks Involved in Reproduction and Nutrition in the Red Imported Fire Ant”, focuses on localizing the neuropeptide… Read More →

Monarchs on the Move In Texas

by Steve Byrns, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications SAN ANGELO – Tens of thousands of monarch butterflies have been migrating through the Concho Valley in recent days, and a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist hopes Texans stop to appreciate what he terms is truly a royal procession. “These are special insects, and they are moving through our country here in San Angelo in a big way,” said Dr. Charles Allen who is headquartered at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at San Angelo. “There were literally… Read More →

Texas A&M Entomology Hosts Joint Vector Borne Disease Workshop with UC-Davis

Group in front of classroom at the Thomas G. Hildebrand, DVM '56 Equine Complex

The Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University recently held a two-day workshop in cooperation with the University of California-Davis’ Department of Entomology and Nematology this past weekend to discuss vector-borne diseases in humans, plants, and animals. The two-day event held at the Thomas G. Hildebrand, DVM ‘56 Equine Complex, focused on finding solutions to problems with vector-borne diseases such as Zika, citrus greening and Lyme Disease. The event paired faculty with similar interests, such as genetics and genomics of vectors to those who deal with population structure… Read More →