Author Archives: Rob Williams

Department Names 2019 Perry Adkisson Distinguished Seminar Speaker Award

Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Suarez from the University of Illinois on receiving the annual Dr. Perry Adkisson Distinguished Seminar Speaker Award. Dr. Suarez received the award during a special seminar on November 7 in Room 103 of the Heep Center. Dr. Suarez is professor and head of the Department of Animal Biology and Professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. One of the world’s leading ant ecologists, Dr. Suarez uses ants as a model system to answer broad ecological questions that span… Read More →

Tomberlin Receives Presidential Impact Fellow

Congratulations to Professor and Texas A&M AgriLife Research Fellow Dr. Jeff Tomberlin as he received the Presidential Impact Fellow award on November 5. Tomberlin was among 20 faculty members from the University who were honored at the ceremony for the recognition. Tomberlin has become a national and international leader in the science and applications of decomposition ecology where his work has made highly significant impacts in animal and food waste systems and forensic science. One of Tomberlin’s latest discoveries is utilizing the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) to… Read More →

Millions of monarch butterflies killed on Texas highways

Texas A&M works to protect monarchs on Texas roads, and they need your help by Laura Muntean, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications Monarch butterflies are moving south through Texas on their annual autumn migration to overwintering sites in Central Mexico, but millions die in collisions with vehicles while flying low across Texas highways. Monarch numbers have declined about 82% over the last 23 years, and road mortality can significantly contribute to their dwindling numbers. The monarch butterfly, Texas’ state insect, was petitioned for protection under the federal Endangered Species… Read More →

What is Forensic Entomology? Professor shares insight on how insects assist in legal investigations

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications Insects can help fight crime by providing important scientific insights that can be applied to legal investigations – plus provide interested individuals with a truly unique profession in forensic entomology. While most may view forensic entomology as the “creepy-crawly” part of CSI-type television shows, that perspective only scratches the surface of this field. Forensic entomology is the understanding of how the biology of insects and arthropods that inhabit decomposing remains can be used for the purpose of assisting in a variety… Read More →

Some ‘spooky’ arthropods call Texas home

Excerpted from an AgriLife Today story by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications The state of Texas is host to some interesting arthropods that are some of the most iconic symbols of Halloween. Our entomologists give some interesting facts about a few of these residents that make the Lone Star State their home. Tarantulas — More hairy than scary Extension entomologist and long-time tarantula enthusiast Molly Keck said while tarantulas are large and eerie looking, they are actually very docile and rarely bite. “The exceptions are when they… Read More →

A Kaleidoscope of Monarchs Return Through Texas – FALL 2019

    All the photos/videos on this page are taken by Shirley Woods in Midland, TX

Study abroad trip to Costa Rica leads to new king cricket species discovery

A group of four Texas A&M Department of Entomology undergraduate students took their knowledge from the classroom and put it to use in discovering a new species of king cricket during a recent study abroad trip to Costa Rica. Under the guidance of Hojun Song, Ph.D., associate professor for entomology, students Steven Richardson, Travis Trimm, Randell Paredes and Jonathan Koehl described a new species of king cricket, Glaphyrosoma stephanosoltis, (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae), from the tropical rainforests near the Soltis Center for Research and Education in San Isidro. A new… Read More →

Grad Student Wins Graduate and Professional Student Government Fall Travel Award

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Phillip Shults on receiving the Graduate and Professional Student Government’s Fall Travel Award. The award will allow Shults to travel to Puerto Rico to attend the Society for Vector Ecology’s annual meeting. Shults will be giving a presentation titled “Taxonomic uncertainty in the C. variipennis complex part II: population genomic structure of C. sonorensis throughout North America” during the meeting. Shults will also be coordinating a symposium titled Unveiling the Ecology of North American Culicoides Vectors where he will have experts speaking on different… Read More →

Texas A&M entomology student chosen as fellow for National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility Scientist Training Program

COLLEGE STATION — Tyler Pohlenz, a Texas A&M University doctoral student, has been selected as a fellow for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility Scientist Training Program, or APHIS-NSTP, starting the 2019 fall semester. Pohlenz’s doctorate concentrates on arboviruses, such as Zika, and other important pathogens. “With the move of the USDA’s Animal Disease Center from Plum Island, New York, to Kansas, USDA needs to staff the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, NBAF,” said Kevin Myles, Ph.D.,… Read More →

Texas A&M Entomology Faculty Visit with South Korean Officials on Future Fire Ant Control

Two faculty members from the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M recently traveled to South Korea to help South Korean officials with a recent invasion of fire ants. The group consisted of Dr. Patricia Pietrantonio, Professor and Texas A&M AgriLife Research Fellow, and Dr. Ed Vargo, Professor and Endowed Chair in Urban and Structural Entomology, who met with officials from South Korea. The follow-up meeting this year stemmed from a request made in 2018 when researchers from the Korean Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) requested help in… Read More →