Meaghan Pimsler Receives Comstock Award from Southwestern Branch of ESA

Meaghan Pimsler with Bob Davis

Meaghan Pimsler, left. with Bob Davis. Photo by Tom Royer

TULSA—Ph.D. student Meaghan Pimsler’s hard work and determination has paid off again as she received the Entomological Society of America’s John Henry Comstock Award for 2015 at the Southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society’s annual meeting.

The award was announced during the meeting’s awards ceremony held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa during the three-day event on February 23-26.

Pimsler is co-advised by Drs. Jeff Tomberlin and Aaron Tarone and her dissertation is titled “A Functional Genetic Study of the Behavioral Ecology of Chrysomya rufifacies (Diptera: Calliphoridae); Potential for Sexual Conflict in Immature Insects.”

She is actively involved in the Entomological Society of America and has organized two symposia, as well as representing Texas A&M in the regional and national Linnaean Games several times in her career. Pimsler also has organized and participated in the ESA’s student debate and submitted three manuscripts to the Journal of Medical Entomology.

Pimsler has received numerous awards, including the Monsanto Student Travel and Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology Section Student Travel Grant for the ESA meeting in Portland in 2014, and placed first for her presentation during the 2013 Graduate Student Forum and at the 2013 North American Forensic Entomology Association meeting in Dayton, Ohio.

In addition to her research, Pimsler has been a graduate teaching assistant for several courses, including the FIVS 205, Introduction to Forensic and Investigative Sciences and the FIVS/ENTO 431/432, Theoretical and Applied Forensic Entomology.

“Meaghan is an exceptional student and researcher,” Tomberlin said. “She will serve as a wonderful representative of the spirit of the Comstock Award.”

Tarone was very proud of Pimsler and was excited to see her receive the award.

“Meaghan is a great student, a hard worker, and an avid entomologist,” Tarone said. “She definitely represents the type of person that the Comstock Award was intended to honor and I have every confidence that this is just one of what will become a long list of achievements that are in store for Meaghan’s career.”

The J. H. Comstock Award is given to one graduate student from each of the Entomological Society of America’s six Branches to promote interest in the science of entomology at the graduate level and to stimulate interest in attending the ESA Annual Meeting. The award includes an all-expense-paid trip to the national meeting, a $500 cash prize, and a certificate that is presented during the ESA Annual Meeting.

Southwestern Branch Awards Committee Chair Dr. Charles Allen said that the vote for the award was close, but Pimsler’s achievements during her college career were outstanding and deserved recognition.

“The voting was pretty tight, but Meaghan was the clear winner,” Allen said. “The fact that she has maintained a 4.0 grade point average while being fully involved in all of her research, outreach, teaching and society activities was very impressive as well. Finally, her willingness to work with and collaborate with other students, and her ability to obtain grant/scholarship support did not go unappreciated by the committee. In short, across the breadth of our discipline (and beyond) she has a developed a very impressive body of work.”

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