PORTLAND, Ore. –The Texas A&M Graduate Linnaean Team received third place during the semifinals of the 2014 Linnaean Games at the annual Entomological Society of America meeting in Portland in November.
The student team, consisting of graduate students Lauren Ward, James Tracy, Adrian Fisher, and Suhas Vyavhare, with alternates Pierre Lau and Carl Hjelmen, is coached by Dr. Juliana Rangel. The team competed against several other universities in the quiz-bowl style competition between universities during the meeting.
The team defeated Oklahoma State during the quarter finals but lost to the University of Florida team during the semifinals, with the University of North Carolina receiving the first place trophy during the finals that were held on Wednesday, November 19.
According to the ESA website, the Linnaean Games is a lively question and answer quiz-bowl style competition between university-sponsored teams that tests the students’ general entomological knowledge. Each team is comprised of four players with two alternates. Scoring is done by correctly answering questions asked by the moderator. The team that answers the highest number of questions correctly moves to the next round.
Rangel was very proud of the team and believed that they were well prepared this year.
“Our performance at the national Linnaean Games was stellar, especially because we beat three teams during the elimination rounds, including beating Oklahoma State in the quarter-finals, which was a great victory because we lost first place to them at the Southwestern Branch meeting earlier in San Antonio,” she said.
Rangel also added that the practice sessions during the past several weeks were very fruitful and all team members worked very hard.
“Our team practiced twice every week and was truly committed to studying practice questions every week, on top of all their other professional and academic responsibilities,” she said. “I am incredibly proud to be the coach of such a dedicated team, and I hope we win first place at next year’s SWB meeting in Tulsa.”
Masters student and team member Adrian Fisher II said that the most challenging questions were the ones dealing with history and pesticides but said that, overall, “it was a very exciting experience.”